In recent years Zuidas has burgeoned into a residential district with dwellings for everyone. And there’s much more to come, as the district continues evolving. Bouwfonds Property Development started out 75 years ago with a house in Drenthe. Today, they’re over 365,000 homes and counting across the Netherlands and Germany, including spectacular, sustainable properties in Zuidas. Edward Zevenbergen, projects director at BPD, is tremendously proud of the quality of those buildings and was happy to share his vision for the future.
With all the thousands of homes BPD has built in recent years, they’ve made significant contributions throughout the Netherlands. In Zuidas, they’re the name behind Xavier, The George, The Gustav, Django, Miles and Intermezzo; residential properties built to cater to a broad segment of the homebuyer market. ‘Affordability is one of our missions and a priority for the future’, Edward confirms. ‘BPD now also has a property fund for mid-range rental housing. With that we hope to help fill the gap between subsidized rentals on the one hand and homes for sale on the other. BPD likes to do things on a large scale, as was the case with our earlier projects in Zuidas. In Diemen we’ve started construction of 700 units, with a great mix of subsidized and mid-range rentals, and units for sale. It’s a complete range, which is precisely what I want for Zuidas.’
Sustainability and integration
As important as affordability is sustainability. By working towards a number of sustainability objectives, BPD is steadily progressing to 100% sustainable development. It already offers targeted solutions for climate and landscape, energy, circularity, and mobility. Edward explains, ‘For The George we came up with a tailor-made system to capture water on the roof and channel it down to underground water tanks, from which it can be used to replenish the garden during dry spells. Circular and natural gas-free construction have been important components for a while and our team has just appointed a dedicated sustainability officer’. Also fundamental to how BPD approaches development is integration. When developing a property, the neighbourhood is included in those plans. That’s because a home is also shaped by its surrounding environment, and an integrated approach can accommodate that.
BPD’s approach is to be able to connect with housing associations quickly to look into possible partnerships with shared goals, for example to develop a mix of units. In Zuidas, one association they’ve worked with is Eigen Haard, where the City of Amsterdam took charge of quality. ‘One project we’re working on at the moment is Hyde Park’, Edward continues. ‘There, we’re aiming for a good mix of units for sale, rent and subsidized rentals. And in Diemen, Holland Park has started phase two. That includes a landscaping plan, so it’s a good example of a sustainable, integrated development.’
A whole range of property developers have contributed to making Zuidas into what it is today. Reflecting on the quality in Zuidas, Edward feels proud. ‘It’s brilliant to see how Zuidas has come alive as a residential area these last years. All the different buildings and locations – like George Gershwinlaan, that’s such a nice, attractive residential street. I hope residents and business owners feel every bit as proud.’