Following a special Dutch Design Week edition of Ninety Minutes of Frame, Frame Magazine's editor-in-chief Robert Thiemann announced De Ceuvel as the winner of the Frame Public Award. The community-driven project was fittingly chosen as the people's selection for the Dutch Design Award of 2014.
Nominated for the Dutch Design Awards in the Habitat category, the De Ceuvel project is the successful transformation of a brownfield waterfront in Amsterdam North. The industrial site was acquired from the city of Amsterdam with a ten-year lease and then Amsterdam-based practice DELVA landscape architects and space&matter outlined the general masterplan to be implemented on the plot. Now covered with a garden, a selection of soil-cleaning plants is slowly purifying the contaminated ground over time. With help from the community, DELVA landscape architects, space&matter and Metabolic Lab completed the area by transplanting refurbished houseboats onto the plot, and Studio Valkenier designed Café De Ceuvel. Additional project contributors and designers include Smeelearchitecture and Jeroen Apers Architect.
A winding bamboo walkway through the vegetation connects each structure with a cafe boat. Once tenants and offices moved into the affordable units, the location became an activated and popular meeting place for creatives. Developed by the community and for the community, the project gives hope that utopias can be created and sustained. The project address multiple social issues with one stone, eliminating a toxic site from the city of Amsterdam and offering its residents more housing and a green space.