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a new


amstel design district

Connecting Concepts has always focussed on connecting people, creating spaces with facilities that aim to inspire and enhance communication, making visitors instantly become part of the story.

With our newest LIFE SCIENCE development, the Amstel Design District or ADD, we just take the next logical step forward.

ADD endeavours more than just creating working and living spaces. ADD will establish an island focussed on the wellbeing and happiness of its inhabitants. An island, bordered by a highway, a canal, and a metro line, distinguishing itself by a unique balance of creative energy and tranquillity. An environment where noise and stress are replaced by spirituality, co-working, exchange of ideas, mutual inspiration and health enhancing activities. A true community where the ‘islanders’ feel at home and are able to take care of body and mind. Where space and serenity prevail. In other words: the best balance.

Amstel Design District view from water

Entrance Amstel Design District

Museum and rooftop basketball-court


Outdoor Yoga and Bootcamp

Catwalk connecting buildings

ADD from highway

Bird's-eye view Amstel Design District



The sensational design by Mecanoo Architects is in every respect an excellent translation 
of our ambitions for this large mixed-use development: a living/working community that aspires to become an example, if not a household name in the Amsterdam metropolis.

In the designs of Mecanoo one finds next to a an out-of-the public eye start up and coworking community publicly accessible spaces, through various facilities such as byDesign, an innovative Dutch Design Museum and sports, yoga and mindfulness facilities that are important for the well-being of users and visitors, who connect and inspire, who promote working and living together, but also have an eye for personal development and awareness.

the buildings

The names of the six buildings of the ADD-complex are closely related to our ideas of what Amstel Design District should promote and reflect: the art of DESIGN.

The Dream

Each design and developing process begins with a dream. The building will offer 
a nirvana for designers and developers.

The Energy

This building will offer all facilities that promote physical wellness: gym, fitness 
and wellness.

The Space

The name of this building, the largest of ADD, refers to the space needed in 
hearts and minds to successfully design and develop.

The Inspiration

To boost inspiration and creativity, the two upper floors of the 70 m1 high-rise will house the Mediation Hall to find peace of mind and fight burn-outs.

The Generous

This building will house a CoWorking, and its name refers to hospitality, inclusiveness, sharing and working together as a fundamental and essential condition for each design and development process.

The Narrative

Ultimately, the result of the design and development process will be its final design, with its story to tell: in this building one will also find the byDesign Museum.

the byDesign Museum

The first collection will consist of works from 34 top designers in The Netherlands, it will start as a placemaking-facility while construction is ongoing. Future expositions will be open to international artists. Our motto is: content above wrapping, renewables above new. The byDesign Museum offers a platform for Dutch designers who, with the choice of their materials prove that they take sustainability, recycling, and an inclusive society seriously. They minimalize their footprint and are an example of what Dutch design stands for: circular, innovative, courageous, and sometimes provocative, open to non-western cultural influences, with a touch of humor. Some use natural products from our seas, fields, and forests as a basis for their designs, others reuse textiles, building debris, clothes, beach wood and much more to prove that the elements of their work can be found at random, and don’t have to be produced anew. It is not about the effect, but about the combination of creativity and workable use. In other words, not l’art pour l’art.


Western countries, have an increasing individualistic culture, and have been hardest hit by the phenomenon of burnouts, caused by striving for achievement and perfectionism and recently fuelled by loneliness caused by the pandemic. We intend to fight this phenomenon by creating a 6 m1 high ceiling MeditationHall on the top floor of the highest building. Seventy meters above sea level, refugee Tibetan monks will teach and guide meditation. Regular guided meditations open for public, like morning and evening meditation, to start and end the day, to fight burn-outs and help focusing on what really matters. Visiting adults and school children will be introduced to new ways of looking at the world by spiritual teachers who believe measuring a country’s national happiness is more important than measuring its national product. There will be room for classrooms for language courses, cultural exchange, debating, presentations and lectures. The MeditationHall will also be home to other activities and services, e.g., yoga, Reiki, Balancing, acupuncture and homeopathy.

byDesign Museum

MeditationHall layout




But there is more at the new Amstel Design District. There is room for beginners, scale-ups, and the established order, who meet each other in a natural way and become each other’s stakeholders. A flexible residential-work complex that can adapt to the changing needs of the future, taking maximum account of our wishes in the field of nature inclusivity, sustainability, and circularity, both ecologically and socially, but also in the sense that future-changing insights about use can be implemented without major adjustments, such as transforming workspace into living space and vice versa.

In the outlines of the sketch design, we see our preferred ‘corona-proof’ development; an excellent opportunity to underline our relevance towards ‘the new normal’ - with maximum working from home and perhaps regularly recurring lockdowns.

In short, we find all our ambitions and dreams in the plans of the worldwide renowned agency Mecanoo. Amstel Design District is a strongly conceptual, architectural, future-oriented whole. The design was made on the clear urban plan of bureau KettingHuls and in addition, in coordination with Supervision; Tess Broekman, and the municipality of Ouder-Amstel.

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