A unique development site in a wooded area in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Region

Hembrug terrain

Hembrug is a former ministry of defence site that has been transformed into an incubator of creative enterprise. It is one of the biggest sites earmarked for redevelopment in Europe. SENS and LIFE (LIFE MAKES SENS) are working with ABC Projectontwikkeling to transform this unique location in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Region into a new urban centre in a wooded landscape.

LocationHemkade 18, Zaandam
Volumeapprox. 32 hectares
Architectmarco.broekman, VenhoevenCS, Group A
CompletionTo be announced


From 1895 the Hembrug terrain was owned by the ministry of defence and used for the manufacture of weapons and ammunition. The complex, the heart of the Dutch military industry, was permanently hidden from view behind high fences. Today, the site has been opened up to reveal a location with a rich industrial heritage and occupied by a large number of buildings with protected monumental status.

The total area of the site is 42.5 hectares. LIFE MAKES SENS and ABC Planontwikkeling have joined forces to redevelop a 30-hectare plot, and the 70 properties on it, and create a green urban environment with a mix of homes, businesses, schools and cultural and recreational facilities. An integrated area development that blends history, sustainability, enterprise, housing and employment in an urban setting within a green and natural landscape.



Today Hembrug is a creative hub where design, culture and enterprise will soon be accompanied by housing in a beautiful wooded environment. The multifunctional programme for the site will include approximately 1,000 homes of varying sizes and in a range of price classes. A large proportion will be social housing and homes in the mid-market segment. The intention is to preserve many of the original buildings, in addition to the fifty that have protected status.

LIFE MAKES SENS and ABC Planontwikkeling plan to develop the Hembrug site into a new urban hotspot in consultation with local residents and businesses. The plans include ambitious targets in relation to the supply of renewable energy, water management, mobility and the recycling of materials and waste.