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Spui Urban areas are recognized as places with a high concentration of people and as a consequence, surrounded by facilities and what else is needed to fill its atmosphere. With this concept in mind, we decided to choose a particular part of Amsterdam, Het Spui, one of the ten main squares or “pleins� of the city, where we can find not only diversity of people but also elements to feed and entertain the population. Each one of the photographers focused on a specific aspect: Manoela Tomasi portrayed people, Isabela Bonfim decided to photograph food and Luisa Ulhoa took photos of the books which are being sold at the Spui. We believe these are the main points to characterize a urban place.


People by Manoela Tomasi Amsterdam is known by its diversity of people. There are 173 nationalities living in the capital and the city receives more than 15 millions of day-visitors per year. At the Spui, several kinds of personalities pass by for different reasons. Tourists, workers, children, students and retired are examples of the variety of people who together compose the place’s atmosphere.


Carrying beer kegs to restaurants at the Spui is the function of this employee.


The man is working every day to keep the old and still modern floor renewed.


Street artists are free to express theirselves and show their abilities.


Kids are also invited to walk around and see the big store’s windows.


Happiness is the feeling that the majority of people shows in their faces, mainly after some shopping.


Even during the rush time, businessmen pass by the Spui on their way to work.


Tourists of all ages stop at the square to check how it is and also to loog for the next step on their trips.


Food by Isabela Bonfim One remarkable feature in Spui is the cuisine diversity. Walking through the main road or exploring the tiny streets which cross it, it is easy to find a snack to go or a pleasant cafÊ. The restaurant atmosphere is not the big thing, here is all about showcases. It’s an exhibition of tastes, ready to arouse your hunger in the middle of the day.


The famous French fries are typical in the city center. Nearby Spui, it is easy to find a place to relish with several possibilities of sauce.


Pie is a big thing in the Netherlands. The Dutch style is called “vlaai”, a pastry covered with berries. In Spui, you don’t need to look for too long to find your favorite.


Pastry, biscuits, tartlets. Don’t stay in the Dutch ones. And don’t try to resist to the showcases.


Ethnic food has its space. Here you can choose between a Portuguese soup to warm up or fresh meat in the bread.


French quiche with Dutch cheese filling. Or Italian tomatoes, or Atlantic salmons. Mixture is preferable.


Fruits, juices, smoothies and bio-products for the healthy ones.


Spui is perfect for those who are in a hurry, but it applies to those who appreciate a good afternoon as well.


Books by Luísa Ulhoa You can find bookstores anywhere in Amsterdam, but Spui is the place for book lovers. Every Friday a market is held at the square, with books from several places, in several languages and about several subjects. For those who are looking for a specific book, there’s Athenaeum bookshop and newsstand and all-inEnglish American Book Center. Old or new, whichever kind of literature, mass produced or one of a kind, you can find it at Spui.


Friday bookmarket at Spui.


You can find more than just books at the market. Artisanal notebooks are sold, for aspiring writers and fancy stationery aficionados.


It matters little if you don’t speak Dutch. Here you will find titles in English, French, German and other languages. You can find classics and non-fiction. Something for everyone.


Everywhere you can see banana cardboard boxes, which are used for transporting the books to Spui. A simplicity touch.


The bag of the market. “Every Friday in Amsterdam. The Book Market of Spui”.


American Book Center. The bookshop for non-Dutch speakers and a cultural center of the square.


Athenaeum is a bookshop and a newsstand, one of the most charming you will find. The place also is full of cultural events.

Fotoessay Urban Spaces - spui  
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