THIS. changes the perspective on inner-city living, with unrivalled views over the IJ and direct access to the lush green waterfront, a true urban oasis. THIS. is the place where people can work and live without having to go anywhere else. A new living and working area is now being built in the emerging district of Amsterdam-North. The ensemble consists of a new office  building and four residential buildings on the open water of the IJ river, in a programmed, nature-inclusive landscape. The buildings and new greenery will be located in spacious and spectacular surroundings, with the bustling centre of Amsterdam just a few minutes away.

THIS. is a new area for living and working that seamlessly integrates with, and fulfils the ambitions of the Buiksloterham Framework, drawn up by DELVA and the City of Amsterdam.

The added value of landscape design is not to present a landscape that looks natural, but to create the landscape in such a way that the people living in it will feel natural. – Steven Delva

The Hidden Garden

They looked at what the location has to offer. One of the most unique features is the spectacular views. THIS. asked for an open facade and a large roof terrace with an attractive public space. The roof terrace maximises the potential of the place and offers unparalleled views over the IJ river.

The living and office gardens are connected by The Hidden Garden. This garden characterises the project, with which THIS. perfectly combines the high, bustling city energy with the more serene of the surroundings of Amsterdam-North. Next to the bank park on the IJ, they create peace and security by means of the spectacular The Hidden Garden. A playful  network of footpaths meanders between trees, ornamental grasses and perennials. Native flora, forest floor coverings and lush shade-loving plants provide a seasonal experience.

The Hidden Garden satisfies the need for nature in the middle of the city. – Sander van den Bosch

By alternating between multi-stemmed trees, shrubs, ferns and grasses, they create a play of light and shade. The undulating surface in the hidden garden provides a dynamic  experience of the landscape, alternating between interesting sightlines and natural privacy. The inner garden is an exciting landscape for young children to discover and play in.

Whereas the inner garden is a cool, shady place for relaxation and meeting, the wide-open IJpark on the waterfront offers a sunlit space with a spectacular view over the IJ and Amsterdam’s cityscape. The large open grassy area is planted with trees providing shade and large rock elements, a nod to the industrial history of the area. The open design of IJpark allows for flexible programming during the day. Visitors can do sports in the park, relax in the grass and cool down via the stairs at the water’s edge.

To unwind

THIS. shows what living and working by the water should look like. They made use of the dynamic view created by the constantly changing water landscape, with the traffic of ferries, ships and boats. Breathtaking skies and sunsets reinforce this. Openings between the office and residential buildings provide optimal orientation to the sun and ensure that they all have a fantastic view. The Hidden Garden creates space and light within the block. The greenery and winding paths offer a sense of intimacy and calm in the city.

THIS. is a place where you can connect with nature. – Rex van Beijsterveld

Small but beautiful ecosystem

With THIS. they are adding a new lively spot to Amsterdam-Noord. Unique because of its views and facilities such as The Hidden Garden. The increase in working from home as a result of Covid-19 led to a growing need for work environments that encourage interaction between people and fuel innovation. THIS. is a social hub that offers the perfect work-life balance while enjoying a panoramic view, surrounded by water and close to the city centre. They want to create a place to feel at home and at the same time strengthen the social and architectural connection with the environment.

THIS. is a collaboration between RED Company, DW Property, Powerhouse Company, DELVA, Van Rossum Raadgevende Ingenieurs, DGMR, SmitsRinsma, Van Kessel, VolkerWessels, Van Losser Groep and Wessels Rijssen.

Project details

Design: DELVA
Project Location: Amsterdam-Noord, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Typology: Urban garden
Design year: 2022
Collaborators: Powerhouse Company, Van Rossum Raadgevende Ingenieurs, DGMR, SmitsRinsma, Van Kessel, VolkerWessels, Van Losser Groep, Wessels Rijssen
Client: RED Company, DW Property



DELVA was founded in 2008 and has grown into an industry-leading studio with a team of professionals in the heart of Amsterdam. A team always committed to giving meaning to the new function of the landscape and enhancing its experience. DELVA is led by founder Steven Delva, currently together with Sander van den Bosch, Jeroen Jacobs and Emiel Swinnen. Based in Amsterdam, the team of landscape architects, urban planners, designers and cultural experts work on key current challenges such as sustainable urbanization, the development of nature and the changing meaning of public space. Central is the multidisciplinary approach, characterized by co-creation and collaboration.