Valienska Magfira

The Hard Surrender of The Navy Terrain

As someone who is not born or raised in the Netherlands, I thought the Navy Terrain was just a public park and historic museum at first. Considering the eventful history of the Navy Terrain and what it has come to be now, I realised that it was much more than that.


The Navy Terrain - The 17th-century gateway to the Marineterrein at Kattenburgerstraat 7; 2011 A. Bakker

Historical Past

The Navy Terrain belonged to the Royal Dutch Navy for more than 360 years. It was used as a new wharf during the Golden Age for the naval protection of the Dutch East India Company fleet and was the building site for many large ships, one of which belonged to Dutch admiral Michiel de Ruyter. Over the 20th century, the complex was no longer a shipyard as it became more difficult for larger ships to pass from and to the sea. Nevertheless, over the years it has been used for a range of uses by the Minister of Defense. Until now, the complex became established as their Facility Support Center since 2005.

Public Use

Due to cutbacks, the Navy Terrain was sold to the General Dutch Government and the Amsterdam Municipality in 2011. Together they made strategic plans for urban development that can benefit the public and the Ministry of Defense.

By 2013 it was announced that the military will renounce their position from the complex step by step. We can see these changes starting in 2015 when the 14 hectare Voorwerf became accessible to the public for a meeting place for innovative companies and scientists. In 2016 the second section of the complex became open for the public including the ‘Blauwe Poort’ which aimed to reduce car traffic in the centre. By then, all units of the Ministry of Defence was expected to withdraw from the site by 1st July 2018. Nearing to the date, according to Het Parool, the ministry believed it was best for the military to stay in the complex due to its central location to the city in the cases that there would be terrorist threats.


Players smelling the perfumes of Het Parfum game testing -

The entire complex was planned to be accessible for the public in ways that it could be for housing, culture, sports, education, and research. For the second time, the Navy Terrain will be part of the upcoming Uitmarkt around the Oosterdok. To commensurate for it's history, it’s progress, and it’s future, Mediamatic will hold a city game during the 2018 Uitmarkt festival. The game will have players discuss political matters as they decide what they would like the terrein to be used for and smell what that future scenario could be.