Amsterdam School of Architecture

A Mini Guide

In the streams of different styles of the early twentieth century in Amsterdam one style came to the fore and left a mark on the city as we know it today. It was an Amsterdam School of architecture characterized by it’s traditional outfit and brick details. Here is a brief example of places to visit if you are travelling to Amsterdam.

1. Eigen Haard Housing / Het Schip (The Ship)

An apartment building located in the Spaarndammerbuurt district of Amsterdam is the most famous example of the Amsterdam school. Traditional massing, red brick facade, red roof tiles, ladder windows and brick details make this building a succesful example of modern vernacular. The original apartments had flush toilets, gardens on the ground floor and a post office. Designed by Michel de Klerk, built 1917.-1920.

Photo by Janericloebe 

2. De Dageraad (The Dawn)

A complex of social housing designed by de Klerk and Kramer (1920-1923) which is a part of partially executed Plan Zuid (Plan South) designed by Berlage. It’s name (The Dawn) is inspired from the rising sun and is a reference to the socialist moevement of that time. Gently undulating brick work are typicall of the Amsterdam School. You can have a guided tour at the visitor’s centre of De Dageraad.

Photo by Janericloebe 

3. Amsterdam’s bridges

Pet Kramer designed more than 500 bridges but the total number of realized bridges is 220 – 64 of them in the Amsterdamse Bos park. One of the finer bridges is the P.L. Kramer Bridge located at Amstelkade 1. Here the architect also designed small artisalan bridge houses. Sculpture is designed by Hildo Krop.

Photo by Janericloebe 

Waalseilandbrug – Designed by JM van der Mey in 1914 it uses angular arches both on the structure itself and the railing.

Photo by Amsterdam Municipal Department for the Preservation and Restoration of Historic Buildings and Sites (bMA)

4. Het Scheepvaarthuis (The Shipping House)

The building was built as a headquarters of six Amsterdam shipping companies in two phases: 1913 – 1916  and 1926 -1928. It is an luxurious example of the Amsterdam School where architects could design elaborate and rich details as oppised to the social housing of the period. The facades are adotned with exotic sculptures that represent the Dutch colonial empire. Nowdays it is occupied by Grand Hotel Amrâth Amsterdam where you can have a breakfast or a lunch. You can have a guided tour by Amsterdamse School Museum. Designed by  Johan van der MeyMichel de KlerkPiet Kramer.

Photo by Janericloebe 

5. The Olympic Stadium

Designed by Jan Wils and built for  1928 Summer Olympics that were held in Amsterdam. Except for being an example of Amestedam School the stadium is a place where the idea of the Olympic Flame was introduced. An adjacent Marathon tower has four balconies which were used by horn blowers during the Olympic ceremony.

Photo by Vincent Steenberg

6. Holendrechtstraat 1-47

Yet another beautiful Amstedam apartment building with undulating brick walls with the exception it was designed by Margaret Staal-Kropholler, a first female professional architect in the Netherlands. Built in 1923.

Photo by Janericloebe 

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