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The Martin Centre Research Seminar Series: Virtual Edition: Creating Pleasant Places

Sjoerd Soeters (Architect and Urban Designer, Pleasant Places Happy People)
When Jun 10, 2020
from 03:00 PM to 04:00 PM
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In this talk Sjoerd Soeters will address the aim of creating pleasant places through three successive projects. The design for Java Island was a transformation of a former harbour district into a residential environment near the city centre of Amsterdam. Theories and ideas from Tadehiku Higuchi and John Habraken were integrated into the plan which consist of a structure of canals, alternated with public inner courtyards and a variety of dwelling types. In the Sluseholmen plan, the idea of concentrating people in public spaces was introduced. The third project, the masterplan for Holland Park in Diemen, shows the transformation of a large out-of-function business district into a residential environment in midst of the financial crisis. Although not completely finished, the experience of serial vision perspectives along the bent quays and over the bridges is already there. More information can be found on the website of John Habraken:



Sjoerd Soeters, born on the Dutch island of Ameland in 1947, studied architecture at the Eindhoven polytechnic from 1966 to 1975. Before founding his own practice in 1979, he worked for several years at VDL architects in Amsterdam. In 2016 the office transformed into “Pleasant Places Happy People” in which Joep Mollink joined as partner in 2018. The buildings Soeters is best known for are “The Circus Zandvoort”, the Helicon building for the ministry of Health in The Hague, the Leliënhuyse in Haverleij, Den Bosch, his firm’s own office-building in Amsterdam, the government building of the province of Friesland and the city hall of Zaanstad. For further details please see