“My home feels like poetry to me”

Valley is coming alive – both as a building, and as a home. Judith Osborn is one of the new tenants who was attracted by the iconic complex and its spectacular apartments. What she describes as a ‘masculine’ building, with its craggy, megalithic silhouette, is gradually starting to grow and flourish. Since moving to Zuidas four years ago, Judith has embraced life here. As a businesswoman and artist, she makes paintings and self-portraits that grace the walls of her apartment. She says Zuidas offers her the perfect combination of a quiet, spacious neighbourhood plus Museumplein and all her favourite museums within walking distance.

Judith, could you tell us more about yourself? “I have done a lot of different things in my career as an artist and designer. Painting in oils, landscape art and many different types of self-portraits. Over time, I discovered how special is to be blessed with talent, though it isn’t always viewed that way in this country. My husband came from England and made me realize what an amazing thing it is to have artistic talent. He passed when I was around forty and I have been flying solo since then. We shared twenty wonderful years, in which I had full freedom to pursue my work and ideas. You have to understand, it’s not a nine-to-five office job, but a process you are in 24/7. Right now, I am working on a new series of small oil landscapes. I’d like to start showing my work again next year, with a variety of different pieces.”

Have you always lived in Amsterdam?

“I moved to Amsterdam after graduating from the art academy in The Hague. I was around 24 at the time and have been hooked on the capital ever since. Personally, what matters most to me is living somewhere that inspires me. It’s lovely to step outside your door and meet people you would never cross paths with otherwise. That’s also one of the things I love about Zuidas.”

Why is Zuidas a nice place to live, in your eyes?

“I lived in central Amsterdam for years and was ready to leave that chaotic lifestyle behind. Four years ago I found myself in Zuidas, and I’ve been living in Valley for one year now. I never expected to like it here so much. It’s a neighbourhood in the making and it’s fun to watch that unfold. You can hop on the metro or take a lovely walk along Minervalaan or Beethovenstraat and be in the city in no time. Everything is within walking distance: the supermarket, cafés and restaurants, the gym and, most important, my best friends. It’s very special to live so close together and regularly get together for coffee. You have to cherish your friendships, so there’s a real value to living close enough to be able to just drop by from time to time.”

What do you particularly like about your apartment?

“The apartment is really nice because of the peace and privacy. To me, my home feels like poetry, and I can fill it up with all my own art. The great big windows let in loads of light, which is just marvellous. As a counterpoint to the angular, masculine exterior, I’ve chosen furniture with rounded shapes. When I go downstairs I walk straight into my favourite restaurant, Ferilli’s, where Carlo, the host, always greets me with open arms. I’m also delighted by the astounding sight of 22 adult men chasing a ball around at AFC. My apartment is a kind of AFC sky box. And having a south-facing terrace is always a joy.”

What would be a good addition to the neighbourhood?

“More artisanal shops might be nice, but I am incredibly happy to be living here. The Valley building is well on its way to flourishing in an area that’s really buzzing.”