The construction of the Zuidasdok project in Amsterdam may cost 1 billion euros more, according to the NOS yesterday. Moreover, a letter from Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen to the House…

The construction of the Zuidasdok project in Amsterdam may cost 1 billion euros more, according to the NOS yesterday. Moreover, a letter from Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen to the House of Representatives reveals that the large-scale construction project is once again being delayed.

Construction had initially been planned for nine years. But even before the first shovel hit the ground, the prestigious project was delayed. One of the reasons for this was the complexity of the project, with many tunnels in a small area.

Because of the delays, the cabinet had the project investigated by a committee led by former minister Sybilla Dekker. It now concludes that the project must go ahead at all costs. “Doing nothing is not an option,” she advises. Otherwise there will be too many traffic jams on the highway and at the public transport.

In view of the complexity, the project should be divided into small parts, Dekker advises. The last part will then be completed between 2032 and 2036, which is four years later than planned at the earliest. But all this also costs more money. The budget deficit is now estimated at between 700 million and 1 billion euros.

Source: www.nos.nl

Update:

From an article that newspaper NRC Saturday 28 March devoted to the developments on the Zuidasdok, it appears that the expansion of Station Zuid in particular has high priority. The number of passengers grew by 47 percent in the last year. Partly due to the arrival of international trains, 300,000 passengers per day are expected here in due course instead of the current 80,000, according to NRC.

Walter Etty, chairman of passenger organisation Rover, even calls the situation dangerous. “People are falling off the platform, it’s so crowded there.

Two professors, the economists Coen Teulings and Henri de Groot, who were consulted by Dekker, find the plans for two additional tracks too modest. They advocate eight tracks.

In her advice, former minister Dekker concludes that the national prosperity will only benefit if the Zuidasdok project is completed. Bureau Decisio calculated that two billion in costs would be offset by 2.1 billion in benefits.

According to a spokesman for the municipality of Amsterdam, the municipality is now entering into talks with the national government. The agreement is that Amsterdam will pay a quarter of the extra costs, and that the government will pay the rest. Dekker expects that politicians will agree to the extra billion, because the transport hub is of national importance. “You don’t solve anything by stopping, especially in times of crisis,” she says to NRC.

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New delivery service for Amsterdam shops

Those who live within the ring of the A10 can now order products, which will be delivered to their home the same day. This is an initiative of Peddler, a…

Those who live within the ring of the A10 can now order products, which will be delivered to their home the same day.

This is an initiative of Peddler, a young company (start up) that wants to support local Amsterdam shops and the local economy. Via the website www.lokaalamsterdam.com it is currently possible to order products from around fifty shops. These are delicatessens, florists, clothes shops and wine shops. More and more retailers are joining this delivery service.
Bicycle couriers ensure that the purchased products are delivered the same day, completely contactless.

The corona crisis is severely affecting the middle city. Retail advisor Bureau RMC reports a drop in the number of shop visitors of more than 70%. As a collective, united in Local Amsterdam, local retailers can guarantee their continuity and improve their online visibility, the initiators say.
Click here for more information.

 

 

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Unique Porsches in Ben’s Garage

In Ben’s Garage, the recently opened cellar of the Move Mobility Experience at the Stadionplein, a unique collection of Porsches is currently on display. Visitors are given a tour of…

In Ben’s Garage, the recently opened cellar of the Move Mobility Experience at the Stadionplein, a unique collection of Porsches is currently on display.

Visitors are given a tour of a number of special models, including the very first Porsche 356, which was sold in the Netherlands in 1949. The 911 Carrera 4S Ben Pon Jr., named after Porsche Ambassador Ben Pon Jr., who passed away last year, can also be seen.

More than seventy years of Porsche in the Netherlands comes to life in Ben’s Garage. From the Porsche 356, which came on the market in 1948 as the sports car manufacturer’s first model, via the 946 Targa, which was used by the Dutch National Police in 1992, to the 991.2 GT2 RS, the most powerful 911 ever. Visitors are given a tour of eleven models and hear stories never told before behind the cars.

Ben’s Garage is named after Ben Pon jr., also known as ‘Mister Porsche’. His family business became the very first Porsche importer in the world in 1949. In addition to being an importer, Pon jr. was also a racing driver in various models of Porsche. His endless love for the Stuttgart sports car brand is now temporarily given a place in the recently opened to the public cellar of the Move Mobility Experience.

In this experience, the first of its kind in the Netherlands, you can make an interactive journey through the history, but also the future of mobility. It is located right next to the Olympic Stadium. Here you can also admire the latest and ‘future’ models of bicycles and cars, including Gazelle, Cervélo, Audi, Porsche and Bentley.

Ben’s Garage is open every Saturday and Sunday. Visitors should book a half-hour slot on https://move.amsterdam/gebouw/bens-garage/ in advance. Admission to this temporary exhibition amounts to five euros for children under 12 years of age and ten euros for everyone over 12. Afterwards, visitors will receive a collector’s item poster from Porsche as a souvenir.

The exhibition, which began in February, will be on display for a few months. The experience itself can be visited at the Stadionplein in Amsterdam from Tuesday to Sunday between 10 and 17 hours. Move is suitable for young and old and is free of charge. Reservations can be made via the website www.move.amsterdam. The Porsches collection can only be visited temporarily, every Saturday and Sunday.

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‘Aesthetics and sustainability can go hand in hand’

Visitors entering Circl are likely to come across Marijn Muller or a piece of sustainable furniture from his company, Cartoni Design. Circular is keyword to what Marijn does and stands…

Visitors entering Circl are likely to come across Marijn Muller or a piece of sustainable furniture from his company, Cartoni Design. Circular is keyword to what Marijn does and stands for.

Marijn grew up in The Hague and was soon known cross Marijn Muller or a piece of sustainable furniture from his company, Cartoni Design. Circular is keyword to what Marijn does and stands for.as ‘that boy with the dog and the colourful clothes’. And that hasn’t changed in all these years. “I guess I just have my very own style: I like to wear pink shirts and pink jumpers made of lambswool. For more official occasions I always take a tweed jacket with me. It makes me feel comfortable.”

“Recently, I talked to a high-school friend and she said that I haven’t changed one bit. I’m still wearing my Ray Ban Wayfarer, the classic Blues Brothers sunglasses.”

Marijn also uses his outfit as a statement to show that he is closer to the creative industry than the other companies at Zuidas. “With Cartoni Design we show that aesthetics and sustainability can go hand in hand. Only four years ago, people were wondering if this was actually possible and now everyone is doing it. A company that is not looking at sustainability, is doomed and will soon be out of business.”

Marijn gives ABN Amro advice on interior design, that’s why he holds office in Circl – ABN Amro’s circular pavilion – and exhibits durable and innovative solutions here. “The whole world visits this place: designers, architects, large companies like DSM. I connect them, give presentations, organize exhibitions. There is a lot of knowledge sharing and that’s a good thing because no-one has yet found the perfect way to create a real circular society.”

 

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‘We lift it safely or we do not lift at all’

28 The largest Dutch courthouse, the New Amsterdam Courthouse, is undergoing a complete renovation. It is a project being headed up by Heijmans, a leader in the construction industry. Amer Mahmutovic…

28

The largest Dutch courthouse, the New Amsterdam Courthouse, is undergoing a complete renovation. It is a project being headed up by Heijmans, a leader in the construction industry. Amer Mahmutovic is a crane operator, and one of the many people working on the site.

This interview took some preparation as we needed to go high up. I met him at ground level, wearing who wears the expected combination of work shoes, hi-vis jacket and hardhat. From this staggering height. Firstly, we went up three levels on a ladder, and then a further three levels via an elevator. Once sixty five metres above ground, we were in a cabin, from where Amer is key to the realization of the renovated courthouse.

Before we set foot in the tiny space, we changed our shoes for slippers. Once inside, the hand-held vacuum cleaner, baby wipes and bottles of surface and window cleanser reveal his love of a tidy workspace.

Enormous crane

Up until last year, Amer was a driving instructor. Nowadays he is operating the enormous crane we find ourselves near the top of.

“I was fed up with giving driving lessons; youngsters have changed so much. So, I re-trained to become a crane operator,” he says. “I had to get used to life in the construction industry. And in my case, this is quite a lonely life, being up here. I was always used to always having a student sitting next to me. But, this isolation is for the best, because for this job you need to be fully concentrated at all times.” 

Amer has been working as a crane operator for eight months.  His first job was contributing to the building of the nhow Amsterdam Rai Hotel (the one with the three triangles). He is currently watching the New Amsterdam Courthouse grow beneath him at a great speed from a dizzying height.

“Whether I am lifting a beam, a wire construction, a block of concrete or braided concrete, it all adds something to the Courthouse. Sometimes it is a serious piece of craftsmanship if I might say, with real military precision. But at the end of the day, that gives me my satisfaction. On the other hand, it is a hazardous job. Everything here is about safety.

Carefull

When working with this kind of machinery, you have to be careful, we lift it safely or we do not lift at all! Do you see those other two cranes over there? My colleagues and I are in touch constantly via radio. However, on the rare occasion our booms are too close, they are brought to a halt automatically, just like the automatic distance device in the latest cars.” 

Amer’s crane weighs 32 tons. When dual wired, the boom (the long, moving arm) can hoist up to eight tons, and, when four wired, at least sixteen tons, which is comparable to the weight of ten cars.
As well as taking into account the weight, there are also weather factors to consider, like wind.

“Everything here is checked, checked again, and then triple checked. From the moment I start to lift, it is all about millimetres. With the utmost accuracy, I hand the boys down there their goods. They advise me via their radios. Another two metres, one more, fifty centimetres, thirty, ten, etc. Though I am physically secluded, we have to work together as a team in order to avoid accidents.”

 

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Schaap en Citroen: vintage watches

Recently, Schaap en Citroen Jewellers opened a ‘Pre-owned & Vintage Watches’ boutique in the 5-star Conservatorium Hotel in Amsterdam. With this boutique, next to ‘The Schaap & Citroen Diamonds Boutique’,…

Recently, Schaap en Citroen Jewellers opened a ‘Pre-owned & Vintage Watches’ boutique in the 5-star Conservatorium Hotel in Amsterdam. With this boutique, next to ‘The Schaap & Citroen Diamonds Boutique’, the jewellers add a brand-new concept to their portfolio. The boutique is located in the so-called ‘Van Baerle Shopping Gallery’ in The Conservatorium Hotel and is designed by Rob Feenstra.

For over 130 years, Schaap en Citroen has been active as an authorized sales-address of many leading Swiss watch brands. The knowledge of mechanical clocks, extraordinary complexity and unique models cover the complete watch spectrum. This knowledge and the increasing demand for pre-owned watches was the best combination to open a ‘Pre-owned & Vintage Watches’ boutique.

If a customer likes to sell a watch or a collection, the watch can be traded or a new product can be chosen. Advantages of selling a watch through or to Schaap en Citroen is the fact that the customer does not have the high-security costs, the price is realistic and in line with the market conditions of the watch and the smooth handling of the whole process.

Valuation

After the valuation, the customer is given the options to trade the watch to the Jewellers or have it sold with consignment on the Internet. Even if the client is unable to visit one of twelve Schaap en Citroen Jewellers stores, the entire procedure can be arranged online via schaapcitroen.nl.

Schaap en Citroen is a Dutch jeweller’s brand with a history going back as far as 1888. Nowadays, there are twelve Schaap en Citroen establishments throughout the country, in cities like Amsterdam, Den Bosch, Den Haag, Eindhoven, Groningen, Haarlem, Rotterdam and Utrecht. Schaap en Citroen Jewellers is definitely aiming for the future yet valuing their traditional morals.

Longines

This house of jewellers offers names like Rolex, Patek Philippe, Hublot, Roger Dubuis, Zenith, A. Lange&Söhne, Breguet, Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin, Cartier, Panerai, Piaget, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Longines, Blancpain, Breitling, Rado, Chopard, Christiaan van der Klaauw, Omega, Chanel, Tag Heuer, Tudor, Baume &Mercier and IWC.

Jewellery of the brands Pomellato, Piaget, Chantecler, Pasquale Bruni, Serafino Consoli,Piaget, Roberto Demeglio, Casato, Royal Asscher, Tirisi, Tamara Comolli, Shamballa, Oromalia, Noor, Tirisi Moda, Christian Bauer, Mattioli en Bigli.

And of course, the fabulous Jewellery collection by Schaap en Citroen.

 

Schaap en Citroen Vintage Watches
Van Baerlestraat 27
Amsterdam

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‘It has only become more attractive, trendy and sociable here’

Lisette Vriend combines work and life at Zuidas. “Buitenveldert and Zuidas both have an atmosphere that suits me, and it has only become more attractive, trendy and sociable here.” If…

Lisette Vriend combines work and life at Zuidas. “Buitenveldert and Zuidas both have an atmosphere that suits me, and it has only become more attractive, trendy and sociable here.”

If you skip an Ajax football match to attend a community meeting, you can call yourself a proud Amsterdam-Buitenveldert local. Lisette Vriend feels at home in this neighbourhood. “Even grocery shopping is fun. I get in the elevator to enter the indoor shopping centre”.

Lisette tells me that “I was born in Aalsmeer. Even as a young girl, I was bored there. So later, I moved to Amsterdam and have never left. After college, I studied at Schoevers. For some time I had ambitions to be an air hostess, see the world, hang around pretty places for a while, it sounded nice… But I stopped dreaming eventually as life in the airline business is not as glamorous as it used to be. During that time, I realized I should do something else: sales. I proved to be good at it, and it made me happy. For a long time I worked at all levels of account management.”

Life just found a way

Lisette lives at Gelderlandplein and works around the corner, at Boelelaan, as an assistant/office manager at Vanderkruys. Vanderkruys is a recruitment firm for responsible positions in the public and private-public sectors such as the government, hospitals and universities.

“For a while, I had been looking for a job in the neighbourhood. I wanted to live and work here. At Zuidas, recruitment is a booming business, but this specific role suits me.”

Lisette calls herself an “all-rounder”. “I like to get everything thrown in my direction and take the lead. Especially for activities such as organizing events and planning meetings.”

What about women at Zuidas?

According to Lisette, we do not have to worry about the number of women working at Zuidas. “In prominent positions around here, you see women. As a matter of fact, there are more women than men at my office.

“I have lived in Buitenveldert for years now. I used to think it was a bit old fashioned. But not anymore, it has developed and it is now a super luxurious place to live. Buitenveldert and Zuidas have an atmosphere that suits me. It has only become more attractive, trendy and sociable. Here you can find everything you want and need, right at your doorstep.

“The international feel appeals to me. There are many nationalities and expats in our apartment building. In the evening there is a variety of smells coming from everyone’s different cooking habits.”

A proper lunch

“I like to have a good lunch, not grab a quick sandwich, but an extensive one, it might even take up the afternoon. With a lunch consisting of starters and a main-course, you do not need dinner at night.” She visits restaurants local restaurants a lot. “Ron Blaauw’s restaurants, as well as Het Bosch at Nieuwe Meer; all the typical hot spots for Zuidas people. And Aan de Poel in Amstelveen is a favourite as well.”

If it were up to Lisette, the only thing that would improve this new, glorious southern part of the A-10 would be if it were more car friendly.

“There are few parking options. If you don’t have a bike it is hard to get around. That proves to be annoying for people that do not live here. Oh, and a local cinema would be lovely. To go to see a film right now you need to take the tram into the centre. But really, what is that as a complaint?”

Skipping an Ajax match

Lisette and her husband love this neighbourhood, and won’t miss a community meeting here, even if Ajax is playing at the Johan Cruyff ArenA on that particular night.

“We think it is essential to be involved. We would not miss a community meeting for the world. We even skipped an Ajax football match for one once. Harsh, but that’s life. I do like to be in the ArenA, real fun! But to be honest, as it starts getting colder in the winter months, it is good to sit on the couch and watch the games at home.”

 

  

 

   

 

 

 

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Le Fournil de Sébastien for the perfect baguette

Once upon a time… there was a traditionally trained baker from France who fell in love with a Dutch woman. Soon after, Sébastien and Susan Roturier decided they wanted to…

Once upon a time… there was a traditionally trained baker from France who fell in love with a Dutch woman. Soon after, Sébastien and Susan Roturier decided they wanted to open the first French boulangerie in the Netherlands but the bank had no faith in their plan and refused them a loan. Still, they somehow managed to set up Le Fournil de Sébastien in 2007. And with instant success! Locals were queuing up from day one and the French bread and pastry were selling like hot cakes…

“That success was nice but the whole period was very tough!” Sébastien says. In the early days, he didn’t have any staff and he was working twenty (!) hours a day. And to make matters worse, the much-feared Dutch culinary critic, the late Johannes van Dam wearing his trademark dark suit and hat, dropped by. Van Dam was the self-proclaimed top culinary journalist in the Netherlands and had the reputation he could make or break a business. 

Van Dam was curious to see how they went about things in this popular bakery. Fortunately, he wrote a glowing review in the Amsterdam newspaper Het Parool and overnight the bakery’s sales jumped by 30 percent. And now, more than ten years later, Sébastien employs one hundred people in his three Le Fournil bakeries in Amsterdam, Amstelveen and Hilversum. 

La douce France

Not that Sébastien really needed that review: the smell of freshly baked bread spreading over the Olympiaplein was already speaking for itself. These days, some customers even drive to Le Fournil from faraway places such as Apeldoorn to buy brioches and pains spéciaux with olives, apricots, figs or garlic. Usually, they also get themselves some macarons and lemon cakes – Le Fournil also sells excellent patisserie products. 

Sébastien: “It is just like in France: children running inside and climbing up the bench, peeking through the windows to see the bakers in action in the kitchen. I’m really happy with those windows as it allows the customers to see our craft but also how much work it actually involves…” 

We look into the kitchen and, yes, we see people being very busy, communicating in French as all the bakers at Le Fournil are recruited from France. 

Baguette as art

According to a recent episode of the Dutch TV programme Keuringsdienst van Waarde (‘Food Unwrapped’), only 1 percent of all Dutch bakeries actually make their croissants themselves. Sébastien: “That’s right: nearly all of these bakeries use semi-finished products and ready-to-bake mixes. But it shouldn’t be that way. To me, making baguettes and croissants is the toughest job there is as we do every step in the baking process ourselves. We only use a handful of basic ingredients: salt, sourdough… and the Tradition Française flour, of course.” 

This special flour is a nigh sacrosanct product imported from France. “The Tradition Française flour has to comply with very strict regulations and must be made without any ‘tricks’ such as bread improvers. This means the quality varies from year to year and we need to adapt to that.” Sébastien takes a baguette in his hand and says: “Look, this bread has a nice brown crust and inside it is soft and airy, totally different from the sponge-like French bread sold in supermarkets.”

“And don’t forget the aroma. To achieve that distinctive smell and taste, the dough needs to rise a long time: between 18 and 24 hours. So from two o’clock in the morning, there’s always someone keeping an eye on it. We don’t use any machines. It’s hard work but this is our craft and I’m really proud of it. Another big difference is that we only use liquid sourdough as that is better for digestion.” 

All-day croissants

“Most Dutch people – especially those living in Amsterdam-Zuid – are well-travelled and know a lot about different tastes,” Sébastien explains. “This is no longer a country of potato eaters. There are lots of delicatessen in town, with an abundance of French and Italian cheeses for sale. I like the fact that croissants are so popular over here. In France, we dip a croissant in our coffee in the morning or we eat them at breakfast on a Sunday, but the Dutch seem to be eating them all day. And I love it when they come back for a baguette in the evening. Thank heavens, more and more people know how wonderful a nice piece of bread tastes with dinner and a good glass of wine.” 

Sébastien firmly but politely declines catering jobs for hotel chains or other large organizations. And he also turned down the offer to become a member of the jury in the popular TV show Heel Holland Bakt (‘The Great Dutch Bakeoff’). “I really don’t want to become a showman or start a franchise. Three bakeries is more than enough. If I were to open a few more, it would be very hard to guarantee the same quality. The only thing I want to do is to raise the bar at Le Fournil and pass on my knowledge to the new generation of bakers. I didn’t invent the wheel, the old masters taught me their tricks of the trade. To me, that cycle should continue in order to keep our craftsmanship alive.”  

 

 

 

Le Fournil de Sébastien
Olympiaplein 119, Amsterdam
Amsterdamseweg 189, Amstelveen

 

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Five special libraries to inspire OBA NEXT

In 2025, the new public library at Zuidas, ‘OBA Next’, will open its doors. Dedicated to the future of knowledge and information, this branch of the Amsterdam Public Library should…

In 2025, the new public library at Zuidas, ‘OBA Next’, will open its doors. Dedicated to the future of knowledge and information, this branch of the Amsterdam Public Library should above all become the cultural and social heart of the Zuidas area. In Europe alone, there are at least five special libraries that could be an inspiration for OBA NEXT. 

Helsinki

Oodi, Helsinki’s new Central Library, was completed in 2018 and stands out because of its futuristic architecture: from some angles the building looks like a wave, whereas from another perspective it resembles a ship. The impressive three-storey structure is made of glass and wood; it is not only a masterpiece of Finnish architecture but also a ‘green’ and sustainable building. 

Stuttgart

The new City Library at Mailänder Platz in Stuttgart opened in 2011 and was designed by Korean architect Eun Young Yi. The structure consists of nine levels spread out over four storeys. Its dominating feature is the modern and minimalist interior, as well as the white colour permeating the building. The symmetric entrance and spiral staircase, measuring 20,200 sq. m² (around 220,000 sq. ft), offer views on the building’s interior from all angles.

Vienna

Vienna’s beautiful National Library is a well-known landmark with its baroque style and majestic rooms. A stone’s throw away from the Danube, the university campus houses this futuristic building, the library of the University of Economics and Business. It dates back to 1898 and was renovated by Zaha Hadid Architects after it was partially destroyed in an arson attack in 2005. 

Copenhagen

Copenhagen Royal Library, also known as the ‘Black Diamond’, is a real neo-modern jewel, located in the historic centre with views of the Øresund strait. It was built in 1999 as an extension to the old library and is one of the city’s most important buildings. The outside of this black cube offers a bewildering spectacle of angled lines, shiny black granite and glass surfaces, while the inside has charming curvy lines, open spaces and escalators. The large terrace can house an audience of up to 600 people for concerts or theatre plays.

Warsaw

The Warsaw University Library is located in the heart of the city and was built in 1816. The new library is a modern and colourful building containing a terrace with four different gardens. The façade is surrounded by engraved stone blocks with texts in different languages, including Plato in ancient Greek and a text in old Polish. The outside of the building  is fitted with patinated copper and green ivy climbing up the walls between the windows.

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Pedro Celli’s morning routine

Pedro Celli (30) hails from the Brazilian city of Campinas, close to Sao Paulo, but has been living in the Netherlands ever since he was 13. He studied International Business…

Pedro Celli (30) hails from the Brazilian city of Campinas, close to Sao Paulo, but has been living in the Netherlands ever since he was 13. He studied International Business at Groningen University and works as an account executive for ZOOM, a company connecting communication and technology. He starts every working day with a work-out at 7 am.

“It’s only since I’ve been working at Zuidas that I have the feeling I am actually working. It is a totally different atmosphere compared to inner city Amsterdam. Zuidas has become a major financial district so you realize that this is the place where business is done and where things happen.”

“Since I’ve been working at Zuidas I get up early, at 6 am. Then it’s straight to the gym at Club Sportive for a yoga, boxing or HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) class. A quick shower and then I’m off to work.  I get myself a cup of coffee and some breakfast and start reading my emails. That’s when my working day starts.”

“I like this routine a lot better than going to the gym in the evening, which I used to do a few times a week. Those sessions were much longer and a lot tougher. Now I enter the office full of energy instead of feeling knackered. Another advantage of doing my workout in the morning is that my girlfriend can go to her gym in the evening so I can look after our little kitten.”

 

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