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Art Cener in Amsterdam

We renovated a former beer bottling and carton board factory is renovated into an art factory. The industrial building is in the center of Amsterdam on one of the side canals where formerly many small-scale industries were present. Unlike other typical buildings in Amsterdam at the side canals this building has a high and wide special ground floor. At the back of the building is a large room where the aurora enters the space through the long horizontal windows in the shed roofs. A characteristic part of the building is the former icehouse in the basement with several traces of the past.

The task is creating an art factory where different activities and experiences are possible at the same time, a large exhibition, a small exhibition in a closed space, presentations or lectures. Supplemented with a bookshop, office space and a kitchen that can also function as a small cafe. An extensive and mixed programs relating to art.

As a starting point of our design are the forces and the character of this former factory that we want to bring out. Therefore we have decided to leave the shell of the building as much as possible untouched and preserve all traces and scars of the past.
The space on the canal side is the reception of the art factory where various functions take place, such as a café, bookshop and small and informal exhibitions. Here are three boxes placed approximately 4 by 4 by 3 meters for a bookstore, exhibition space and office. These boxes feature large folding doors that can change the relationship between inside and outside the boxes and the impression of the gallery. This brings liveliness and interaction of activities reflected. Also from the street this is sensible. The rear space is not spatially adjusted, the openness, peace and the light of the space dominate and make a nice contrast with the space. The three rooms in the basement are used as exhibition space, multimedia room and archive.

Art centre
Looiersgracht, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
September 2010
Contemporary Art Lab
Project architect: Anne Boonstra
Collaborators: Olivier Langejan,
Ilse Landwehr Johann,
Jasper Grool
Floor Area:
800 m2

Photography: Christian Richter

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