“I fell in love with this apartment straightaway. It is luxurious and has a big south-facing balcony. Everything is new and there is no noise from my upstairs neighbours.” Six years ago, Vincent Helmer moved from Amstelveen to the Miles Building at George Gershwinlaan. 

A year ago, stewardess and media psychologist Bibi Eckhardt moved in with him. “I really needed time to get used to this place. I’m from a village in the countryside and I prefer old houses with nice period details. This area could do with a bit of soul.” When she tells friends she’s living at the Zuidas, they’re always surprised: do people actually live there? “In their minds this is just a business hub. Or they think we’re loaded and it’s totally dead here.”

“I was the fourth person to move into this apartment block. It is absolutely ideal. I’m a pilot and it’s only a six-minute train ride to Schiphol Airport.”

Everything is here on the Zuidas

In six years’ time, Vincent has seen the Zuidas change completely. “On the street, you’d only see men in suits. Now you can find everything you need. Take Market 33: just as good as De Hallen in Amsterdam-West. I can see us living here when we’re having kids.”

“I’m living in the Zuidas bubble,” Bibi says. “I shop at Gelderlandplein, sometimes I go out for dinner in the centre of town but I do most things here at the Zuidas. It’s become like a village. Ten years ago, when I was a student at VU University, the station felt like a ghetto. Now it’s a fun place with stores like Hema and Sissy-Boy. It is so nice to be here. No, it won’t get any better than this.”

Images: Katja Mali Fotografie