Watergraafsmeer

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The area on the website ground plan referred to as Watergraafsmeer emerged in 1629 after drainage of Diemermeer and is one of the lowest lying parts of Amsterdam. It is located between Ringdijk, Gooiseweg and Kruislaan and in the north the railway line to Weesp.

In the seventeenth and eighteenth century many wealthy Amsterdammers built country mansions in Watergraafsmeer. Frankendael, in the center of the neighborhood is the last still remaining country house in Watergraafsmeer.

Watergraafsmeer is nowadays in the main a neighborhood with spacious dwellings often with their own garden. Thanks to very reliable and rapid tram service to the center of the city with tram 9, the neighborhood is residential neighborhood of choice for Amsterdammers who want to live comfortably and quietly.

In the east, at the end of Kruislaan the Science Park Amsterdam is located, a center for the exact sciences. The institutes here include faculties of the University of Amsterdam and the Amsterdam Internet Exchange (AMS-IX). The latter is the most important Internet exchanges of the Netherlands and the largest in the world. A very large portion of Internet traffic internationally and between Dutch Internet providers is processed via the network of AMS-IX.

In 1927 the first stone was laid of Linnaeushof, a housing complex that is in its entirety a municipal listed building. Located in the center of the neighborhood opposite Frankendael, it was built by Amsterdam School architects A.J. Kropholler and A.J.J.F. Staal. While the provenance of the architects is still recognizable in the building style, the rural urbanity of Linnaeushof, the sobriety that is refreshed by the playful arrangement of the buildings, and in the center of the courtyard the combination of the huge Church of the Holy Martyrs of Gorcum set against the openness of the tennis court all combine to provide a totally unique ambience.

Slightly outside the website ground plan the neighborhood borders the Municipality of Diemen. On the border there is a remarkable little neighborhood that certainly merits a stroll through it for those interested in architecture: Betondorp (concrete village). The village was built between 1923 and 1925 and was in those days far removed from the city. The leading architects of the project were J.B. van Loghem and D. Greiner. Concrete was used because concrete was cheap and less labor intensive and because at the time of construction there was a scarcity of building bricks. The village is deployed around a central square called Brink where the shops, the library and the village hall are located. The plan intentionally omitted a church and even a cafe. The houses are small and they all have flat roofs. Besides the well-known author Gerard Reve, Johan Cruyff also grew up in Betondorp. Next to the village, on the other side of Middenweg the ‘De Meer’ stadium of football club Ajax stood here until 1996.

Access: tram 9

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