For the twentieth anniversary of Over het IJ Festival, the age-old literal building blocks of the Festival - shipping containers - were used to create a temporary city. Lasting only two weeks, the structures provoked theatrical artists in exploring the disused shipyard in their performances.

site: NDSM Shipyard, Amsterdam (NL)
year: 2012
client: Stichting IJ Producties
collaborators: van Eden Bouwconstructies (engineer), Luca Stappers (stage designer)
team: Marc van Asseldonk, Auguste van Oppen, Aleš Hanak

Over Het IJ Festival 2012 opened in a temporary shipping container city designed by O+A at the NDSM shipyard in North Amsterdam.

The festival for site-specific theatre performances have been held at the NDSM shipyard for over two decades. Theatrical artists, both young and experienced, are challenged to employ and investigate the disused shipyard for unique and context-specific performances.

In the fall of 2011, artistic director Lode van Piggelen asked O+A to collaborate on the 20th anniversary edition of the festival. The brief was simple: use the festival's literal building block - the shipping container - to create the beating heart of the event. Besides the central hospitality space, the containers offer ample context for the theatrical artists.

The three-dimensional checkerboard pattern offers a great spatial diversity, while simultaneously communicating the Festival's ambition to the city. As such, the hospitality area is tall, airy and compelling, while the artists use the labyrinthine aspects of the more intimate area of the container city. With a height of four layers, the mountain of containers manages to justify its presence between the large warehouses of the former shipyard.

selected work