Westergasfabriek, Amsterdam
Evert Verhagen

Amsterdam’s largest gasworks, the Westergasfabriek, opened in 1885. The gas plant closed in 1967, and the property was conveyed to the local district council in 1992.

The gasworks site measures 13 ha. There are 19 buildings on site, including an immense gas tank (gasholder). All buildings are protected as historic buildings under Dutch law. The site was heavily contaminated, resulting from the gas manufacturing process, when heavy metals, volatile organic compounds, and benzene leached into the soil.

The Westergasfabriek project today combines cultural activities within the historic buildings of a 19th century gas plant with modern community park functions. To be able permanently to reuse the site as well as the buildings, a complex remediation strategy had to be developed. Despite the residual contamination, the local district council, working with a project team and the community, built new relationships and strategies that helped design a new park, preserved the his-toric buildings, and established the Westergas as an international cultural venue.

Key words: creative approach, historical buildings, park, phased clean-up, remediation

Land Contamination & Reclamation, 14 (2), 200-205

DOI 10.2462/09670513.724

© 2007 EPP Publications Ltd

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Article code 724