WESTERGASGABRIEK PARK

Otherwise known as Western Gas Factory Park is a former industrial area located on the western edge of Amsterdam’s rings of canals. The urban-renewal project aimed to remediate the brownfield site, a former coal-to-gas conversion plant, completed in 2005.

The gas plant and west park were built in 1883. The plant was shut down in 1960’s. In the 1980’s the site became a borough housing 34,000. It became popular for gatherings and artist’s studio spaces. In the 1990’s redevelopment for the area was initiated. In 2000, Mecanoo was selected for architecture, Kathryn Gustafson for landscape, and Ove Arup as brownfield advisors.

The design is arranged on an East-West axis, beginning with a large building and urban plaza, transitioning from urban to naturalistic along the axis with preserved industrial ‘monuments’ throughout. Located to the north is storm water remediation, where a wading pool runs into a swamp, through a reed and sedge wetland, an open pool area, to a series of streambeds with check dams and waterfalls functioning for settling, aeration, and skimming.

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