After Bos en Lommer, Slotermeer is the oldest of the Garden Cities in the Western side of Amsterdam. This first garden city outside of the Ringspoordijk was opened by Queen Juliana on the 7th of October 1952. The first residents arrived in the autumn of 1952, coming from the busy city centre or as migrant workers from the countryside. In this post-war neighbourhood there was plenty of space, greenery and water, creating a pleasant living environment. At the heart of Slotermeer is the lively Plein ’40-’45 square, host to a daily market. It is surrounded by shopping streets with many shops and local businesses, the ‘Garden City Hall’ (the district office since 1990), hotels and a small harbour. It also features the Freedom Carillon at its centre which, like the name of the square, commemorates the Second World War. In addition, various streets are name after resistance fighters.

Even though Slotermeer saw no large scale demolition or new building projects, it did see renovation of prominent buildings such as the ‘Paint boxes’ and the Airey-houses. Additionally, several new projects have added to the streetscape. Here we can think of community centre De Honingraat on the Slotermeerlaan or the school building De Heldring next to the Gerbrandypark. Fortunately, we can still experience the atmosphere of the early days of the neighbourhood. The municipally protected city site, known as the Van Eesteren Buitenmuseum, is a good example of this. The Museum residence, which the museum has opened for public, is furnished in the style of the fifties.

De 'Verfdozen' uit 1956 aan de Slotermeerlaan. Ontworpen door architect Allert Warners. Foto: Thomas Lenden / Nieuw-West Open.