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Sustain the sustainable


Bajeskwartier aims to become the most sustainable urban district in the Netherlands. It will be energy-neutral through the use of solar panels and other renewable energy sources. The ‘thermal grid’ will distribute and exchange heat and cold in the district. Bajeskwartier is being built according to circular principles and no less than 98% of the materials from the old prison buildings is being reused. The cell doors, for example, will be used in the bridges. Bajeskwartier will restrict car traffic and has been designed to be nature-inclusive and climate-adaptive. During the coming years, forward-looking pioneers in sustainability will continue to work in Bajeskwartier on the city of the future.


    Energy neutral district

    Bajeskwartier is leading the way in energy transition. An energy neutral district begins by limiting the energy demand. With good insulation levels, triple glazing, blinds and airtight facades, the buildings use little energy. The systems for underfloor heating and cooling and the ventilation with heat recovery are also energy-efficient and have high efficiency levels. In addition, we look at how users can save energy. The behaviour of the user has the biggest impact. For example, all homes will have a hot-fill connection for washing machines and dishwashers. This will save energy, because instead of electricity, sustainable heat will be used for washing the dishes and laundry. Furthermore, all buildings will have an LED lighting system, connected to a smart electrical network. A dashboard will make it easy for you to keep track of your own energy consumption. Solar panels will soon be generating the majority of the energy demand. In addition to solar energy, it is being investigated whether wind energy can also be used, for example with the Powernest system. This is a roof element with built-in wind turbines that optimise the energy yield. Energy is also generated from organic waste; the composting plant of The Waste Transformers converts this into electricity. Bajeskwartier will be the first area in Amsterdam where organic waste from the neighbourhood will be collected and converted into electricity on site.

    Smart Grid and Thermal Grid

    A Smart Energy Grid is being investigated in Bajeskwartier in order to properly match supply and demand of electricity and thus relieve the energy network. In particular, the direct coupling of renewable energy to large energy consumers can reduce the pressure on the electricity network. One of the options is to link the renewable energy generated in the Ruby (E) and/or Robin (G) Residential Buildings to the electric (shared) cars via the charging infrastructure in the parking garage. The Grid is 'smart' because in the near future electric cars can function as a battery and buffer of energy. And not only power, but also heat and cold is exchanged between all the different buildings. This is done via a heat/cold network, or a Thermal Grid. This Grid uses the underground pipeline structure of the old prisons. The Thermal Grid is connected to an underground WKO (Heat Cold Storage) and is fed by various environmental energy sources. Such as the nearby Digital Reality data center. They need a lot of cold and provide heat. This is exactly in line with the energy profile of the homes, which need heating more often than cooling. In the Netherlands, it has never before been possible to use residual heat from data centers for residential construction. A unique opportunity for Bajeskwartier.

    Circular construction

    Circular construction is aimed at closing cycles and preventing waste. No less than 98 percent of the prison's materials are recycled. This minimizes the impact of the construction of Bajeskwartier on the climate. We do not only look at reuse now, but also in the future. All buildings are made in such a way that they can be easily dismantled and reused in the future. Reuse starts with keeping what you have. No or fewer new building materials need to be produced and transported for this. In Bajeskwartier, the main building and the boiler house will be fully preserved. This also applies to the church and the Green Tower. Large parts of the prison wall also remain standing. Of course, these parts will be upgraded, so that they meet modern requirements. The second step is reuse. For example, the facade of the former Kalverstraat is used in public space and old floor parts are given their place on one of the many squares. Parts of the prison wall and old floors are reused in the buildings. The doors of the cells will soon be recognizable in the bridges that provide access to the district. This reuse is not only sustainable, it also ensures that something of the history of this iconic place is preserved. Prison materials are also being transformed into new building materials. For example, the concrete is made into granulate, which is then used in the construction of the new towers. In addition to the recycled materials, new building material is also needed for the construction of Bajeskwartier. These materials are healthy, sustainable and easy to reuse in the future. Materials are selected on the basis of their environmental impact, for which the environmental database of the MPG (Environmental Performance Buildings) is used. Of course, they must also be healthy materials and sustainably produced. For example, all wood has a quality mark.

    Sustainable mobility

    The average Dutch car stands still for 23 hours a day. And all that time it takes up space. In Bajeskwartier that space is rather spent on green. Parking is therefore resolved entirely underground, so that space above ground is left for gardens and water. Residents must soon walk to their own car or shared car. Or they can use the metro, which stops just around the corner. Amstel Station is also within walking distance and the city centre is very close by by bike. There are plenty of walking and cycling paths in Bajeskwartier. In the two-storey, underground parking garage are about 410 parking spaces. There are also plenty of places to park bicycles. In the parking garage of Bajeskwartier is a 'mobility hub'. Here are electric cars, tricycles and e-bikes to stand. All residents of Bajeskwartier can use a convenient app at any time of day to rent a sustainable means of transport. So you always have transportation, without needing a car. This sharing of transport fits well with the ambition to be the healthiest and most sustainable neighborhood in the Netherlands. After all, shared mobility leads to a clean and safe living environment with fewer emissions.

    Climate adaptive & nature inclusive

    Our climate is changing and residential areas have to deal with the consequences the consequences of this. Bajeskwartier is therefore 'climate adaptive'. In other words, the district is designed to deal with periods of great heat and heavy rainfall heavy rainfall to go. This is done by the homes to be very well insulated and and providing them with sustainable cooling. But also by installing green roofs and numerous gardens but also by building green roofs and numerous gardens that prevent streets and buildings from heating up. Very Bajeskwartier is also Rainproof. With lots of rain the water is collected and stored using infiltration roofs and installations, on the green roofs, in water plazas and in green zones in the public area. At in case of drought the district will slowly release the water. The water plazas will be designed the water plazas are designed to be fun places for children to play or for water plants to grow like to grow. Bajeskwartier is a nature inclusive neighborhood, in the design is taken into account flora and fauna the design takes into account flora and fauna. So contributes the chosen chosen contributes to the biodiversity in the area by providing food and nesting places nesting places. It also contributes to good water management and traps fine particles captures the fine dust. In Bajeskwartier are everywhere nesting boxes for birds and slots for bats and slots for bats and insects. Part of the bajeswuur remains preserved and transformed into a Valhalla for urban wildlife.

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Groene Toren

The Groene Toren, the symbol and green heart of this district, will be an absolute icon of sustainability for Bajeskwartier. For this former women’s prison block the plan is to transform it into vertical green, with space for urban farming, renewable energy and leisure. Everyone can come here to stroll, do some gardening and learn about the sustainable future of the city. In the basement, an innovative machine will convert the district’s organic waste into renewable energy. A fantastic climbing route will also be created in the Groene Toren, together with a restaurant serving dishes made from whatever is growing in the tower. A viewing platform will offer impressive views across the entire city.



From women’s tower to Groene Toren


The former women’s tower, also known as De Singel, is the only tower of the original prison that will remain. The presence of asbestos, low ceilings and weak loadbearing capacity meant that the other towers of the old prison were not suitable for renovation. The women’s tower will be stripped, strengthened and designed as a green space for the entire city, becoming a permanent icon in the district.

The Groene Toren will be the sustainable heart of the district. Plan is to remove part of the external wall of the tower giving space on the open floors for a vertical, green city park where everyone can stroll and relax. The idea is to create space for urban farming and educational activities of the Living Lab. This lab is carrying out research into health and sustainability in the city of the future. The Groene Toren is the place to be for all those who want to learn about green living. In the basement, a composting machine will generate renewable energy from the organic waste collected in the district. The ground floor of the Groene Toren will house the main power plant for the area and the façade will be covered with solar panels.

Inside the tower there will be an iconic climbing route. This route will take them past gardens with exhibition space to a magnificent viewpoint on the top floor. Where the isolation cells are now, there will be a restaurant with a beautiful terrace. Meals here will be super-healthy and very local, using ingredients produced in our own tower. And from the viewing platform, enjoy fantastic panoramic views of the city of Amsterdam.