THE WEEK OF ARCHITECTURE: Project Ijborg

Mirjana Milanović
June 27th - July 5th, 2008


The exhibition “Project Ijborg” is a part of the “Netherlands in Belgrade” program, which takes place within The Week of Architecture – June 27th till July 5th, 2008. This exhibition, completed with a lecture (4th July), shows the actuality of the theme: the relation between a city and an environment. The exhibition consists of photos showing individual and collective residential buildings of IJburg. Photos also show landscaped public spaces and position of new islands towards their surroundings – wide bay of the IJmeer.  Accompanying information, a part of the panel presents a construction of IJburg at the time of the first plans and filling of the island, as well as the latest plans for the second phase of the IJburg Project which will be realized in the period 2009– 2015.

Mirjana Milanović graduated (1986) and completed her postgraduate studies (1990) at the Faculty of Architecture in Belgrade. 1990–1992 – urban planner at the Centre for Urban Development Planning and editor of Komunikacije magazine (Communications). 1993–1995 – research assistant at TU Delft. From 1996 – urban planner at the Project Bureau Ijburg. 1999–2002 – team leader for the Steigereiland Island Project (2000 apartments). From 2003 – team leader for the 2nd phase of the IJburg Project (9000 apartments).

Published five books on urban typology and development and housing typologies. She participated in many local and international competitions. Visiting lecturer at the faculties in Delft, Eindhoven, Larenstein, and Leuven

The IJBurg Project, Mirjana Milanović

IJBurg is the biggest project of housing construction in Amsterdam. On seven new islands, more than 18,000 flats and more than 250,000 square meters of business buildings of cultural and educational purposes are under construction. The project is divided into two phases. In the first phase, the islands of Steigereiland, Rieteiland, and Haveneiland will be constructed. Filling with sand for the construction of these islands started in 1999, while the first flats were inhabited in 2002. By mid-2008, about 4,000 flats were completed in IJburg, while another two thousand flats are under construction.

On the biggest island, Haveneiland, or island-port, the construction of over 7,000 flats is planned. Along its south bank, there is the smallest island of Rieteiland with about 200 individual houses. Upon its completion, the island second in size whose construction is planned in the first phase, Steigereiland, or the island of docks, will have 2,000 flats, individual houses, and floating houses.

The architecture of IJburg is primarily a housing architecture with characteristics of the Dutch housing architecture of recent decades – modern, reduced, with developed and diverse typology of dwelling units and urban attitude towards the public space.

Two bigger islands of the first phase, Steigereiland, and Haveneiland differ not only in size and concept of the urban plan but also in the way in which architectural quality of buildings under construction are regulated. While on Haveneiland, in addition to a „commission for the beauty” which is mandatory in Amsterdam, a team of supervisors has been established and the number of architects defined for each of typical block, on the island of Steigereiland two experiments have been carried out: free sale of plots on the market and free construction of individual houses without influence of the „commission for the beauty”. It this way, a neighborhood has emerged in which, in street fronts, houses of high modern quality and replica of historical facades stand right next to each other. With individual plots which are 5 to 8 meters wide and a variety of used materials and colors, this island has a specific elevation and atmosphere.

On the other hand, the streets of Haveneiland are bordered by blocks which are 200 meters long, with minimalistic architecture and dark bricks used as the main material. Many prominent Dutch architectural offices have designed one of the blocks on this island, but probably the most characteristic house for its architectural expression is a house of English architect – Macreanor, situated along with the very access to the island.

The second phase of this project will be realized in the period 2009 – 2015.