Temporary Color Along Amsterdam’s Ugliest

  • The Wibautstraat is a modern four track road that ends in the center of Amsterdam. For years this street was considered to be the most ugly street of Amsterdam.

    Indeed it’s badly maintained and traffic runs 24/7 here. But it’s definitely not fair to call this street the most ugly one in Amsterdam. In fact it’s a ‘potential lane’, expressed by the sudden emergence of temporary clubs and bars such as Trouw and Canvas. Even the New York Times spent an article on it, claiming that the Wibautstraat is “emerging as a center of hip in this city, splashed in disappearing newsprint”.

    Between all the huge numbers photogenic old medieval alleys in Amsterdam, the Wibautstraat is a respite in terms of scale, pace and metropolitan appearance. But exactly this scale and appearance seem to scare the Amsterdam inhabitants that keep on mentioning the Wibautstraat as the most ugly street in their city. Anyway… to refresh the grey and modernistic image of the street a bit, colorful units made out of building containers and old street furniture have been placed. They function as temporary resting islands within the ever running public space. The units are places in the context of the Wibaut aan de Amstel project, and although the meaning of this project is not totally within my scope, I consider the small colorful sitting units as contributions to a brighter looking Wibautstraat.