SAA Rijkswaterstaat

Greater Amsterdam Area, Netherlands

The surroundings dominate, the highway facilitates

Until 2022, Rijkswaterstaat will be widening the highway on the Schiphol – Amsterdam – Almere (SAA) trajectory to improve traffic flow. Rijkswaterstaat has named Sylvia Karres supervisor for the SAA project in 2010. She is therefore responsible for monitoring the spatial quality of the integration of the highway in its surroundings and for the image of the highway itself, including works such as overpasses, bridges, and noise barriers.


The SAA project consists of five sub-projects: the A10-East, the A1–A6 between Watergraafsmeer and the Hoge Ring in Almere, the A6 Almere, the A9 Gaasperdammerweg, and the A9 Amstelveen. In addition to the widening of the highway, the project includes the construction of a large number of architectural elements, such as the railway bridge at Muiderberg, the aqueduct at Muiden, a second bridge over the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal, a 3.5-km-long tunnel in the Gaasperdammerweg, and a more entrenched positioning of the highway at Amstelveen.

In collaboration with her office, Sylvia Karres has drawn up a master plan as a basis and reference for the design of the five sub-projects. The SAA master plan is an integral concept for the desired layout of the future highways within the SAA project and their surroundings. The concept not only illustrates the basic principles for the placement and design of auxiliary elements, such as noise barriers and lighting columns on and along the highways, but also declares principles for rural and urban integration. The master plan by karres+brands is an outline scheme, but besides its concept of the bigger picture, also contains statements regarding crucial details. The plan also voices the desired unity and differentiation within the project. The purpose of the master plan is to achieve and monitor the desired spatial coherence and spatial quality within the entire SAA project. The master plan forms a basis for a further elaboration of the project ambition documents (Aesthetic Programmes of Requirements).

In her role as supervisor, Sylvia Karres guides the formation of the Aesthetic Programmes of Requirements for the various sub-projects, participates in the dialogue meetings with the executive consortia and in the evaluation of entries during the procurement, and monitors the spatial quality for the period following tender.

Project data
Location ​Greater Amsterdam Area, Netherlands Google Maps
Assignment ​Design master plan spatial concept and supervision of spatial quality in the expansion of SAA highways
Size ​63 km highway
Design ​2010 (master plan); 2010 – 2017 (supervision)
Status ​In progress
Client ​Rijkswaterstaat
Budget ​More than € 4 billion
Team ​Sylvia Karres, Bart Brands, Joost Emmerik, Jorrit Noordhuizen, Onno van Rieven, Cristina Colonetti
Copyright images ​Rijkswaterstaat, karres+brands
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