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Advisor: Prof.Dr. Semra Aydınlı Published in: Istanbul Technical University Taskisla Library


design is a question, how can architecture find answers to this question? How can we read the inherent data? How can we come up with a solution that responds to the the circumstances? Considering the design of architecture as a series of problematic questions, the objective of this thesis is to find multiples solutions in a wide spectrum. For this process, called ‘exploration’, the investigation of the NDSM area has been chosen as a tool. The evaluation of the NDSM area is also presented as a thesis design process.


thesis narrates the past to present transformation of the NDSM company, located on the banks of the river IJ to the north of Amsterdam, which was established as a wharf in 1930s. Developed as an industrial area outside the historic city of Amsterdam, Amsterdam Noord-NDSM turned into a ghost town following the termination of ship production in the end of 80’s. It was then occupied by a group of people who introduced themselves as ‘city nomads’, consisting of artisans, artists, students who want to become artists, street dancers and skaters. After some stages of development, this area - once known as a dumpsite prone to fall into decay - has turned into a city of art and design.

In the beginning of the 1990s these city nomads made several occupations

of the site. The first occupations were not successful, which led to the city nomads coming together and establishing a foundation called Kinetisch Noord. This foundation helped organise occupations for the inhabitants, such as cleaning the area, by distributing the work and arranging communication. Just a couple of years later NDSM became the hot spot in Amsterdam. When the northern municipality of Amsterdam became aware of this youth movement, they announced that they wanted to do a competition about rehabilitation and recreation of NDSM. The ideas of Kinetisch Noord won the competition and the foundation rented the area from the municipality for 10 years. With the result of the competition, it

was seen that the city nomads turned their illegal movement into a legal achievement. During a period of almost 10 years the area developed economically and became the youth breeding spot for the city. In 2013, when the Amsterdam municipality realised the importance of NDSM, they decided to take responsibility for the area when the duty of Kinetisch Noord ends in 2015. With regard to Amsterdam’s urban and IJ embankment projects, the Amsterdam municipality announced their new urban project for NDSM. New speculations and conflicts between city nomads have arisen from the new project proposals of the municipality. Some people think that it would kill the self-mad identity of NDSM. On the contrary some people think that would be an important evolution for the northern area of Amsterdam which is considered the least-developed part of the city. The future project for NDSM, called Urban Vision, is still in development and the results will be seen in the following years. The following chapters of this thesis are more focused on the progress made since the origins of the area until today, in 2014.

The transformation of the NDSM wharf, which is considered to be successful,

is defined as an area of exploration, and the reasons that paved the way for this success have been investigated through a process of exploration. This course of discovery explored how the NDSM was transformed with various interventions and add-ons. The connection between the culture of Amsterdam and Holland and the reasons for the transformation was researched. The results of the studies revealed that the area has a direct relationship with the city of Amsterdam and the dynamics of it. Later on, a personal mapping of the city was made for the sake of the exploration. This exploration was made as a flaneur - meaning a person who strolls and experiences the city spontaneously. After this personal experiment it was realised that there is a connection between city of Amsterdam and rhizome notion by Deleuze. The rhizomatic connections effect the user and every dynamic of Amsterdam.

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