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Architects: Space&Matter

Location: Amsterdan, The orgherlands

Year: 2021

Photography: Isabel Nabuurs, Jan Willem Sieburgh & Alan Jensen

Partner in charge: Sascha Glasl

Team: Rogier van den Brink, Daniel Sudkamp, Linda Tonin, Federica Heimler, Willem van Es, Sven Hoogerheide, Martijn van Wijk

Collaborators: Bartels Vedder, Gemeente Amsterdam, Grid-Friends, LBP Sight, Metabolic, Esther Roos / BVF Project Management, SBR-Curorg, Spectral, UtilitiesTree Delft, XA4, Waterloft and Waterorg

Schoonschip: A Sustainable Floating Community

This renowned circular neighborhood was conceived and developed by a group of enthusiasts who shared a dream: to build a sustainable, close-knit community on the water. The initiators of Schoonschip commissioned Space&Matter to develop an urban plan, and together with a team of multidisciplinary experts and future residents, we designed the urban plan, plot passport and smart jetty that unite this inspiring community.

“Living on the water offers a great solution for places where climate change and a rise in sea levels are a looming hazard. It not only protects people against nature, but it also protects nature itself.”
— Sascha Glasl, Co-founder Space&Matter

Created and Developed by Citizens

For more than a decade, the members of Schoonschip worked towards the creation of their dream homes. Their journey began in 2010 when frontwoman Marjan de Blok felt inspired and compelled to create an energy-neutral neighborhood on the water with friends and acquaintances who shared her dream.

Fully completed in 2021, Schoonschip consists of 30 water plots and is home to more than 100 residents. Roughly half of the boats are shared by two families, and all 46 houses are unique: each household designed their own house with an architect of their choosing. As a result, the neighborhood is characterized by creativity and self-expression.

“We feel it’s important to emphasize that Schoonschip was created and developed by a group of people, not a project developer.”
— Marjan de Blok, initiator of Schoonschip

Translating Dreams into Reality

Schoonschip’s residents forged strong bonds in the decade during which they set out to realize their dream homes. Our masterplan for this neighborhood reflects their dedication and cohesion. The smart jetty connects all the houses with one another and with the necessary technical infrastructures, and it was designed to facilitate casual encounters between members of the community. A plot passport ensures a sense of unity despite the architectural diversity of the homes.

“Each house is positioned in such a way that it has an unobstructed view of both the water and the neighborhood as a whole.”
— Sascha Glasl, Co-founder Space&Matter

Local Solutions to Global Problems

On a small scale, Schoonschip explores and applies innovative solutions to some of the most pressing challenges brought about by climate change. Schoonschip’s residents live in highly eco-efficient buildings that were remotely manufactured, and they share everything from electric cars and cargo bikes to the clean energy they generate on the houseboat roofs.

Built on a circular community model, Schoonschip’s solar panels are connected to a smart grid where residents can trade energy with the help of blockchain technology. It contains decentralized and renewable solutions for water, energy, and waste systems, as well as submersed heat exchangers for heating and cooling.

Frontrunner and Pioneer

Schoonschip strives to be open source. The owners’ association, VvE Schoonschip, strives to be both frontrunner and pioneer, setting out to create a breeding ground for the latest sustainable techniques and solutions.

Now that the project has been completed, members of the community are working closely together to improve their residential area and achieve local loop closure. Since its members are connected in every conceivable way, Schoonschip demonstrates how circular neighborhoods can be created by people who take matters into their own hands.

Architects: Space&Matter

Location: Amsterdan, The orgherlands

Year: 2021

Photography: Isabel Nabuurs, Jan Willem Sieburgh & Alan Jensen

urbanNext (July 15, 2024) Schoonschip: A Sustainable Floating Community. Retrieved from
Schoonschip: A Sustainable Floating Community.” urbanNext – July 15, 2024,
urbanNext January 26, 2023 Schoonschip: A Sustainable Floating Community., viewed July 15, 2024,<>
urbanNext – Schoonschip: A Sustainable Floating Community. [Internet]. [Accessed July 15, 2024]. Available from:
Schoonschip: A Sustainable Floating Community.” urbanNext – Accessed July 15, 2024.
Schoonschip: A Sustainable Floating Community.” urbanNext [Online]. Available: [Accessed: July 15, 2024]

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