Outdoor arts

Studio Tjep.'s latest project creates a modern performance space uniting function with beauty.

Studio Tjep. has created a unique public space that alternates between an ornamental installation and a modern amphitheatre for residents of Amsterdam.

Studio Tjep., founded by Dutch designer Frank Tjepkema, was commissioned by the decisive and innovative housing association Ymere, as part of their redevelopment of Nieuw Waterlandplein in northern Amsterdam, to develop a meeting space and stage for local inhabitants.

We had in mind a place that can be used by all residents, from shopkeepers to a local neighbourhood band – a place for the people to enjoy and experience everything a community embodies, says Tjepkema.

The space needed to include a performance stage for the community's use. The Nieuw Waterlandplein stage has two uses:  a central performance area surrounded by amphitheatre-style seating that becomes an aesthetically pleasing installation when not in use.

We though that when a podium is not being used it creates an empty, desolate feeling. So the decision to have a changing podium function came early in the design process, says Tjepkema.

The space subtly merges a modern culture with the more ornamental forms of old Amsterdam. Baroque elements inspired by the Concetgebouw, a concert hall in Amsterdam, are combined with tribal design creating a new dynamic space. A durable polyurethane coating is used on the surface of seating units, which was hand-poured in different colours to create organic tidal patterns that accentuate the flow outwards from the central podium.

The Nieuw Waterlandplein was opened to the public in October 2013. 

Watch the Talk with Frank Tjepkema