IJburg: A different Amsterdam

Inside Design Amsterdam was held in IJburg, which I’ve always wanted to explore. As far as Amsterdam neighborhoods go, IJburg is completely different from anything in the city.

For starters, IJburg is the only neighborhood that sits in a lake, the IJmeer (eye-meer), and was constructed atop reclaimed land—on six man-made islands of dredged-up sand, to be exact. More importantly, and what makes it unique in a city with medieval roots, IJburg is new. Bright, shiny and new. This neighborhood came to life when the first buildings were completed in 2001, and construction is still ongoing on its second phase.

I first visited IJburg to investigate the city beach known as Blijburg… and was sorely disappointed. That experience didn’t endear IJburg to me at all. But Inside Design Amsterdam (with the help of sunshine and blue skies) changed that. Suddenly, IJburg looked… appealing.

Steigereiland apartments

Stepping into this part of Steigereiland felt like finding myself in an architectural rendering.

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Inside Design Amsterdam

Last week, I entered a contest on Petite Passport for tickets to Inside Design Amsterdam (IDA 2012), Elle Decoration’s annual showcase of Dutch design. I never win these things, so I was thrilled when I did win! Filipinos believe pregnant women are lucky, and in this case the superstition proved true.

Marlon and I spent an enjoyable (but cold) Saturday afternoon exploring the IDA 2012 route on IJburg, one of Amsterdam’s newest, most unique and design-friendly districts. The products, exhibits, even the neighborhood itself was designed and styled so appealingly, I must have taken over a hundred photos. It was difficult, but I managed to whittle down my favorites from IDA 2012 to a manageable list of 10… well, except one that just deserves a separate post.

Here are my top 10 favorites from Inside Design Amsterdam, starting with the one I actually took home:

This necklace by Yvon Visser, made of concrete and wooden beads, felt like a perfect token to commemorate our house hunt. Hopefully this is a sign that we’ll find our own little house soon.

House necklace Yvon Visser

When we do, I will think of the perfect spot to hang this clever paper pendant light: the Helix by Marc de Groot.

Helix pendant light Marc de Groot

These ABC necklaces by Sandra Turina were so cute, and so cleverly displayed.

ABC necklaces Sandra Turina

I have baby brain at the moment, so I couldn’t help thinking about how fun it would be to create an alphabet with found objects and unusual words to hang in the nursery. Filing the idea away for future use…

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