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Dutch architecture is known for its creative approach to practical problems, and right now eco-architecture (bringing environmental awareness to building design) is hot. With its focus on sustainability, the renewal of the Eastern Docklands and NDSM, a former dockyard on the northern IJ bank, is a perfect example of this trend. Amsterdam's newest zone, IJburg—a complex of eight islands (seven of them created from scratch) that will eventually house 45,000 people—is a work in progress, but the combination of floating homes, eco-effective houses, and planning tussles between dense housing versus the need for green spaces, has sustainability at its core. The transformation of industrial spaces to cultural places just keeps on going. In 2013, a cultural center opens in Zeeburgeiland in and on top of two former sewage-treatment silos. It's cutting-edge and incredibly clever.
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