Got a Minute?

In mid-May, Zuidas celebrated the official opening of the new and improved Vijfhoek park! This pentagonally shaped park is the capstone on a long development project. Redesigned as part of construction of the underground Strawinskylaan bicycle parking facility, the park has now been given back to residents and their kids and, of course, to the Zuidas office crowd looking for a spot to relax and recharge. The municipality hopes the park will become a place that brings the Prinses Irenebuurt and Zuidas communities closer together. What do people on the street think of the results?

Arjan Tool with guide dog Hebas, external clerk at the Amsterdam District Court

‘I can’t see the park, of course, but I can use it. I don’t walk my dog here though; I do that on Minervalaan, near the bridge across Stadionkade. But I do sit here when the weather is nice. The park’s redevelopment made it tricky for us, because there were different routes and new closures every week. Plus, Hebas hasn’t been with me for long, so it was also a challenge for him. But it was certainly good training!’

Jeroen Ponsen, works at TD Bank N.V. in WTC Amsterdam

‘It’s sad that so many trees were chopped down, but we got something nice in return and it still looks very green. I eat my sandwich here occasionally with a colleague. It’s a pleasant spot to be. I wouldn’t change anything about it now, because it’s got just what a city needs: sun, shade and quiet.’

Cees Kuppers and Nina Francolini, pupils at the Amsterdam International Community School

Cees: ‘I live near here, so I know this spot well. Before, it was more of a football pitch, but oddly shaped. I think it looks nice now, but it’s quite grey. And will that sand actually be used? It would be cool if the square could be a bit greener, with maybe a permanent artwork in the middle. I do come here regularly during lunch, but I think the park could be made more attractive.’

Kima Elyo, trainee at Hartman LMH

‘I’m in my fifth month of a work placement at Hartman, a civil-law notary firm. I love being able to sit here in the park, and lots of my colleagues come here too, especially when it’s nice out! Because it’s not so busy here, it’s very restful. Our office is super hectic, so it’s a relief to be able to come here for some down time. We like to sit on the benches outside Rituals sometimes, or, if it’s raining, we seek refuge in the WTC lobby.’