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Welcome to de Bijenkorf, Amsterdam’s finest department store Dam 1, city centre For more information, opening hours and other store locations:

Amsterdam | Den Haag | Rotterdam | Amstelveen | Eindhoven | Maastricht | Utrecht

De Bijenkorf offers a truly memorable shopping experience. Home to exclusive brands such as Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Dior, Gucci and Hermès, the department store offers an unrivalled assortment of fashion, jewellery, leather goods and more. Non-EU customers can get an instant tax refund on all purchases, powered by Global Blue. De Bijenkorf is open seven days a week, including evenings.

De Bijenkorf带给您回味无穷的购物体验。该购物商场有路易威登、卡地亚、迪奥、古驰和爱马仕等品牌专卖 店,提供无与伦比的时装、珠宝、皮具和其它产品。非欧盟区顾客的所有购物均可享受由Global Blue环球蓝 联提供的即时退税。De Bijenkorf每周七天营业,包括晚间。

‫( فروكنيابلا رجاتم رفوت‬de Bijenkorf) ‫اهنايسن بعصي قوستلل ةزيمتم ةبرجت‬. ‫فلتخم يراجتلا زكرملا اذه مضي‬ ‫نوتيوف سيول ةكرام و ةيلحملا رجتملا ةكرام لثم ةيرهشلا ةيرصحلا ةيراجتلا تامالعلا‬، ‫هييتراك‬، ‫رويد‬، ‫يشتوغ‬ ‫سيمريهو‬. ‫ةزيمتملا علسلا نم اهريغ و دولجلاو تارهوجملاو ءايزألا نم ةديرف ةليكشت يراجتلا عّمجملا مّدقي امك‬. ‫نكمي و‬ ‫تاليهستلا لالخ نم تايرتشملا عيمج ىلع ةبيرضلل يروف دادرتسا ىلع لوصحلا يبوروألا داحتالا جراخ نم ءالمعلل‬ ‫( ”ولب لبولغ“ نم ةمدقملا‬Global Blue) . ‫عوبسألا يف مايأ ةعبس هباوبأ فروكنيابلا زكرم حتفي‬، ‫كلذ يف امب‬ ‫ةيئاسملا ةرتفلا‬.

Restaurant Bougainville, Hotel TwentySeven

Amsterdam in Two Days A two-day luxury travel program in Amsterdam created around your specific interests. Contact our personal travel consultants, and they will be happy to compose your tailor-made itinerary to get the best out of your stay in Amsterdam. Private Traveling Deluxe Hotel Star Dining and Clubbing Luxury Shopping Art and Culture

A M S T E R DA M LU X U RY EXPERIENCE AmsterdamLuxuryExperience




AWESOME AMSTERDAM Let us take you around town and show you all our favorite hotspots in this vibrant city. Our introduction to all the cultural pleasures Amsterdam has to offer includes the most worthwhile museums and must-visit galleries, but also a profile on three very talented Dutch artists – a fascinating read. After your cultural appetite has been satisfied, move on to Amsterdam’s wining and dining scene, an infinite array of the most

extravagant places to stay, the most intimate settings for your afternoon tea and the most delightful dishes in first-class restaurants, one of which is Michelin-starred The White Room. I hope you will enjoy our Q&A with its chef, Arturo Dalhuisen. Then, pick up a hint or two about Amsterdam etiquette. Keeping up with the fast-paced flow of the local cyclists can be particularly tricky. Amsterdam is one of the best cities in the world for shopping, so I am sure you will love our items on luxury shopping, as well as the exclusive insider’s guide by fashion and design connoisseur Tanne Gielen. Finally, our features on design and architecture are the cherry on the cake, including the city’s best design hotspots. Have you ever wondered what the insides of those gorgeous canal residences look like? We’ve got you covered. It is the stuff of dreams. This edition is once again packed with everything that makes this city so very fabulous.

EMIL REEN Publisher & Editor in Chief 10








In the early 17th century Amsterdam was the richest city in the world. It was the center of world trade, with mercantile connections expanding the globe from the Americas in the West to China in the Far East. Along with its booming economy, the population grew drastically. In the course of the Dutch Golden Age, the city burgeoned from a small village of 30,000 to more than 200,000 inhabitants, making it the third largest city of Europe. To house its swelling population, the city council passed an innovative four-phase plan with a ring

of canals to extend its boundaries. Today Amsterdam’s iconic horseshoe-shaped canal belt is a protected World Heritage Site. The economic boom of the Dutch Golden Age attracted religious, economic, unconventional and rebellious thinkers and artists such as Descartes and Rembrandt. Four hundred years later, it continues to lure cutting-edge artists including the avant-garde photographer Erwin Olaf with his shocking portraits; the progressive architect Sarah Sonsbeeck, who redefines the boundaries of traditional architecture; and the young ex-


perimental interior-designer Maarten Baas, whose furniture pieces are already treasured items in New York’s MoMA. Whereas in the Dutch Golden Age, trade was the motor of the economy, the economy today is primarily generated by its art sector. The temple of Amsterdam’s modern art is, hands down, the Stedelijk Museum. The new route for the permanent collection known as the “Base” was recently designed by the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas and chronologically highlights the masters of Dutch and international contemporary art at its best.





Areas 18 Only The Best

1 24 26 32 33 36 40

Culture Cultural Mecca Your Exhibition Guide 3X Canal House Museums Get Your Art On Stedelijk’s Base 3 Cutting Edge Artists

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PUBLISHER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Emil Reen PROJECT & CONTENT MANAGER Ferdy Veerman ART DIRECTION & DESIGN Rob Giesendorf, Solar Initiative CONTRIBUTORS Martijn Blom, Erik Boker, Veerle van den Brink, Arturo Dalhuisen, Renzo Gerritsen, Tanne Gielen, Raquel Remondo Gomez, Miguel Gori, Francesco Grassotti, Marc Heldens, Alan Jensen, Nick Pluijmers, Benjamin Roberts, Dax Roll, Grete Simkuté, Adrie Smits, Brenda Tempelaar and Catharine Winter. PROOFREADING Katie McCandless PRINTING Mazeline B.V. – Oostzaan, the Netherlands PUBLISHING HOUSE Amsterdam Luxury and The Spirit of Amsterdam are published by Reen Media B.V. – Amsterdam, the Netherlands, EDITORIAL FORMAT Amsterdam Luxury and The Spirit of Amsterdam are bi-annual magazines about Amsterdam for the fashionable traveler with a contemporary lifestyle and love for luxury, art and design. Designed to guide and inspire, every edition features a wonderful medley of hotels, restaurants, shops, museums, art, design and architecture available in Amsterdam. ADDRESS CORRESPONDENCE ADVERTISEMENT SALES PRESS RELEASES EDITION Summer 2018


COVER PHOTOS AMSTERDAM LUXURY Rijksmuseum by John Lewis Marshall | Arturo Dalhuisen, The White Room | Dax and Joyce, Nicemakers, by Alan Jensen, styling Marc Heldens | Rolex Rail Dial 1665, Amsterdam Vintage Watches COVER PHOTOS THE SPIRIT OF AMSTERDAM Pllek | W139, True Players by Chun-Han Chiang | Bar Botanique | Francesco Grassotti, White Label Coffee | Map Amsterdam COPYRIGHT Amsterdam Luxury and The Spirit of Amsterdam are published exclusively by Reen Media B.V. – Amsterdam, the Netherlands. While every possible effort has been made to verify the accuracy of the information in every edition, the publisher shall not be liable for errors or omissions or the consequences thereof. — No part of this magazine may be reproduced without permission from the publisher.

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Hospitality & Gastronomy 2

44 Memorable Moments 46 Unique Stays 53 A Chef ’s Q&A 55 Stylish Dining 58 3X Michelin Star 59 Afternoon Indulgences 62 When In Amsterdam 64 3X Trendy Low Key 65 Spectacular Nightlife 68 Coffee Talk

3 70 72 74 79 80 82 84 90



Shopping Shopping Paradise The Amsterdam Shopping Areas Specialty Shops Flexible Designs A Local’s Guide Finest Selection By Memento Fashionable Stores Must-Haves For The Stylish Traveler 16




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92 Experience Design 94 From The Dutch 96 Unique Finds 102 Inspiring People 104 Canal Loft 107 Journey Of Designs

5 110 112 114 118 121 17

Architecture Urban Gems Ring Of Canals The Amsterdam School Distinctly Dilapidated Buildings Iconic Buildings


O N LY THE BEST If you want to explore Amsterdam’s must-sees while still feeling like a local, this is your guide. We’ll tell you where you should go in which areas, including our personal favorite hotspots. From cultural must-visits to the finest restaurants, experience Amsterdam at its best! Words: Raquel Remondo Gomez 18

































































































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Royal Palace Amsterdam

BUSY SP OT: DAM SQUARE Dam Square is the busiest spot in town, full of people, street performers and pigeons framing the Royal Palace and the National Monument obelisk, a memorial commemorating the Second World War. Around “the Dam” you can shop for the biggest brands on Kalverstraat or the department store de Bijenkorf. Personally, we never miss the art exhibitions at Nieuwe Kerk, and we are always in for dinner at Michelin-star restaurant The White Room. For special occasions, you might even find a Ferris wheel in the square! Hop on for a spectacular city view.

INTIMATE VIBES: THE NINE STREETS A stone’s throw away from Amsterdam’s Royal Palace on Dam Square is a set of streets that poetically blend 17th-century dynamics with sophisticated independent retail: the Nine Streets. Throughout the UNESCO-listed historic brick lanes, the building façades epitomize the beauty, affluence and heritage of the Golden Age in the Netherlands. The Nine Streets are perfect for a peaceful architectural walk in the heart of the city, picking up trinkets for younger visitors or a bit of window shopping. This district is truly a must-see. 20


RELAX AND PLAY: WESTERPARK The Westerpark area is home to a varied mix of independent shops, old-school street markets, brand-new restaurants and traditional brown cafés. The locals meet, work and relax in Westerpark and its historic factory buildings and expanses of green, home to a range of restaurants and cultural events. Play a game or two at the arcade–bar Ton Ton Club or join us for some delicious fresh mussels, oysters and special G&T’s at seafood restaurant Mossel & Gin.


photo westerpark: arjen veldt photography photo a’dam lookout: martijn kort

Behind the Amsterdam Central Station runs the IJ river, the lifeblood of the city and its grandest waterfront, a panorama of constantly passing boats and ships. This area is perfectly suited for a relaxing stroll along the IJ river, where you can find some outstanding modern architectural treats not far from each other. Want even more sightseeing? Take the ferry to the northern part of the city to see Amsterdam from a different angle; for example, from the A’DAM Lookout. Unparalleled views are guaranteed!

A’DAM Tower



COZY AMSTERDAM: DE JORDAAN The Jordaan district is known for its cozy Amsterdam vibe, scenic streets, cute houses and canals framed by flowers and trees. Visit the galleries and specialty shops, join the locals in their Sunday brunch at Gs or grab a take-away salad from SLA. We personally like to visit Winkel 43 for their famous Dutch apple pie and hot chocolate. It is located at the Noordermarkt Square, which also houses a farmers’ market on Saturdays. 22





Crossing the IJ with the free ferry from Central Station will bring you to the NDSM Wharf. This urban district used to be one of the biggest shipyards in the world. Today, the combination of its industrial heritage and new creative activity creates an interesting dynamic with creative workplaces and famous festivals such as Pitch and DGTL. When we visit NDSM, we like to enjoy the waterside views at hipster-heaven restaurants Pllek or Noorderlicht.

MUSEUM CHIC: OUD ZUID / MUSEUM DISTRICT photo concertbebouw: hans roggen

Art lovers, welcome to paradise! The Museum Quarter (Museumplein) is home to Amsterdam’s three major museums: the Rijksmuseum, the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art and the Van Gogh Museum. Architecture lovers will also feel at home among the stylish hotels, cafés and majestic Concertgebouw (concert hall). Need a break? Enter the Vondelpark to relax or stroll along the chic couture houses on P.C. Hooftstraat. Don’t miss the Chanel store at number 94 to see its amazing façade made out of glass bricks. — 23


1 CULTURAL MECCA Amsterdam’s thriving culture offers plenty of options to satisfy anyone’s appetite. Words: Brenda Tempelaar The diversity of Dutch culture is truly unparalleled and is reflected by the more than fifty museums in Amsterdam that showcase the country’s rich and captivating past and present. These museums’ collections vary from Golden Age paintings to modern sculpture and contemporary photography. With Old Masters like Rembrandt van Rijn and Johannes Vermeer in the Rijksmuseum and a museum dedicated entirely to Vincent van Gogh, many cultural icons are permanently at visitors’ disposal. These world-class museums are complemented by several exceptionally distinctive museums in elegant canal-side mansions such as the Foam photography museum, Museum Van Loon and Willet Holthuysen town house. Numerous galleries present young, emerging artists in the international art scene. 24


Thomas Albdorf Measurement, 2018 FOAM Photography Museum



EXHIBITION GUIDE Museum lovers are spoiled for choice in Amsterdam. From museums devoted to cats (we kid you not!) to handbags (ditto), from paintings to archeology and more, “the Venice of the North” has museums for every interest. Clueless about where to begin? These are our current favorite exhibits; we’re pretty sure you will love them too. Words: Grete Simkuté, Ferdy Veerman


Museum of Bags and Purses, ongoing

Bag lovers take note – the Museum of Bags and Purses has undergone a facelift! The new redesign uncovers the hidden stories behind the bags by appealing to all of your senses. Thanks to interactive technology, you can step inside a treasure chamber where moving images inform you about the history, use and cultural context of purses and bags. What’s more, by smelling and feeling one of the 5,000 purses, trunks or cases on display, you can get unique insight into the craftsmanship that goes into the work, undoubtedly resulting in a new appreciation of your own favorite Chanel or Birkin. 26


Freedom is Recognized Necessity, Stedelijk Museum, 3 Mar – 12 Aug 2018

Freedom is Recognized Necessity, on view at the Stedelijk Museum, offers a fresh perspective on art made in the former USSR. These works of art were acquired after the end of the Cold War and show a mix of styles and media, including pop and conceptual art, documentary photography, surrealism and abstraction. All of them explore the gap between government-sanctioned orthodoxies and life as it was. The moral of the story? Creativity can manifest itself under the most difficult circumstances, often in surprising ways.


SPRAYED ART Icy and Sote, Moco Museum, until end of October 2018

What better way to transcend a history of artistic and political censorship then by using public art to envision a world without borders, wars or violence? The Iranian brothers Icy and Sot chose to do just that and are currently leaving their mark on the global street-art scene with their unique artworks. Unfortunately, following their dream has come with a serious sacrifice – since their work is banned in Iran due to its “controversy,” they are not welcome in their home country anymore. Nevertheless, on view until October 2018, this exhibition is sure to please lovers of “Banksy-style” art.


GOLDEN AGE SPLENDOR Gallery of Honour, Rijksmuseum, ongoing

If you’re an admirer of 17th-century art, the Rijkmuseum’s famous Gallery of Honour will surely satisfy your cultural appetite. Some renowned masterpieces are permanently on view in its majestic side alcoves, including Rembrandt’s famous The Night Watch, Vermeer’s The Milkmaid and Hals’s The Merry Drinker. As an additional bonus, the Gallery of Honour’s 19th-century design is without a doubt one of the most impressive architectural highlights to be found in Amsterdam. 28

photo: john lewis marshall




State of Nature by Claudius Schulze, Artis, until March 2019

Is “looking at art in an aquarium” scribbled on your bucket list? If so, hurry to Artis! The Royal Zoo’s aquarium provides a home to not only a gazillion water species, but also a series of captivating photographs. In State of Nature, the young German photographer Daniel Schulze questions the impact of human architecture on the natural environment. Portraying dikes, dunes and dams, the exquisite large-format photos show how humanity is trying to improve upon nature’s beauty, while at the same time preparing for impending climate disasters. We’re intrigued!


Maria Austria, Jewish Historical Museum, until 2 Sep 2018

Plays, ballets, operas, post-war reconstruction, people in their homes or in factories – there are very few subjects that Maria Austria didn’t capture in her pictures. The Jewish Historical Museum dedicates a large-scale and in-depth exhibition to the versatile Jewish photographer, displaying over 250 new and vintage photographs, many of them previously unknown. Very impressive is a series of 150 pictures from the Achterhuis, made in 1954 on behalf of Otto Frank (father of Anne). 29



Fashion Cities Africa, Tropenmuseum Amsterdam, until January 2019

Tropenmuseum Amsterdam, an ethnographic museum devoted to the colonial history and global historical influence of the Netherlands, brings together experts from Casablanca, Lagos, Nairobi, Johannesburg and the Netherlands on the subject of fashion in Africa. This unique exhibition explores the flourishing African fashion scenes, from urban streetwear to couture and from local designers to fashion bloggers, stylists and photographers – all with inspiring roots of personal taste that often create remarkable modes of identity.


Permanent collection, Van Gogh Museum, ongoing

Vincent van Gogh, 1853–1890, is considered one of the most famous artists of the 19th century, and rightfully so. Not only do his uniquely painted landscapes and portraits receive a lot of attention globally, but his life story, including all his struggles, is fascinating in itself. The Van Gogh Museum is surely the place to be if you are in Amsterdam and an admirer of Vincent and his work. It offers the largest collection of Van Gogh’s art, with over 200 paintings in its permanent collection. 30


VISUAL MANIPULATION Thomas Albdorf, FOAM Photography Museum, 15 Jun — 2 Sep 2018

photo: donna svennevik

Combining classic photographic images with modern visual techniques, Austria-born artist Thomas Albdorf will see his first-ever solo museum exhibition take place at Amsterdam’s renowned photography museum Foam. In the process of creating his surrealistic photography, he edits photographs of perennial visual clichés found online, after which he subjects these to image recognition software and automatic image generation. The result? Aesthetic backgrounds combined with quirky objects. This is definitely an artist to watch.



CANAL HOUSE MUSEUMS Words: Grete Simkuté


House Marseille

Can’t make up your mind whether to visit a contemporary photography museum or see the interior of a wealthy merchant’s 17th-century canal house? You don’t have to choose; House Marseille is both. The monumental residence was built around 1655 for a French merchant, and three hundred years later, the original layout of the house – with a garden and a small house behind – is still largely intact. Make sure to look up when you’re inside. The original ceiling painting by master decorator Jacob de Wit will take your breath away.


Our Lord in the Attic


Museum Willet Holthuysen

Welcome to Herengracht 605: a double-fronted town house that will instantly transport you back to life as it was in the 17th century – for the wealthy upper class, we might add. The canal house is named after the well-to-do Louisa Holthuysen and her husband Abraham Willet, the main residents of the dwelling. The impressive ballroom and dining room bear witness to the lavish lifestyle of the Willet-Holthuysen couple, while the kitchen in the basement gives a good impression of the day-to-day life of their servants.


photo house marseille: eddo hartmann photo our lord in the attic: arjan bronkhorst

The Red Light District might seem an unlikely location for a religious site, but Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder (Our Lord in the Attic) is one of the most interesting churches in the city. Tucked away in the attic of a 17th-century canal house, the Catholic church is a special place in which to contemplate. Catholic masses were officially forbidden in 1578, but the Protestant governors turned a blind eye, provided the churches were not recognizable from the outside.


YOUR ART ON A flourishing art scene without galleries? Unthinkable. Luckily, Amsterdam has plenty. Over the last two centuries, the city has seen an impressive number of exhibition spaces open their doors to display a wide range of (mostly) contemporary works of art. These are our top picks that bring you the art of now. Words: Grete Simkuté



After almost 40 years of existence, W139 is still the beating heart of experimental artistic practices. Led by a group of young artists, this free-to-enter space – a squatted theater – provides an alternative to the city’s museums and commercial galleries. With a mission statement that exclaims, “Art comes first, not routine!” you can expect to be surprised, inspired and triggered by some risky and highly conceptual art. Make sure to check the agenda for upcoming boundary-pushing events.

photo w139: chun-han chiang photo galerie fons welters: gert jan van rooij


Galerie Fons Welters

Formerly a poor working-class neighborhood, the now hip and happening Jordaan has become synonymous with all things gallery. Galerie Fons Welters was one of the first to open its doors here in the late 80s in a former garage – a punk rock move for the art scene. Fons, the owner, likes to discover new and local talent, and has shown remarkable taste for sculpture and installations. Sculptor Magali Reus, one of the art world’s current darlings, is one of Fons’s lucky finds.




Annet Gelink Gallery

From its opening in 2000, the Annet Gelink Gallery quickly achieved a leading position in the Dutch and international art scenes. The gallery rocketed to the top by maintaining excellent connections with Dutch art schools, showcasing solo shows by these emerging artists in its basement project space, cheekily nicknamed “The Bakery.” The more prominent reason for its success, however, lies in the gallery’s gigantic archive of works by Ed van der Elsken, whose iconic mid-20th-century street photography has recently found its way back into the spotlight.


Wanrooij Gallery

There’s no better time to step inside Wanrooij Gallery, as it has just moved into its brand-new premises on KNSM Island. Located close to the waterfront, the two-story gallery finally has the space to present monumental works in a spectacular way, a bit like what you would expect from a museum. After having enjoyed the multimedia art on view, you can browse the museum shop and have a drink at the bar before meeting like-minded art lovers at the dinner party. A New York art experience in the center of Amsterdam, anyone?

Vroom & Varossieau

Vroom & Varossieau is a gallery specializing in street art and urban contemporary art. Located near Museumplein in the Oud-Zuid district, the ground floor and basement of a mansion characteristic of the district have been reconstructed into an airy, minimal space. Dedicated to street art projects from around the world, they show internationally acclaimed artists as well as emerging artists, commissioned murals and television productions. They have worked with artists such as Banksy, D*Face, Keith Haring, KAWS and the humorous Dutch street poet Laser 3.14.


photo vroom&varossieau: peter baas



PICTURE PERFECT Ravestijn Gallery

photo: nico krijno

Jasper Bode and Narda van â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;t Veer, having worked in the field of photography for over 25 years on two continents, established the Ravestijn Gallery in 2012. Today the gallery showcases several exhibitions a year and is focused on showing ambitious international artists and works that explore new perspectives for photography in all its forms. While also exhibiting more traditional pieces, the gallery looks for work that pushes boundaries, representing artists like Jean-François Lepage, Ruth van Beek, Darren Harvey-Regan and Eva Stenram.





STEDELIJK’S BASE Below: Roy Lichtenstein, As I Opened Fire, 1964 Left page: Nola Hatterman, On the Terrace, 193

When the Stedelijk Museum first opened its doors in 1895, it was commonly known in Amsterdam as the Suasso Museum. It housed a modest collection of 19th-century works by Dutch and French masters, and several style rooms with jewelry, watches, coins and snuffboxes that had been donated by Sophia Adriana Lopez Suasso-de Bruijn (1816–1890), the widow of a wealthy merchant from Amsterdam. Words: Benjamin Roberts Today, it’s called the Stedelijk and is one of the most contemporary of the contemporary museums in the Netherlands. In the course of more than a century, the building and collection have undergone several dynamic transformations, including Mels Crouwel’s new wing “The Tub,” which opened in 2012, and recently the Stedelijk Base, a new exhibition concept that highlights nearly 700 of the museum’s most iconic pieces from the late 19th century through the 2010s.

Martelli to design the layout of the Base. For the presentation and selection of the museum’s highlights, Koolhaas and Martelli worked together with Margriet Schavemaker of the Stedelijk Museum to select an exhibition that uniquely combines fine art, sculpture, product design, graphics, photography, textiles and jewelry. For the walls that crisscross the galleries of the museum’s new wing, 180 tons of steel were used for the construction of the screen-like walls that can easily move up and down. The paintings, objects, installations and furniture are mountREM KOOLHAAS ed on walls of gray sandblasted steel, giving visitors the The Stedelijk commissioned the internationally ac- feeling that they are walking through a city dotted with claimed architect Rem Koolhaas together with Federico squares, busy streets and quiet alleyways.



Above: Philip Guston, Painting, Smoking, Eating, 1973 Below: Installation view Stedelijk Base

For the presentation and selection of the museum’s highlights, Koolhaas and Martelli worked together with Margriet Schavemaker of the Stedelijk Museum to select an exhibition that uniquely combines fine art, sculpture, product design, graphics, photography, textiles and jewelry. Part 1 of the exhibition starts downstairs where works from 1880 to 1980 are on display. The works on the exterior walls serve as a timeline and are displayed chronologically. One of the first major works is George Breitner’s, The Dam. The mesmerizing canvas (1,600 centimeters by 1,264 centimeters) displays the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam’s Dam Square in the late 1890s on a rainy afternoon with horse-driven streetcars and elegant women rushing about carrying umbrellas and groceries. The exhibition continues with an impressive collection of pieces by Van Gogh, Picasso, Mondriaan and Malevich and Bauhaus/Dessau chairs perched on the walls like birdhouses. However, the Base also includes lesser-known works that were still controversial in Amsterdam’s history. For example, On the Terrace (1931) by painter and actress Nola Hatterman depicts the boxer and stage artist Jimmy van der Lak, (aka Jimmy Lucky) whose parents were among the first Surinamese immigrants to the Netherlands. Van der Lak is fashionably dressed, wearing a fedora hat and seated at a red-and-white checker-clothed table with a newspaper and glass of beer. BARNETT NEWMAN The art of Barnett Newman was also controversial. Displayed along the timeline is his abstract expressionist work entitled Cathedra (1951), an entirely blue canvas five and half meters wide and two meters tall. In 1997 a man armed with a box cutter visited the Stedelijk with the intension of mutilating Newman’s better-known work 38


photo ‘forever’ (left page): gert jan van rooij

Above: Barnett Newman, Cathedra, 1951 Below: Nan Goldin, Cookie and Sharon Dancing in The Back Room, 1976

Who’s Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue III. However, he could not find the piece he was after because it had been removed for restoration. Instead, he took his vengeance out on Cathedra. Today, it has thankfully been restored and hangs in its full glory. In the mezzanine leading up to Part 2 of the Base is Barbara Kruger’s wall wrap (2010). Glued on the walls and stairs as the visitors ascend are powerful and confrontational statements on how people think about each other and view life. Most are quotes from Roland Barthes and George Orwell’s 1984, prominently written so that the words feel as if they are being screamed. KEITH HARING On the top floor begins the post-1980 exhibition, including Keith Haring’s iconic offset prints Stop AIDS and Ignorance=Fear, Silence=Death, which symbolize the AIDS epidemic that especially razed the artistic community in the 1980s and took the life of Haring himself, who died in 1990 at the age of 32. The Stedelijk’s 80s exhibition would not be complete without Jeff Koons’s Ushering in Banality, an iconic sculpture

of an innocently grazing pig being ushered into heaven by three angels. Less controversial, yet typical of early 21st-century art, is Lucy McKenzie’s recreated street mural If It Moves, Kiss It, with eclectic elements of art nouveau, Cold War imagery, East German propaganda, youth and counterculture and 1980s pop art, all mixed together with a touch of classical Italian frieze. As an addi39

tional and unusual touch, McKenzie added macho graffiti to the piece, as if someone had ruined her work with hastily scrawled exaggerated male genitals. In the Base, this piece symbolizes how, over the last 50 years, graffiti has transcended from vandalism into an art form unto itself, worthy to stand in galleries and museums of modern art like the Stedelijk. —


3 CUTTING EDGE ARTISTS Below: Erwin Olaf, Portrait, 2014, 2 Right page: Fall, Suus, 2008

In the 17th century Rembrandt was regarded as a rebel in the world of painting for his innovative use of light and shadow. In the late 19th century Vincent van Gogh also shook the foundations of the art world with his dramatic depictions painted with bold colors and brushwork. Today, with their creativity and use of other art forms, Dutch artists continue to rattle the conventions of the art world. Words: Benjamin Roberts mix of surrealism and film narrative. When viewers see his photographs, they instantly know without a doubt that Olaf was behind the camera.

Erwin Olaf, for example, is one of the most iconic contemporary Dutch photographers. For the last 40 years Olaf has produced an impressive oeuvre of photographs in a style that can best be described as a

BREAKING TABOOS An example of Olaf ‘s penchant for non-traditional photography can be seen in his series Fall (2008), five male and female adolescents presented austerely in composed portraits and several still lifes of flowers in vases. In general, there is nothing out of the ordinary, but each of the stunning models have a timeless golden hue about them. The 40

use of a pale gold makes us believe it could be the 1950s. All of the models (including the vases) have the stunning physical aesthetics of Greek statues, but Olaf catches us off guard by capturing them with their eyes half shut, as if they blinked. According to the Amsterdam-based photographer, he was intrigued by the idea of capturing something out of sync, highlighting, as he says, “a new kind of sexy to have a beautiful model blinking at the wrong time.” Again, the artist provides the viewer with something unexpected, showing us how the beauty of perfection is in the imperfections.




Above: Exhibition Sarah van Sonsbeeck, Oude Kerk, 2017 Below: Solo show at De Nederlandsche Bank, 2016

In architecture, Sarah van Sonsbeeck has redefined the confining traditions of her field by blurring the boundaries between private and public space. In 2017 Van Sonsbeeck’s exhibition, we may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now, based on a quote from Martin Luther King Jr., emphasized how the Oude Kerk was one of the few public buildings in the city in the 17th century where all social groups came together. The church was a favorite rendezvous for the groups of sailors that gathered there and repaired their nets. Sailors even got tattoos on their arms with images from the church’s interior. With this exhibition, the architect unveiled how buildings and architecture played an important social role in the past and still fulfill that role today, even on an unconscious level.

photo’s: gert jan van rooij

GOLD BULLION For her solo exhibition in the Dutch National Bank in 2016, she used gold, representing a standard 400-oz. bar of gold that melts from one stairstep to another. The melted bullion symbolizes the building’s functional purpose of securing the nation’s gold reserves. In Van Sonsbeeck’s work, there is a thin line between the interior (and function) of the building and the exterior. The architect rebels against our traditional notion of architecture, where we often don’t know what happens behind the façades of buildings, and tries to integrate the two. Van Sonsbeeck believes humans are very similar to buildings in this way, hiding their emotions from the outside world. 42


Above: Smoke Chest with Drawers & Smoke Chair Middle: Clay Fans Below: Baas in Town

portrait: mads mogensen photo’s smoke & fans: marten de leeuw photo below: adriaan van der ploeg

One of the most rebellious Dutch interior designers of the 21st century is Maarten Baas, most renowned for burning classic furniture pieces and making them usable again. With his solo exhibition Where There’s Smoke (2004), commissioned by the Moss Gallery in New York, Baas burned chairs, couches and tables designed by classic designers Rietveld, Gaudi and Sottsass. With the exhibition, Baas, who grew up in the Netherlands and graduated from the Design Academy of Eindhoven, suddenly gained international recognition for his playful designs. Within a couple of years the MoMA (New York), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Victoria and Albert Museum (London), Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the Groninger Museum all wanted the young artist’s charbroiled art works for their permanent collections. In 2004, Baas, who was only 26 then started to collaborate with Bas den Herder and established DH PH studio, producing handmade pieces on a larger scale. Today many of his works are exhibited in hotels, restaurants, galleries, museums and private collections. With his playful combination of intellectual, theatrical and artistic design, critics consider Baas to be one of the most cutting-edge Dutch designers of the 21st century. — 43


2 MEMORABLE MOMENTS The historic, distinctive setting of Amsterdam provides the ideal backdrop and atmosphere for some of the world’s most exciting places to wine, dine, party and sleep. Words: Catharine Winter A city of contradictions, it is infused with a constant balance between the old and the new, the vibrant and the serene, the international and the local. In a never-ending fusion of extremes, Amsterdam presents you with a wealth of first-class restaurants, exciting cocktail bars, hotels that breathe style and luxury and charming retreats to calm your senses. The common denominators of originality and innovation in a unique, typically local setting are the ingredients for a truly memorable experience in the capital city. We’ve created an insiders’ selection of must-visit venues for you to add to your itinerary, from hidden-gem restaurants and posh afternoon tea rooms, to boutique hotels with vintage charm and clubbing scenes meant only for the ultra-hip elite. 44


W Amsterdam



U N I Q U E STAYS Amsterdam boasts an exceptional diversity of places to spend your nights. Between the run-of-the-mill hostels and top-notch luxury abodes, we discovered genuinely unique hotels that will leave you spellbound and clever, fun, original design that you will find nowhere else. Stay here for an out-of-the-ordinary and truly memorable experience. Words: Catharine Winter


W Amsterdam

Spread across two iconic buildings, the Exchange and the Bank, this hotel offers a unique mix of innovative design that’s evident from the moment you check in at the rooftop lounge. The Wow Suites boast a walk-in wardrobe, large round bed and open plan bathroom. An energetic space for unexpected moments, the hotel features a rooftop pool, two distinctly original restaurants and a spa with a gold and diamond design, reflecting the history of the two buildings.


Hotel TwentySeven

This new, iconic 16-suite hotel is housed in a historic building with excellent views of the action on Dam Square. We recommend you stay here as a generous treat for all your senses with a level of luxury that is rare, even in Amsterdam. Be enthralled by the hotel’s signature scent, be wowed by the lavish wall dressings made from exclusive golden and bronze fabrics and choose from your suite’s lighting menu to complement your mood perfectly. In addition to offering majestic stays, the hotel houses high-end restaurant Bougainville and the chique lavish Bar TwentySeven — all adding up to an unforgettable luxury experience.




A stone’s throw away from Dam Square, this ultra-hip hotel perfectly combines funky and luxury. Back in the early 1900s, the building housed Dutch newspaper De Tijd, and stories were brought to life in ink – day in, day out. In addition to the name of the INK hotel, the building’s legacy has been translated into its interior design with giant letterpress type blocks, hand-drawn wallpaper and more original details left visible, all meant to inspire guests to create their own stories. Very recently, INK Hotel introduced the “Inspired by Her” concept – a unique and tailor-made service specially designed for women.



AMSTERDAM LEGACY Conservatorium Hotel

Amsterdam’s former Sweelinck Conservatory of Music is now one of the city’s most luxurious and fashionable hotels. We can promise that this hotel will immerse you into the city’s rich cultural and design legacy. With fine in-house dining, this hotel is situated in the perfect location in the heart of Amsterdam’s Museum District, near the beautiful Vondelpark and luxury shopping avenues. We recommend that you visit the Akasha Holistic Wellbeing Centre, the hotel’s luxury urban retreat.




Hotel V Nesplein

In the heart of Amsterdam’s theater district, we found this boutique hotel infused with warmth characteristic of Amsterdam, run by a local family. Throughout the hotel you’ll experience an atmosphere of relaxed vintage charm. The spacious suites have luxurious wooden floors, custom-made beds and large bathrooms. The welcoming Lobby restaurant features an open fireplace, reading library and terrace overlooking the Nesplein.


The Dylan

Behind a stone gate and through a courtyard, classic meets modern throughout this quaint property. The lounge features a unique fireplace with a modern touch. Wooden floors and large windows add to the rustic charm of the 17th-century landmark. You can taste the combination of classic and contemporary in the delicate French cuisine served in the sunken dining room surrounded by original 18th-century ovens.


Hotel Pestana

One of the latest additions to Amsterdam’s hospitality scene is the Pestana Amsterdam Riverside, a luxury 5-star hotel in the hip and happening De Pijp area. Located in the former Town Hall and Archive of the Amstel community, the building’s historic features have been restored and exude its heritage to the fullest. We personally recommend a drink at their modern, rustic bar, ARC. When planning your stay, make sure to book the Clock Tower Suite – it has amazing high ceilings and original wood beams throughout.





We discovered the perfect balance if you want to maintain your high standards without having to break the bank. This centrally located hotel near all the museums you want to visit offers WiFi, free movies, 24-hour dining and inspiring surroundings. It features impeccable design and everything you need presented in an easy, fun and accessible way.


Hotel Arena

This hotel was originally purposed as an orphanage for Roman Catholic girls. With its rich history and after an extensive renovation, it became a luxury hotel in 2002. Featuring the beautiful Oosterpark as its entrance, this monumental building is a green hideaway with a village feel frequented by an urban crowd. Every guest room breathes the same calmness with high ceilings and cozy nooks combined with large windows and quiet colors.


Sir Adam

Due to its superb location on the IJ river, a stay-over at this urban boutique hotel comes with a great bonus: some of the best views the Dutch capital has to offer. Its colorful raw vibe and the many in-house hotspots – think co-working spaces, 24/7 gym, a beer garden and The Butcher Social Club – make Sir Adam your go-to spot if you want to stimulate all your body’s creative senses.


photo: rob â&#x20AC;&#x2122;t hart photography



This 1-to-5-star hotel, the first of its kind in the world, is housed in a national monument from 1921 and was cleverly redesigned to create 117 rooms, all unique in size and interior. We love the accessible everyone-is-welcome-to-join-in atmosphere, which is so typical of Amsterdam as a whole. The interior design is among the most creative and original you will find anywhere. This fun place to stay is suited to everyoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s budget. 51



photo: ellen van gent

Three exquisitely designed suites are located inside an actual crane. The wind vane allows it to gently turn in the wind, offering a different view every time. Each suite consists of two levels that provide an outrageously luxurious hideaway in the most literal sense of the word. We can only describe the sharp contrast between the glamorous suites and the mysterious atmosphere of the old shipyard where world-famous creative minds gather as truly mesmerizing.



ARTURO DALHUISEN How did your career as a chef evolve? As long as I can remember, I’ve always had a love for food. When I was younger I collected cookbooks, and my decision to train to become a chef therefore came very naturally. Later, I interned and worked at Michelin-star restaurants in the process of mastering the trade. I have always been very self-critical and looked for the limits regarding taste. That has been of tremendous help to get where I’m at now. Cooking has become my passion, my addiction.

Earlier in life he won multiple culinary competitions and, more recently, received a Michelin star as Chef de Cuisine for the restaurant The White Room. Arturo Dalhuisen is one of the biggest Dutch gastronomic talents of this time. Let’s get to know him better!

You’ve already won several awards as a chef. What are you most proud of? I must say I am very proud of the transfer I made from Michelin-star restaurant De Leest in Vaassen, where I worked for almost five years, to The White Room in Amsterdam. The adrenaline was pumping through my body when I was presented with the role of Chef de Cuisine – a very exciting moment in my professional career as a chef.

Interview: Ferdy Veerman

Last year The White Room received a Michelin star. Why do you think the concept is so special? The White Room is a hidden gem, if you ask me. With its beautiful, white baroque ornaments and gold accents, the restaurant, which is listed as a monument and still in its original condition, is located in the old city center of Amsterdam on Dam Square. In contrast to the building itself, the interior style is very modern. This, combined

with the pure ingredients and fresh, intense flavors we cook with, distinguishes our concept from others. Where do you source the ingredients for your dishes? We use ingredients from all around the globe, especially the spices and herbs. They are combined with local products such as crab, turbot and sea bass, which are caught from the Dutch North Sea. My beef comes from the Veluwe, a forest-rich ridge of hills in the Netherlands. So Mother Nature also plays a very important role in our menu – we cook according to her supply. What characterizes Amsterdam and its dining scene? Amsterdam absolutely glows. It has the 53

Arturo Dalhuisen


The White Room

“Amsterdam has become a Walhalla in terms of trendy hotspots and fine dining. It really distinguishes itself from other big cities in the world through the many innovative concepts” coziest streets to be found, and everything here is within walking distance, which I think is great. Thanks to the massive growth over the last couple of years – both in number of visitors and inhabitants – it has become a Walhalla in terms of trendy hotspots

and fine dining. It really distinguishes itself from other big cities in the world through the many innovative concepts. Do you have any other favorite Michelin-star restaurants in Amsterdam? There are several high-end restaurants that I have not yet had the pleasure of visiting, so it is hard for me to pick a favorite. What I can say is that the level of my fellow Michelin-star chefs is very high, so paying a visit to any of them will ensure a memorable evening. Where can we find you for a more low-key dinner? With friends I like to go to Stork in Amsterdam North. It has a great industrial interior design, and when visiting you should really 54

order the fruit de mer. The thought of it makes my mouth water – really delicious. What is your favorite local dish? Nowadays, there seems to be a lack of traditional Dutch cuisine in the Netherlands, which has resulted in very few local dishes. But on a day off, I like to walk around the Albert Cuyp market in De Pijp and sink my teeth into a classic fresh Dutch stroopwafel. If you haven’t tried one yet, you definitely should! Last but not least, is there a rule every home cook should know? Wash your hands before you start cooking! And also, have respect for the ingredients you use and their quality. From there I would say you can prepare a wonderful dish! —


STYLISH DINING As a living laboratory for experimental style, Amsterdam has plenty of groundbreaking restaurants. These venues excel in their genuine originality, combining various ingredients to produce the most provocative taste sensations and creating extraordinary ambiance. Ranging from a focus on simplicity to full-on club style, the capital city has it all. Words: Catharine Winter


Café Americain

Located in Leidseplein is the recently renovated Café Americain, a true icon among the locals of Amsterdam. Stylish and classic, this is the place to indulge yourself and go back in time to enjoy some of the best things the past had to offer: an art-deco style interior, well-dressed staff and the beautiful sounds of a live pianist. When visiting, make sure not to miss their amazing tartar, patisserie or dessert trolley – ordering a delicacy from these is an experience on its own!



At a unique location off the beaten track, this establishment features a classy cigar lounge and whisky bar housed in the monumental building of a former tavern. The chefs create innovative combinations, using modern as well as classic techniques with influences from a variety of cuisines to produce well-balanced flavors. The regularly changing menu offers a choice of delectable fish, meat or vegetarian dishes, with an extensive wine list to match.




In the raw, chic atmosphere of a hangar, executive chef Ricardo van Ede demonstrates his love for pronounced tastes and premium-quality ingredients in pure, robust dishes and bistro classics such as steak tartare, cĂ´te de boeuf and chocolate ganache. The huge terrace has an unparalleled view of the IJ river. This urban oasis features palm trees alongside tables draped with white linen. As the weather gets colder, a crackling fire will welcome you inside. 56




The comfortable, 60s-meets-classic interior provides the backdrop to the feeling that you’re sitting right there in the chef ’s own kitchen, a lively experience and an illustration of the hospitable, welcoming staff. The ever-changing menu is inspired by French–Flanders cuisine. We wholeheartedly recommend the unbeatable house specialty, the rotisserie chicken. This is the place to go if you are looking to savor good, honest food during a fun night out with friends.


Guts & Glory

Centered around a new theme every three months, the chef ’s menu is an absolute treat for your taste buds and a feast for your eyes. Each culinary “chapter” is the result of an exploration of authentic flavors, laced with signature style and creativity. Special requests are hospitably met by the very kind staff. The warm, contemporary setting and relaxed atmosphere make for the perfect evening out.

photo rijsel: janus van den eijnden



Located on the northern banks of the IJ river, we discovered the former Stork factory, now turned into a restaurant that focuses on serving beautiful fresh fish as part of delectably prepared dishes. The industrial, spacious setting with exposed brick walls creates a distinctly warehouse-cool style. The waterfront venue has a large terrace – perfect to enjoy your gourmet catch of the day in summer with a delightful view of the boats sailing by.






This restaurant, which was recently awarded a Michelin star, is connected to the Rijksmuseum and as such, it exudes the shared values of authenticity, quality, uniqueness, and simplicity. Dutch tastes are served in an innovative concept of new cuisine from the Low Countries, characterized by the pureness of Dutch products. Chef Joris Bijdendijk is inspired by local Dutch ingredients and often uses the international flavors that have influenced Dutch cuisine.

SEASON’S BEST Le Restaurant


In the trendy De Pijp neighborhood, this Michelin-starred restaurant follows the cycle of the seasons to serve set menus consisting of the most creative culinary experiences. Various kinds of fresh seafood, meat and poultry, vegetables and herbs are sourced daily. The modern, warm ambiance and use of natural materials are a reflection of the focus on French cuisine, always with a personal twist. When making a reservation, we recommend asking for a table at one of the cozy booths.


This spacious waterfront restaurant with its unique views of the IJ river combines fine dining and an atmospheric décor. French–international cuisine made with pure ingredients and seasonal products create flavorful, exceptionally presented dishes. The place of choice for wine and food lovers, it’s the first restaurant in the world to have been presented with two prestigious awards in a single year: a Michelin star and the Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence. What are you waiting for? 58


AFTERNOON INDULGENCES Amsterdam is infused with international charisma. This is also reflected in its wide variety of bistros and lunchrooms. From American to Italian cuisine, Dutch bitterballen and posh afternoon teas, you’ll find yourself spoiled for choice. This is an insiders’ selection of not-to-be-missed venues. Words: Catharine Winter



Superbly situated in Amsterdam’s green heart, the Vondelpark, this majestic location is the perfect spot after an early morning stroll — whether you’re desperately in need of a caffeine shot to recharge your batteries, or just wanting to grab a quick lunch. Of course, we highly recommend you relax on the beautiful terrace, when the weather allows, though sitting inside won’t be a punishment. With a color palette of white, beige, brown and copper you’ll experience a homely atmosphere.

photo zuid: jaap beyleveld



From coffee to champagne, for a casual or truly celebratory lunch, restaurant Zuid is your new go-to spot in the southern part of Amsterdam. Its cozy and stylish ambiance with dark mint-green, grey, brown and gold dominating the color palette will surprise you. On the menu, you’ll find both classic and innovative dishes, all created with the no-nonsense approach Chef Michiel van der Eerde is known for!




Located in a former warehouse, Bak overlooks the water in what used to be Amsterdamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s timber port, Houthaven. High-quality products from passionate farmers, sustainable fisheries and local producers are used to create innovative, ethical dishes. Pure, natural flavors are offered in a relaxed atmosphere. The wine list, primarily composed of Italian and French wines, showcases lesser-known grapes and regions, with exciting and original choices. Please note, for lunch Bak is only open on Saturdays and Sundays.




De Taart Van M’n Tante

In the heart of the hustle and bustle of De Pijp, this colorful vintage-style café is the most fun place to indulge in a firstclass afternoon tea or coffee break. We love the eclectic, intimate atmosphere. With all the delicious homemade sweet and savory pies on offer, you may find it difficult to pick only one, but in our humble opinion, the Swedish Princess cake is the ultimate choice.


Het Kleinste Huis

Only in Amsterdam will you get a chance to have your afternoon tea in the private setting of the city’s smallest self-contained house, dating back to 1738. Seating is limited to only five people at a time. Enjoy exclusive tea tastings coupled with homemade delicacies, served by staff who are as passionate about the city as they are about tea. We assure you this will be an experience to remember. Reservations are highly recommended.


De Wasserette

We love the delightful buzz of this café, located in a former laundromat just next to the lively Albert Cuyp Market. In a distinctly industrial yet warm atmosphere, this is the place to go for that gourmet cup of coffee with a delicious afternoon treat. The super friendly staff and yummy freshness of everything on the menu are a huge part of why this is such a popular hotspot.



WHEN IN AMSTERDAM A melting pot of Dutch civilization and multicultural society, Amsterdam sets itself apart from the rest of the Netherlands. Traditional as well as diverse, historic as well as innovative, the charismatic locals of this extraordinary city of contradictions live by a set of unwritten rules that are entirely their own. Words: Catharine Winter TYPICAL AMSTERDAM While the Dutch people are generally reserved and tend to value their privacy, the people of Amsterdam are quite the opposite. They are known for and take pride in their liberal spirit, open-minded attitude and tolerant, outgoing nature. You will encounter a strong sense of live-and-let-live, experimental trendsetting fashion statements and an overall inclination to go against the grain. As such, the locals embrace the fact that people may be into prostitution, soft drugs and pornography; it is only human. They actually enjoy the candor of it all. If you bear this in mind when you visit the Red Light District, it will offer a different perspective on the whole experience. Most of the colorful action takes place around 11pm, when the district is swarming with crowds and the red neon lights illuminate the canals. It is strictly forbidden to take pictures or film the ladies sitting behind their windows. It is disrespectful, and you risk having your camera thrown into a canal.

DRESS CODE Amsterdam street fashion ranges from functional clothing to the most extravagant looks you could possibly imagine. Everything goes. Blend in, go shopping in one of the many (vintage!) shops to highlight your own individual personality and add to the eclectic mix. Oh, and bring rain gear and a sturdy umbrella, just in case. WINING AND DINING As a general rule, if you are looking for proper customer service, you may want to steer clear of tourist traps. Instead, make the most of the unlimited, globe-spanning array of unique dining experiences that Amsterdam has to offer. You will need to ask for the bill when you are ready to leave. The server expects you to indicate that you are done. Gratuity is usually included, but it is not uncommon to round up a bill to the nearest whole euro or up to 10% if you are particularly pleased with your service. Tipping is certainly appreciated, but the servers 62

in Amsterdam don’t rely on your tips to pay their rent. Further, individual tips won’t necessarily improve your server’s attentiveness, as tips usually go into a shared pot. SOCIAL INTERACTION If your cultural background stipulates politically correct communication, meeting someone from the Netherlands might come as somewhat of a shock. They may seem overly direct and even downright rude at times. Yet in line with their authentic nature, locals would describe themselves as honest and frank, rather than disrespectful. They say it like it is to do you a favor; they don’t beat around the bush or tone things down. What you see is what you get, and there is no hidden agenda to worry about. A refreshing thought! AMSTERDAM DO’S Amsterdam is a veritable maze of characteristic canals and bridges. Immerse yourself in the unforgettable experience, and don’t


be afraid to get lost. The friendly locals, many expats, and even other tourists will be more than happy to help you find your way. You will be surprised to find that nearly everybody in Amsterdam speaks English. Also, rent a bike; it’s how locals get around and the ultimate way to discover Amsterdam. You will find that road rules in Amsterdam are all in favor of cyclists. There are special bike lanes, often reddish in color, and pedestrians would be well advised to avoid them. AMSTERDAM DON’TS Cyclists are the kings of the road in Amsterdam, but there are a number of strict

“If your cultural background stipulates politically correct communication, meeting someone from the Netherlands might come as somewhat of a shock” unwritten rules about cycling that you need to know about. The cardinal rule is not to hesitate; that’s when accidents happen. Go with the flow and speed of those around you. Others will navigate around you as long as you move in a predictable manner. Do not slow down or change direction unexpectedly. Also, do NOT ring the bell on 63

your bike in an effort to be jolly. It will not be appreciated. Similarly, when someone else rings their bell at you, they are not being friendly; they’re telling you to get out of the way. Apart from the many bikes you will notice in Amsterdam, make sure to also watch out for the trams. They often appear out of nowhere. —




SLA Utrechtsestraat

Organic salads, fresh juices, nutritious soups and wholesome snacks, all plant-based with no cow’s milk or refined sugar; this is one of the best places to go for that super-healthy meal. The menu changes with the season, and the incredibly fresh ingredients are locally sourced. The ambiance is hip and homey, featuring a signature greenhouse. We particularly like that you can design your own salads according to your individual preferences.



In an effort to resemble food meccas like London’s Borough Market, Amsterdam has its own unique collection of 20 carefully selected culinary options. Set in a renovated old tram depot, the atmosphere is industrial cool with perfectly preserved historic elements. The buzzy vibe is awesome. Foodies will find their international food porn here, with something delicious for every taste, ranging from Michelin-star dishes to street food and from organic vegetarian sushi to renowned specialty hamburgers.

Little Collins

This restaurant in the lively De Pijp neighborhood is a real tribute to the Australian owner’s hometown of Melbourne. We love the welcoming café atmosphere, and service always comes with a smile. Don’t be fooled by the no-nonsense interior; the focus is clearly on fresh ingredients and exciting flavors. The tuna ceviche is one of our all-time favorites, and you must try the phenomenal Yuzu Posset with rhubarb jam for dessert. 64


SPECTACULAR NIGHTLIFE Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s safe to say that Amsterdam is one of the best cities in the world to have a memorable night out. Visit the most exclusive cocktail bars and have the most insane clubbing experiences. There is something to suit every taste. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve made a selection of some spectacularly original venues. Words: Catharine Winter


Bar Botanique

Experience a welcoming vibe and tropical atmosphere in the multicultural surroundings of Amsterdam East. The botanical sensation is created by a predominantly green setting, enriched with playful accents of color, a warm wooden floor and soft velvet touches. Plants, mirrors and creative light fixtures create dramatic shadows as the sun goes down. We recommend their excellent selection of gin and tonics to complement the unique ambiance at this local venue away from the tourists.


Oedipus Brewing

In celebration of all the good things in life, this laidback venue centers around the creation of various kinds of craft beer. Discover its unique energy in an abundance of flavors, colors, fun, adventure and togetherness at the brewery in Amsterdam North. Tantalize your taste buds with a beer that seems to have been created just for you. We promise that the uplifting backdrop of music, art and laughter will make your day.




We can best describe the creative and exotic cocktails that are served at this bar as a global celebration, highlighting the beauty and uniqueness of the different continents, with delicious bites to match. The inviting intimacy of this elegant venue is luxurious yet casual. The transparent bar, folded steel staircase and subtle lighting all add to the sophistication of the chic space. Live inhouse DJs on weekends enhance the exclusive vibe. 66



Stuyvesant Wijnlokaal

The historic 16th-century West-Indisch Huis is located on the trendy Haarlemmerstraat, directly behind the canals. You can sample more than 100 wines here, including some well-kept secrets. The knowledgeable sommelier is always happy to recommend the best wine to pair with your meal. We love the exciting location, impressive bar and orange plush velvet in old-world surroundings. It’s just the right place for a voyage of discovery into the world of wines.


The Tailor

Considering the pride this establishment takes in their bespoke cocktails, it’s no wonder they were presented with the prestigious Red & Grey Best Hotel Bar Award in 2017. The elegance and sophistication of the custom-made drinks, handmade liquors, exclusive bitters and innovative infusions are mirrored by the interior of the bar, featuring the subtle use of stitches, buttons, vintage mannequins and a mixture of fabrics, representative of the expertise of a historic clothier.


Door 74

The first speakeasy-style cocktail bar in the Netherlands, this quaint yet sophisticated bar is on the list of the world’s best, and it’s easy to see why. Behind a hidden door, you’ll find a warm and intimate atmosphere, enhanced by the dark-brown hues, antique barware and tin ceiling. Enthusiastic bartenders serve experimental as well as classic cocktails. Our insiders’ tip: call ahead to get your seat at the bar or in one of the booths.



COFFEE TALK What started as a side job in college soon evolved into a real passion. When Francesco Grassotti worked as a barista, he became so eager to learn about the process of making coffee that he decided to leave school to focus his full attention on coffee. Many years later, he’s become a true coffee master! Interview: Ferdy Veerman Just after Fransesco – co-owner of White Label Coffee – moved to Amsterdam for a new adventure, he fell in love with the diversity of the Dutch capital. What does he like so much about the city? Its contradictions: “It’s a big city, always on the go. On the other hand, it feels very small. Within an hour you can reach every single area here by bike.” We met with Fransesco to talk about coffee, the city of Amsterdam and, course, his favorite coffee spots in town.

As you said, Amsterdam is relatively small but still has a variety of diverse neighborhoods. Which is your favorite? I really love West, especially the Baarsjes area. In addition to the fact that our coffee bar is located there, I also live in the Baarsjes. This means I rarely get out of the neighborhood. I like the cultural diversity it has to offer. I can easily spend hours staring out the window at the variety of people who pass by. Amsterdam is being gentrified

Francesco Grassotti


a bit at the moment, and to me that mainly has disadvantages. Life and the different population groups seem to be more balanced in the Baarsjes than in other parts of Amsterdam. How did your passion for coffee evolve? I used to drink a lot of espressos in various places, and once one of the baristas noticed that I had stopped bringing my girlfriend. We had a good connection, mainly because his relationship had just fallen apart too. We became friends, and when there was a vacancy at his coffee bar, I immediately got the job. He taught me all the tricks of the coffee-making trade and how to be a good barista. I got inspired by coffee and wanted to learn more about it, so I moved to Amsterdam. And then you started your own business in Amsterdam? No, first I worked in a coffee place there. Later, my employer decided to roast the coffee himself and involved me in the process from the start. I learned a lot. A few years later, a colleague told me that he was going to start his own business. I was very happy for him but also somewhat jealous. That had always been a dream of mine, but I didn’t have the financial means to do it on my own. A week later he asked if I wanted to become his business partner. Of course, I didn’t have to think twice.


You mentioned that you learned a lot from your friend about hospitality. What makes a good barista? A good barista understands everything about coffee and the equipment to make it. But I think it might be just as important that the barista understands the guest. I think it’s important that people feel welcome at a coffee bar. Sometimes that means you talk extensively about processes or about certain recipes of brewed coffee, but often a guest just wants a nice coffee and a conversation. Having someone feel at home is just as important as being able to adjust your coffee grinder well. For the hobby baristas among us, what basic rule should we all know about? Coffee is a natural product and reacts with oxygen. After roasting coffee, it can only be stored for a short time before the flavors and aromas start to disappear. If you grind coffee, you accelerate this process exponentially. Always buy coffee as fresh as possible and always unground. Have a grinder at home and grind the beans just before you make the coffee.

photo’s: milan hofmans

What is the biggest misconception about coffee? I’m not sure if I would call it a misconception, but what people often do not know is that coffee is a fruit. Coffee beans come from cherry-like berries with relatively little flesh and a big kernel – actually, two big seeds. These kernels are dried and roasted, and that’s how coffee beans are processed. People associate coffee with bitterness, but because it’s a fruit, it is actually sweet and fruity and has sour notes. Most of the bitterness that people expect comes from the roasting process, particularly when it’s done incorrectly. We always try to avoid bitterness. Besides having your own coffee bar, you also make your own coffee. In layman’s terms, how is the coffee made? It’s all pretty simple. You grow some coffee plants. Berries start to grow and when they are ripe, you pick them. Sometimes you soak the berries, sometimes you ferment them, but in the end you let the seeds dry for a

White Label Coffee

“We focus on what we find great; we make coffee that we like. We never compare ourselves with our fellow roasters. We just work on our own thing” few days in the sun. You peel off the outer layers of the kernels until only the real, inner kernel remains. You roast this in a revolving hot air oven. Grind, brew and enjoy! What makes White Label Coffee so special? I always find this a very difficult question to answer. We focus on what we find great; we make coffee that we like. We never compare ourselves with our fellow roasters. We just work on our own thing. What others often say about us is that they think it’s cool that we have so many different types of coffee. At the moment we offer 10 different coffees that we roast for espresso and filter. What I find very nice is that we’re not focused 69

solely on sales. Of course, we like to roast as much coffee as possible for as many customers as possible, but we mainly focus on the product and its quality. Besides your own coffee bar, what are your favorite coffee places in town? There are dozens of places in Amsterdam where I like to drink coffee, so it is quite difficult to pinpoint a favorite spot. Here are my top three in no particular order: Cafe Keppler on the Van der Plekplein in Amsterdam North, Black Gold on Korte Koningstraat in the center and Toki on Binnendommerstraat in West. Lastly, where can we try your coffee in Amsterdam? You can get White Label Coffee at our coffee bar on Jan Evertsenstraat in de Baarsjes. Also, dozens of other places in and outside of Amsterdam serve our coffee. A few examples are Choux, Black Gold, CT Coffee & Coconuts, Cafe Modern, Monk, School of Life, Parallel, Ship Camel, The School, Bar Kauffmann, Tolbar, Lille, Volkshotel, Cafe Ruig, Cafe Struik and many others! —




Left: Hermès Silk Sea, Surf and Fun Scarf 90, designed by Filipe Jardim

3 SHOPPING PARADISE Amsterdam has a worldwide reputation for its excellent shopping. This is not just due to the sheer quantity of shops but, more importantly, their diversity, the many groundbreaking local designers and the distinctive settings. Words: Catharine Winter Leading national and international luxury brands can be found on P.C. Hooftstraat, which has been an exclusive shopping destination for decades. If you’re into quaint vintage shops and cozy lunchrooms, we wholeheartedly recommend the genuine charm of the Nine Streets shopping area. An eclectic mix of shops can also be found on Utrechtsestraat, which starts at the Rembrandtplein and crosses Amsterdam’s famous canals. On the edge of Dam Square, you will find the glorious department store de Bijenkorf, with its selection of premium-quality housewares, designer shoes, latest fashion trends and stylish shopin-shops. With something to suit every taste, we’ve pulled together your must-visit shopping guide. 71



SHOPPING AREAS From luxurious to local, it is with great pleasure that we reveal our best-kept Amsterdam shopping secrets. Here you’ll find everything from the most inspiring areas to the newest hotspots and must-visit classics. Find your all-time fashion favorites and ultimate holiday souvenirs and gifts in the fashion capital of the Netherlands. Words: Catharine Winter, Raquel Remondo Gomez


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This is the home of the largest premium department store in the Netherlands, de Bijenkorf. This ultimate shopping paradise offers 21,000 square meters of luxuriously styled fashion, designer, beauty and luxury departments. We can’t get enough of the marble interior and designer shop-in-shops featuring the world’s most exclusive brands such as Louis Vuitton, Hermès and Gucci.

Gucci and splurge on a pair of glitzy, handmade shoes to match at Jimmy Choo. Shopped till you dropped? We’d recommend enjoying a perfect latte macchiato at Café Georgette, where you might spot some Dutch or international celebrities. 72







UTRECHTSESTRAAT, AROUND THE CORNER FROM REMBRANDTPLEIN, HAS BEEN A SHOPPING S T R E E T F O R O V E R A H U N D R E D Y E A R S . Just strolling around either location looking at four hundred years of architectural styles is an exciting adventure in itself. Once inside the buildings you can delight in many of life’s stylish pleasures, from designer and vintage clothing to handmade shoes and bags. Make sure not to miss Didato or Fred de la Bretoniere & Shabbies when you’re visiting this eclectic street.

A STONE’S THROW FROM DE BIJENKORF ON DAM SQUARE YOU’LL FIND A SET OF NINE STREETS THAT POE TICALLY BLEND 17 TH-CENTURY DYNAMICS WITH SOPHISTICATED MODERN COMMERCE. Cobble-stoned, boutique-lined and effortlessly stylish, these streets are packed with small, unique and above all independent shops. Our advice? Pick up a pair of minimalist stylish sunglasses at Ace & Tate, find luxury fashion at Van Ravenstein and recharge yourself with a perfectly made lunch at JANSZ Restaurant!










find the coolest little boutiques and coziest modern cafes. Walk from Singel to Haarlemmerstraat and continue onto Haarlemmerdijk. Busy with cars, bicycles and pedestrians, locals consider the Haarlemmerbuurt area as a place to discover that small village feel. Admire the view (and beautiful sunsets) at the Eenhoornsluis and make a little detour south to walk along the gorgeous Brouwersgracht canal.

you’ll find the Cornelis Schuytstraat, situated in Amsterdam’s southern district. We frequently join the upper class for a cup of coffee at brasserie De Joffers among the beautiful trees and amazing selection of exclusive fashion stores, small designer boutiques and trendy shops. Be sure to visit this charming street where you might spot some of Amsterdam’s most extravagant cars. 73


SPECIALTY SHOPS Amsterdam’s shopping scene is brimming with real connoisseurs and collectors. Whether they have an eye for vintage gems or a knack for crafting chic leather jackets, all their products come with a great story and can be found in unique settings around the city. Here’s our roundup of Amsterdam’s finest specialty stores. Words: Veerle van den Brink, Raquel Remondo Gomez


Denham the Jeanmaker

Founded in Amsterdam by English jeans craftsman Jason Denham, Denham the Jeanmaker is the go-to brand for premium-quality denim. We love a good pair of jeans; they’re perfect for cycling and Dutch weather. Visiting the Denham stores is entering a denim atelier full of unique details, from recycled and reclaimed furnishings to the iconic scissor art. The stores on Runstraat (for women) and Prinsensgracht (for men) offer a full range of collections.


Amsterdam Vintage Watches

When it comes to exclusive vintage timepieces and their restoration or maintenance, Amsterdam Vintage Watches is a worldwide favorite among connoisseurs and collectors. Since 1987, the family has been conducting their business in a historic building on Singel that is the perfect architectural match for their vintage watches from makers like Rolex, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Breitling. We know watch lovers will unquestionably enjoy the intimate antique interior, vintage timepieces in excellent condition and various lifestyle products.




Behold, the shop of all shops for refined heritage goods: Concrete Matter. You wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t find any trendy throwaway items here. Instead, this store offers a range of iconic treasures that pair timeless design with fantastic materials. Unleash your inner James Dean with classic curiosities like beard oil, handmade flasks or fountain pens. Or delight in the handpicked workwear jackets, retro hats and superior army gear.




Spending a whole week working on each pair of men’s shoes, Jacob Lesman guarantees his customers both quality and authenticity. Each pair of men’s shoes in his collection is unique and authentically made in Amsterdam. Lesman’s signature touches include the use of exotic leathers for the shoe itself and luxurious materials like satinwood, walnut and horn for the heel. Located on the hip and happening Nieuwe Spiegelstraat, this store is the culmination of pure, handmade craftsmanship.




L’Etoile de Saint Honoré

L’Etoile de Saint Honoré is a true candy store for vintage bag lovers. The store is scattered around the center of Amsterdam and Nine Streets area with three locations, each as quaint as the other. Here vintage is a real luxury, with beautiful time-honored bags from iconic designer labels like Chanel, Burberry, Hermès and many more. We’ve got our eye out for a classic Louis Vuitton travel bag. You’ll tell us when you’ve spotted one, right?



Nothing says rock ‘n’ roll sophistication quite like a Goosecraft leather jacket. The Amsterdam-based brand recently opened its own flagship store in the chic Pijp area on Gerard Doustraat. Rebellious by nature, the brand has dominated the leather scene with lush and lasting garments for several years now. Each piece is equally timeless and on-trend, whether it’s a warm shearling coat, classic shoulder bag or a pair of refined Chelsea boots.


Dr. Martens

Initially worn by mail carriers and police officers, comfortable and durable Dr. Martens have become a favorite among creatives through the years, and we can’t say we’re surprised. All the shoes come with the famous yellow stitch, and the simple silhouette allows you to customize each pair to your own style. Visit their latest shop and see the brand’s striking design philosophy for yourself. To give each store a different look and feel, they collaborate with local rebellious artists.




On the lovely Berenstraat we always make sure to visit Mendo, a unique bookstore made ofâ&#x20AC;Ś books! The walls are constructed out of thousands of black Mendo books, creating an intimate setting full of bookish eye candy. Book aficionados will be more than satisfied with the broad selection in the fashion, photography, interior and lifestyle collection and the unique limited editions. This store can only leave you inspired â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and probably with a book or two in your shopping bag.



FLEXIBLE DESIGNS Based on the question why you should settle for one thing, when you can also mix and match, Amsterdam-born designer Debora Huisman-Leeser started Choices by DL back in 2008. This quality jewelry brand perfectly enables you to express your creativity through switchable items: from rings and bangles to earrings and cufflinks. Based on a 3 steps process — you chose the base and then the frame in white, yellow or rose gold and additionally pick one (or two!) of the many available colors precious gemstones — combining the endless variations of Choices by DL with any outfit won’t be a problem. In Amsterdam, you can customize your own jewelry item in the Choices by DL Flagship store, to be found in the ‘diamond cutting factory’ of Gassan Diamonds. —



A L O C A L’ S GUIDE Early in life, Tanne Gielen found herself under the spell of fashion and design. Studying at the Design Academy she mastered product design and aesthetics, then worked as PR manager for Hugo Boss, and currently is an editor for L’Officiel. So, who better to ask about what’s hot-and-happening in Amsterdam? Interview: Ferdy Veerman Originally from Tilburg in Brabant, which is in the south of the Netherlands, it was in Eindhoven where she studied at the Design Academy. While she was already eager as a small child to live in Amsterdam, it wasn’t until she was 28 that she moved to the Dutch capital. “I moved to Amsterdam mostly because of the architecture, its urban layout, the vibe of the city, the many cultures. It is always bustling in the Dutch capital, although there are also many quiet areas. It is an international city but feels like a village. Those contradictions really appeal to me.” she tells us.

How did your passion for fashion and design evolve? Tell us all about it. I have always had a great love for design. From utensils to architecture to fashion, material, shape and color, I am visually oriented and have always focused on the aesthetics of a product. I take pleasure in seeing a well-designed pair of scissors as well as an immense building where the architect plays with space and proportions. I find the impact of design on people fascinating. Design plays a big role in my life. I never just buy something; it also has to be functional. If a product I see doesn’t meet my standards, I will search until I find the best designed option. It’s very exhausting!

Tanne Gielen

Are there any exciting projects you are currently involved in? As a freelancer, I currently work as a fashion and design editor for the fashion magazine L’Officiel and L’Officiel Hommes. It’s wonderful to be a professional involved in the fashion and design industry here. I think it’s fantastic to write about these topics. I also make collages that I don’t dare show anyone. Okay, that’s a lie. I’ve been making them very rarely lately, but every week I intend to pick it up again. 80

A few must-do activities when visiting Amsterdam? Amsterdam has a number of great museums of high international value! Make sure to visit at least one. The Rijksmuseum, FOAM, the Stedelijk, the Hermitage, they’re all impressive in their own way. Furthermore, I always advise everyone to walk along the canals and to go and see Amsterdam North. This district has a completely unique atmosphere: industrial, creative and no-nonsense. Oh, and walk from the Jodenbreestraat along Artis towards the Tropenmuseum. Don’t ask me why, but it always makes me very happy. About the Dutch and fashion – what characterizes fashion here? I tend to be skeptical about the Dutch and their fashion but have recently decided to stop doing that. Yes, most people here dress practically and unobtrusively, but I have to admit that in Amsterdam I have increasingly spotted interesting types with their own style and identity. That Calvinistic character seems to be slowly disappearing, and I am happy with that! I don’t think you can ever be overdressed. You will never spot me without bright pink lipstick and heels.


Are there any Dutch fashion designers we should know about? Aside from fashion designers Viktor & Rolf, who are artistically really great, the designers I personally love work in interior design, such as Richard Hutten and Jurgen Bey. And further back in time, Gerrit Rietveld. His influence on the modern design culture that we know now should not be underestimated. I also like designers such as Benno Premsela and Anthon Beeke, who is the husband of Lidewij Edelkoort – a Dutch trend forecaster in the field of design. I must say, the Dutch are world leaders in design and interior. We can be immensely proud of that!



What would be your favorite shopping area in town? That’s a tough one. I consciously try to avoid big chains and support local independent stores (I have to admit, de Bijenkorf is an exception). I usually go to certain areas because there is a specific store where I like to shop around. For interiors I like Hôtel Droog, The Frozen Fountain and Edha. For fashion you’ll find me at Almost Not Done, Van Ravenstein and Salon Heleen Hülsmann – really interesting stuff there!


Best men’s stores to be found in Amsterdam? I like The Pelican Studio. You’ll find a nice casual atmosphere and good selection of (affordable!) fashion. And Unrecorded, an Amsterdam label with sustainable basics. Go to Cowboys to Catwalk if you like luxury fashion. It’s a great store for brave men with guts who go for beautiful, timeless designs. Dries van Noten, Raf Simons and Lemaire – they can all be found here under one roof. Which shops are a true mecca for shoe lovers? I have a weakness for shoes, so I browse a lot of places to find the most beautiful ones. Oddly enough I often buy them abroad. But in Amsterdam, Luuks (for Maison Margiela and Ann Demeulemeester) and de Bijenkorf are my go-to spots for shoes. And finally, what should we bring home as a souvenir? I send everyone to Hôtel Droog. There you will find designs from Droog Design, the conceptual Dutch design collective. It’s


typical Dutch design and therefore a great reminder of your trip to Amsterdam. The same goes for X-bank, a Dutch design mecca with a focus on fashion. Oh, and don’t forget to bring home some cheese from Kef! It’s extraordinary how nice it is. You won’t find better in the city. — 81

Chair by Gerrit Rietveld

“Walk from the Jodenbreestraat along Artis towards the Tropenmuseum. Don’t ask me why, but it always makes me very happy”


We’re sure you have a busy schedule during your stay in Amsterdam, but there is no need to worry – we’ve selected some of this season’s finest goods to be discovered. The only thing we ask is to make sure to leave some space in your suitcase, okay? Amsterdam’s preferred Dutch design concept store Memento offers a unique variety of design must-haves, from lighting and accessories to travel essentials – all designed and crafted by local designers. Current location: Prinsengracht 234, Amsterdam.

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14 15 1 Van Tjalle en Jasper, Chicken-Spot 2 TWO-O, Wooden Cap 3 Trobla, Wooden Amplifier 4 Wooden Amsterdam, Amsterdam Canal House 5 Dick Moby, AMS Sunglasses 6 Stoned, Marble Pink Spice Bowls 7 Cloudnola, Glam Copper 8 Veloretti, Copper Bell 9 AGNE K., Ceramics 10 Pig and Hen, Limp Lee Bracelet 11 LEFF Amsterdam, Tube Watch D42 12 Mendo, Depart 13 Teastreet, Cool Mint 14 O MY BAG Amsterdam, Mauâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Backpack 15 Mendo, The Workshop 16 Walter Wallet, Aluminium

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FASHIONABLE STORES Hopefully you’ve left some space in your suitcase for all the goodies you’ll bring home after your trip to Amsterdam. Eclectic glamour or clean minimalist wear are only a few of the styles the capital’s boutiques have to offer. We’ve selected our favorite shops in Amsterdam just for you, each one an excellent option in its own right. Words: Veerle van den Brink, Raquel Remondo Gomez, Ferdy Veerman


Fabienne Chapot

Founded by the super creative Fabienne Chapot, this shop is guaranteed to brighten your day. It’s like a little paradise of whimsical prints and eclectic colors tucked away in the famous Nine Streets area. The collection brings in a summery breeze of sultry old-school glamour, revamping classic garments and leather goods with a fun attitude. Think loafers adorned with lobsters, lazy lagoon maxi dresses and quirky revamps of luxurious leather goods. If this won’t have you craving summer, we don’t know what will.


Samsøe & Samsøe

Add Copenhagen street style to the typical Scandinavian spirit and you get the much-admired international fashion house Samsøe & Samsøe. Their store, based in the cozy Wolvenstraat, has a beautiful Scandinavian interior and focuses on contemporary clothes, footwear and accessories for men and women. We like to come here for the Scandinavian simplicity: timeless, functional and sophisticated designs that can easily dress you up from day to night. Sunday in Brooklyn 84



There’s no place quite like Droog to get your design dosage for the day (or month). This contemporary haven is hidden away in an astounding 17th-century building right in the center of Amsterdam. Its playful modern interior is a perfect match for the cutting-edge, drool-worthy garments by the newest wave of Dutch designers like Fien Ploeger, as well as high-end fashion masterpieces. After you’re done shopping there’s nothing like a stroll in their fairy tale garden to unwind.



MIAMI FEELINGS The Pelican Studio

Inspired by Miami, the Pelican Studio offers clothing, shoes, accessories, jewelry, perfumes and beauty products from a variety of European fashion brands, all set within an inspiring, minimal and colorful interior. Though it’s hidden on one of Amsterdam’s less fashion-dominated streets, the store’s unique and constantly varying collections, along with the good coffee, make for an exciting experience. Don’t forget to stop in at their additional pop-up store, where you might run into the work of Amsterdam’s future super designer. 86



Van Woustraat


If you didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t believe in retail therapy before, you will now. Hutspot truly has it all. The creative hub on Van Woustraat and Rozengracht has a great eye for urban goods, resulting in a superb collection of independent brands and artists. The store is stocked with a refreshing range of clothes, unique gifts and homeware. When we visited, the minimalistic sunglasses of Komono and stylish desk accessories by Misc. made it to the top of our wish list. 87




HOPE is a Swedish label, and true to its Scandinavian roots, they’ve injected some minimalist luxury into Hartenstraat (and soon, your closet). The store itself breathes a stylish and clean design, inspired by the Swedish interior designer Axel Einar Hjorth, and reflects the elegant simplicity of the garments. Offering a range of well-made essentials, this brand transforms a tailored aesthetic with a daring approach to designs that can be worn by both men and women.


Essentiel Antwerp

If you are looking for refreshing, luxurious and accessible fashion, Essentiel Antwerp is the perfect choice. The international Belgian fashion brand is renowned for its graphic and floral prints and trendy mixes of color for both men and women. Shopping in one of their intimate Amsterdam stores immediately feels like home to us. Enjoy the custom-tailored service and get inspired by the collection’s unexpected color palettes and perfectly displayed compositions.



If you ask us, everyone should have at least one pair of handmade Italian shoes in their collection, if not more. For the perfect find, we’d advise you to pay a visit to one of Tod’s uber-chic boutiques in Amsterdam and look out for their iconic Gommino collection. Combining history and tradition with timeless designs, their skilled artisans make sure you’ll enjoy your pair for many years to come.




Unrecorded is the brainchild of two Amsterdam-based creatives. The young label crafts clothing that withstands the test of time with enduring quality and a no-frills attitude. They work with the finest fabric suppliers and leading ateliers in Europe, ensuring that each product is crafted ethically. And now for the cherry on top â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the prices are pretty much revolutionary. Who said you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have that irresistibly soft sweater in two colors?



MUST- HAVES FOR THE STYLISH TRAVELER AT AMSTERDAM AIRPORT SCHIPHOL Some are just too beautiful to miss, some add an extra oomph to your travel look and others open up new realms in the world of design. You guessed it: we’re talking stylish travel must-haves! From high-end designer products to Dutch heritage brands, these luxury goods from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol will fuel your wanderlust and help you arrive in style.

A JAMES BOND FAVORITE DUTCH COURAGE V2C Gin — No compromises and no shortcuts, V2C Gin is gin as it should be. Created by four friends from Amsterdam who share a collective passion for gin, this blend is as classic and timeless as it gets. V2C is made from the freshest botanicals from all around the world. Classic gin ingredients such as juniper, angelica and orange are subtly spiced with coriander, cardamom, lemon and ginger. 90

Omega Seamaster — With famous wearers including Prince William, Joe Biden and 007 himself, the Omega Seamaster is rightfully considered a classic among watches. Designed to be water resistant up to 1,200 meters, the Seamaster is well loved by divers and sailors alike. But even if you don’t consider yourself an adventurous water explorer, this watch will surely impress you with its ruggedly elegant look. The Seamaster Aqua Terra is a superb tribute to the original Seamaster, which dates back to 1984, in a perfect combination between heritage and modernity.



ICONIC BLUE Royal Delft Peacock Vase — Few crafted designs are more iconic than the striking blue and white of Delft pottery. Delftware certainly ranks up there in the top collector’s items when it comes to ceramics. The place to be for this Chinese porcelain-inspired eye candy? Royal Delft, without a doubt. Established in 1653, this is the last remaining Delft Blue factory from the Golden Age. The pottery is still entirely hand painted according to centuries-old traditions. A trademark on the bottom of every piece ensures its authenticity – you’re dealing with the real stuff here.

Giorgio Armani Si Passione — The red lip effect in a bottle? That’s Armani’s Sì Passione for you. Bright and sensual, this perfume combines a fruity cocktail of spicy pink pepper, pear and juicy blackcurrant with a feminine flower bouquet of rose and jasmine. Cedarwood and woody amber finish off this passionate scent, giving it maturity and character. According to Armani, the master himself, this uncompromising scent in a gorgeous red bottle is inspired by a confident woman who dares to say yes. A confidence booster if there ever was one!

ITALIAN EYE CANDY Furla Handbag — Need a new bag obsession? Furla might just do the trick. The 90-year-old Italian accessories brand produces bags that look like, well, candy. Smoothly polished and finished in a vivid array of colors (cotton candy pink and dazzling orange!), these handbags are absolute attention grabbers. What’s more, they’re made from 100% Italian leather, assuring top notch quality. Yes, sometimes happiness does come in a bag.

Schiphol has a staggering range of items and brands – from Gucci to Omega, and Hermès to Furla. It’s more than just an airport: you have everything in one unique and extraordinary place. Visit for more information: 91


4 EXPERIENCE DESIGN Design is often perceived as highend, an upper-level luxury meant only for the rich. We believe, though, that design is for everyone. Words: Raquel Remondo Gomez Design is not something you buy; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s something you experience. We would like to share this vision with you as you walk down the streets of Amsterdam. In this section we gladly introduce you to our carefully selected design favorites: items to be enjoyed simply by looking at them, places you can visit to feel their design while having a coffee and shops that present design in their own individual way. So, look up at the buildings, visit the many museums and even check out the people of Amsterdam who are known for their unconventional and stylized looks. The only thing you have to do is be open to the experience. 92





FROM When the Dutch are involved, you know innovation is around the corner. Dutch design is adored all around the globe because of its minimalistic, experimental and sometimes quirky style. Here we highlight some of the finest examples, all meant to inspire and made by local talent!


Words: Ferdy Veerman

BACK TO THE ROOTS As a child, Jonael van der Sloot used to live on a biodynamic farm in Argentina and later moved to Chile, where he was surrounded by 50 hectares of forest. Now the owner of Spruitje, Van der Sloot became fascinated by nature at an early age. One of his latest creations, the Green Dexter, focuses on roots, the often forgotten but beautiful parts of plants. All woodworks are made from trees from Amsterdam, and thus every Green Dexter is truly one of a kind.



SHINY IMPERFECTIONS Authentic and rough, all the pieces from StigerWoods come with knots, cracks and veins. All these imperfections are a key factor in the work of Amsterdam-based artist and founder Martijn Smulders. In the process of making a StigerWoods piece, a photo is printed on pine wood using an old hobby technique. The surface of each wooden picture is then finished off with an epoxy coating to create a shiny and sleek effect – great artwork for spicing up your wall!

FEELING BRASS Adding a touch of brass to your interior is always a good idea. This slim steel piece of furniture, made by Atelier Naerebout, is the kind of coffee table we’d certainly put in our living area. Perfectly suited to decorate with wooden accessories and designers’ books, each single piece is made entirely by hand. Good to know for those less daring: it also comes in semi-matte black. DUTCH MEETS DANISH Having completed significant research on metals and possessing a fascination for natural materials, Dutch designer Lex Pott now shares his incredible talent with us through the collection True Colour for Danish design firm &tradition. Each of the seven vases comes in a different oxidized metal – copper, steel, brass or aluminum – in combination with a shiny polished segment. With earthy tones as the result of the oxidizing process, every vase upscales your interior on its own, though together they make a memorable collection. — T H E S P I R I T O95F A M S T E R D A M


UNIQUE FINDS As fashion designer Coco Chanel once said, “An interior is the natural projection of the soul.” So we say, why not enrich your home with some inspiring designs? We have personally selected eight of our favorite design stores where you can discover unique finds for your home or as the perfect gift. Words: Raquel Remondo Gomez


Menno Kroon

At Cornelis Schuytstraat 11 in the Amsterdam South area, you will find the Menno Kroon Concept Store by master florist Menno Kroon, a floral oasis where botanical meets art. We love to wander around his unique flower shop and experience his world-renowned floral signature. Pick your favorite from his beautiful collection of vases, interior objects or his eccentric color compositions of fresh flowers in a seductive fragrance language. Pure craftsmanship for every occasion.


Pols Potten

The Dutch have an expression – doe normaal – which roughly translates as “just act normal, already!” But the folks at Amsterdam brand pols potten say: forget about being normal. With innovative, tongue-in-cheek products, pols potten wants to add spice to your life, making their products a must-have for any interior. Get inspired in their image store located in a former warehouse on KNSM Island, while discovering the complete pols potten collection, from sofas to lamps, rugs, tableware, plus a thousand other things including tailor-made kitchens and a selection of furniture brands.




If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re enjoying a walk along the Prinsengracht canal, make sure to visit the Frozen Fountain shop. This highly dynamic collection is displayed over 625 square meters with a core of contemporary furniture, lighting, home textiles and accessories. The inclusion of international furniture brands creates an interesting interplay of classic and contemporary designs. We know design lovers will be pleased to see their regular art exhibitions, with an emphasis on installations and commissions.




Opening the door of Moooi Amsterdam is like stepping into a world of extraordinary, playful realities in different scales and compositions. The Showroom & Brand Store is perfectly located in the colorful Jordaan district and serves as a meeting point full of ideas and inspiration for architects, designers and design lovers. When visiting, we recommend you take your time in order to discover and enjoy the inspiring stories, unexpected shapes and excitement of the Moooi style.




Store Without a Home sells extraordinary items for your home, made by newly discovered Dutch and international brands, independent labels and talented designers. The store, based at Haarlemmerdijk 26, feels like an artistic explosion of inspiring must-haves with amazing fabrics, vibrant colors and animal designs. Their constantly changing collection of special design home accessories, stylish designer lamps and unique gifts mixed with a warm atmosphere always leave us with a smile. 99




In the midst of the bustling Haarlemmerdijk street, David and Marijke’s Restored shop at number 39 is a place to slow down and experience a moment of calm. We particularly like their vision that simplicity brings calm and beauty restores balance in life. Make sure to explore their collection of jewelry, ceramics, magazines, textiles and more from small labels and independent designers, all beautifully displayed, truly showing the power of pure and refined design.


The Otherist

If you are a true treasure hunter, we highly recommend you visit The Otherist located at Leliegracht 6. This modern-day cabinet of curiosities offers a carefully curated collection of old and new with a focus on handmade, one-of-a-kind items and an aesthetic inspired by science and nature. With handcrafted ceramics, small leather goods, jewelry, framed insects, taxidermy, vintage apothecary items and other oddities, we are sure you’ll find something – or many things – you’ll love.



If you’re looking to add warmth to your interior design – or you’re just into woody materials – WonderWood is the place for you. This shop and gallery offers a great collection of (vintage) furniture, art and accessories from renowned designers and upand-coming artists. In addition to perusing their unique pieces, make sure to have a look at the centuries-old wooden ceiling, which dates back to 1565 and is utterly amazing.




If you like to get inspired while shopping, Bolia is the place to be. The design company puts creativity at the heart of everything they do, resulting in unique handmade and customizable furniture and accessories. When visiting the stores on Raadhuisstraat and Utrechtsestraat, we truly enjoy wandering around the different rooms in an ambiance enriched by inspiring installations, soft velour sofas, cool mix tapes, organic coffee, wonderful scents and, of course, their signature New Scandinavian Design.



MARTIJN BLOM Having grown up in a small village just outside Amsterdam, Martijn Blom has always felt that Amsterdam was “his city” and often found himself in this vibrant and young capital. Many years later he caught the entrepreneurial spirit of the city and together with his brother started his own design company. Interview: Ferdy Veerman Although the city is always on the go with new projects, it is also well known for its old and authentic character. Every corner in the city exudes history, and it is clear that the past continues to influence the present. This historical resonance is very important to local entrepreneur Martijn, and he has perfectly integrated it into his own lamp business, resulting in very unique design pieces. We were inspired by his lamps and wanted to find out more about the stories behind them, as well as his favorite spots in town!

ly would have ended up in a dumpster when the building eventually went down. We decided to create a concept around these extraordinary pieces, and after a year of working out our concept, we launched Blom & Blom. Ever since, we have been collecting the most unique heritage lights in order to turn them into something special. All our pieces are carefully restored and redesigned in our workshop in Amsterdam, and I am very happy that many of our lights now live on in interiors all over the world.

You and your brother collect, restore and redesign original industrial lamps from forgotten factories. How did this idea evolve and get its shape? Our concept started five years ago as a hobby. My brother Kamiel was living in Berlin, and when I visited him, we often liked to go photograph abandoned places. During our strolls through the forgotten heritage of Berlin, we noticed that there were still many beautiful lamps in these places that normal-

Where do you collect these lamps? Our Heritage collection consists of original lighting fixtures from abandoned factories in former East Germany. We regularly have strolls through abandoned factories, old laboratories and deserted military complexes to gather original lighting fixtures. Finding these sites and convincing the owners to sell us their “junk” can be a long process and sometimes quite a challenge. But the flip side is that you often come to know a lot about the place and its history, something that we find very interesting.

Martijn Blom

Why Germany? When it comes to selecting our lighting fixtures, we find that the East German lamps are of a higher standard than lights from other countries. Besides that, many of the designs of these lamps were influenced by the famous Bauhaus movement in the 1930s. Their designs were signified by their simplicity and pureness with the mantra “form follows function,” a design style that is very much appreciated nowadays. 102

Does every Blom & Blom lamp come with a unique history? Although the lamps and furnishings are themselves special because of their distinctive DDR design, the history of the sites they come from is what makes them even more intriguing. In order to keep their rich legacy from being forgotten, we provide a “historical passport” with each of our products. This passport describes the story behind the object and visualizes its place of origin. In this way we hope to maintain each item’s impressive history. Your store is based in Amsterdam. What characterizes the design industry here? There is a great hands-on mentality in Amsterdam, and I notice every day that many people have the urge to create. I think this entrepreneurial spirit is something that can be traced back through the city’s history, and we should be proud of it. We started Blom & Blom during the economic crisis, when many people around us seized the “opportunity” of unemployment to explore what they could make themselves. There was really a sense of “I don’t have a job anymore; I’m going to create my own.” Although the city and its people are back on their feet, this drive to design, create and make something of your own is still very much alive in Amsterdam today. Who are your favorite local designers? That’s a tough one. I admire artists and designers who try to twist the rules in their own way. Borre Akkersdijk (BYBORRE) does this very well with fashion. And in our


Studio Drift


Het Schip

The Hoxton

Blom & Blom Lamp

field, I am a great fan of the work of Studio Drift. They create experimental art installations using light in many different ways. What are the most stylish places in Amsterdam that you should definitely visit? I am a big fan of The Hoxton at the Herengracht. The interior was created by Nicemakers and has great attention to details. It’s definitely worth a visit. Another hotel that is worth visiting is Generator in the Oosterpark. Although it is actually a hostel, the interior has a playful and arty style that has created a really good vibe. We were very honored to create two large custom lighting pieces for this cool hostel. Another great and stylish experience is the Vuurtoreneiland. It’s a private island that can only be accessed by a 30-minute boat trip, with some great views of the IJ. The island features an old bunker that has been beautifully transformed into a restaurant serving awesome, real food – a great dinner experience. I am completely

jealous of their beautiful wine cellar. What is the most creative area in town? North. Definitely. The north side of Amsterdam is the youngest neighborhood. It has always been a bit apart from the city and therefore a great melting pot for all sorts of creatives. We have our Blom & Blom store here in North, and for us this is the perfect place to be. Some say that North is like a Berlin in Amsterdam, and although the neighborhood is developing rapidly, it is still partly true. What are the architectural highlights in town you don’t want to miss during a visit? I am a great fan of the architectural heritage of the Amsterdam School, which put our most common building material – red brick – in the spotlights. My favorite, and I think one of the most famous buildings, is Het Schip by Michiel de Klerk. More than once I detoured the Spaarndammerbuurt 103

to enjoy its beautiful shapes. Another more recent highlight is the refurbishment of the Scheepvaartmuseum by contemporary architect Liesbeth van de Pol. She treated the building with so much respect while enhancing its structure and function, a genuine fine piece of architecture. And finally, where can we see your lamps and creations in Amsterdam? The stores that feature our pieces most prominently are the Hutspot stores and X BANK. In terms of shopping tips, both are a must-see. They both offer a great shopping experience with some very good local brands. But the best way to experience our collection is of course our own Blom & Blom store in Amsterdam North. Our showroom is combined with our workshop, so people get a glimpse of the working process. And as an extra bonus, by taking the ferry you’ll enjoy three minutes of tranquility on the water with some amazing views! —


Walking down the canals in Amsterdam reveals the rich history and interesting façades of the buildings along them. The insides though, often remain limited to one’s imagination. We’d like to give you an exclusive look inside a stunning canal loft, home to a 190-square-meter living area with characteristic wood beams throughout. Words: Ferdy Veerman, Production and styling: Marc Heldens, Photography: Alan Jensen 104



Joyce Urbanus and Dax Roll

A stone’s throw away from the famous Nine Streets area on the Herengracht, a beautiful Amsterdam Renaissance entrance leads you to De Oranjeappel building. Originally built as a residence in 1615 and used as an orphanage for many years, the two upper floors currently boast two living areas, an open kitchen, three bedrooms and two bathrooms. As an added bonus, the loft has a great roof terrace, and on summer days you feel as if you are in a tree house, looking down through the forest canopy below. CREATING COZINESS Before the design process of the loft started, the Amsterdam-based studio Nicemakers, known for their elegant and natural designs, was asked to create a house around the “5pm moment,” the time when the couple living in the loft often returns home. The interior had to exude warmth and coziness so that it would be the perfect place for the owners to rest in one of the many seating areas with a good glass of wine after a busy day at work. The clients wanted 105

a place that felt like home and encouraged connections, accommodating many wonderful and memorable moments. The layout of the former house matched quite well with both the project plan and the clients’ briefing, said Dax Roll, co-owner of Nicemakers. “The house was built up very well, but its appearance wasn’t anywhere near the clients’ style. It had mostly dark areas and felt somewhat dreary. We had to begin with a detailed study into the building by investigating the atmosphere and lighting in the apartment at different times of the day. By painting the floor, adding a large skylight and including glass balustrades, we were able to create the much lighter atmosphere they wished for. We also made a well thought-out light plan, so the wooden beams are beautifully highlighted at night. This ensures the cozy evenings they longed for.” UNIQUE MATERIALS Wanting to design the house around the existing beam structure, the studio de-


cided to go for a calm interior design with a restricted color palette. After all, the beams already added so much character to the space. Additional robust elements of the former house were left visible, and since the clients often travel, the interior spotlights the many objects they have acquired during their trips. Overall, most of the furniture and items were collected by Nicemakers for this particular project, with some unique materials. “In collaboration with kitchen design studio Eginstill, we designed a sturdy kitchen in which blue steel and marble were processed. The large sofas are lined with vintage linen, and we placed vintage brass coffee tables and several semi-precious stones in the house. These materials really come to life at night!” Dax explained. Though the residence’s interior design may look as if it’s all about aesthetics, one of the studio’s core values is that everything in a house has to have a function. This has been perfectly applied to this project as well. Every living area is used by the residents,

and none of the objects or pieces of furniture are just for show. We personally fell in love with the vintage brass coffee table complemented by a smoked glass tabletop from the 70s, as well as the vintage dining chairs with suede upholstery from Project 99. This is truly one of those homes you’d want to invite your friends and family to for a cozy evening, whether sitting at the handmade dining table made from American oak or on one of the extraordinary copper barstools in the kitchen. With its historic heritage visible and personal touches throughout, this Amsterdam canal loft is truly one of a kind. —

“They wanted a place that felt like home and encouraged connections, accommodating many wonderful and memorable moments” 106


JOURNEY DESIGNS Located in the cultural heart of Amsterdam, the Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht hotel is surrounded by the creative character of the lively Jordaan district and Nine Streets shopping area. This means not only great views, but also an atmosphere that authentically embraces the best of Amsterdam. Words: Raquel Remondo Gomez 107

Brought to life through the vision of legendary Dutch interior and product designer Marcel Wanders, the hotel has embedded the unique flavors of Amsterdam into the propertyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s adventurous design concept, reflecting a modern view of Dutch history and local culture. You can delve into a piece of Amsterdam wherever you turn. REFLECTING HOLLAND Throughout the hotel, the designer integrated the heritage of its surroundings. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll discover tulips, elements of the Golden Age and Dutch Delft blue, as well as the knowledge contained in the books once




housed there in the building’s former life as a public library. Part of the hotel’s overall design concept incorporates the largest video-art collection in the world, with over 50 unique pieces from various emerging and established local and international video artists, such as Ryan Gander, Erwin Olaf and Mark Titchner. When you have a seat in The Lounge, you will be highly entertained by the largest display, comprised of nine 60-inch televisions. Due to the unique 1970s-style structure of the monumental former public library, this hotel brings you some of the largest guestrooms in compact Amsterdam. When entering the rooms, the open-plan layout allows for maximum space and natural light. We personally love the bathrooms, which feature an open structure with a multi-functional vanity centerpiece made from

150 kilograms (330 pounds) of concrete. In line with the overall design concept of the hotel, you can also discover reflections of Dutch history in the artistic and stylishly designed rooms. Striking elements include the hand-painted washbasin in Marcel Wanders’s signature “One Minute Delft Blue” style, oversized book-shaped work desk and unique wallpaper. IN-HOUSE HOTSPOTS The social heart of the hotel is located on the ground floor. Relax in the lounge or the library, or have a drink in the Bluespoon Bar with the intimate style of a typical Amsterdam café. We always enjoy the sublime food in the Bluespoon Restaurant, which serves uncomplicated European flavors with a Dutch edge from its modern, open kitchen. Each area is distinct on its own, but together they create a vibrant, exciting 109

“Striking elements include the handpainted washbasin in Marcel Wanders’s signature ‘One Minute Delft Blue’ style, oversized book-shaped work desk and unique wallpaper” and open space that is unique in its design concept. If you love Amsterdam and design, we are sure you will appreciate this place. Stay overnight in the Andaz Hotel, enjoy a cocktail at the Bluespoon Bar or just stop by to gaze at the extraordinary design. —



URBAN GEMS Although the global image of the city may be one of old historic buildings and small alleyways interlaced with water, the urban landscape of Amsterdam is much richer, with a wide variety of architectural gems and surprises. Words: Erik Boker For example, along the IJ river, the lifeblood of the city and its grandest waterfront, there are some outstanding, modern architectural treats not far from each other. However, the canal houses, noteworthy for their mixture of ornate details, elegance and architectural quirkiness, make the city’s character one of the most unique in the world. Exciting, elegant, sleek, historic, ultramodern or traditional, there is no shortage of luxurious feasts for the senses. Here we highlight a few significant examples – some subtle, some unmistakable, some off the beaten path, some new and some dating back to the 1600s. The common thread through all of them is unique elegance and craftsmanship, highlighting the architectural originality of this diverse city. 110


Scheepvaartmuseum 111



In the 19th century urban planners marveled at the city’s intricate web of wide canals, majestic bridges and soothing greenery. But in the late 16th century Amsterdam’s city planners were faced with a population explosion, and their main concern was building homes for its inhabitants.

With more than 3.2 million boat tickets sold each year, it’s more popular than either Rembrandt’s The Night Watch or the Anne Frank House. In 2010 it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site, and today Amsterdam’s ring of canals is the most iconic feature of the city. Words: Benjamin Roberts 112

BOOMTOWN In the late 16th century, Amsterdam became a boomtown overnight. In 1585 when Antwerp fell into the hands of the Spanish and the city’s river was cut off, Antwerp’s trade and manufacturing moved to Amsterdam. In less than 50 years, the city changed from a sleepy trade town along the Amstel River with 30,000 inhabitants into a bustling manufacturing city with a population of more than 100,000. It became Europe’s main staple port (and store house of goods) between Northern Europe (for wood and grain) and Southern Europe (for wine, salt and silk). Immigrants from all over Eu-


rope, especially from war-torn areas such as Germany and the Southern Netherlands (later Belgium), sought employment and religious freedom within the city’s walls. The influx of immigrants caused a population explosion, and Amsterdam’s municipal council had to expand and create a balanced city plan for industry, public spaces (e.g. city halls, stock exchanges and churches) and residential areas for the city’s affluent merchants and lower working classes. Moreover, the plan had to include an outer defense wall with several bastions and gates that were closed in the evening. WEB-SHAPED Between 1590 and 1660, Amsterdam added four major extensions to the city. The first and second extensions occurred around 1590, when the medieval walls around the Nieuwmarkt neighborhood were torn down, opening up the area east of the city. A new housing development was built there,

and the first to settle were affluent Flemish and Jewish traders. Later it became an area where painters – including Rembrandt – lived. The third and largest extension was constructed between 1609 and 1621 in the western half of the city. The council approved a web-shaped extension, stretching from Amsterdam’s harbor in the north, extending to the west past the Singel canal along the Haarlemerdijk and ending at the Haarlemmerpoort. This section extended to the south until the Leidsegracht. Parallel to the Singel canal, three major canals were dug: the Herengracht (“gentleman’s canal”), Keizersgracht (“emperor’s canal”) and Prinsengracht (“prince’s canal”), which included large gardens and houses for the inhabitants. SPECULATION ON HOUSING MARKET The most expensive patrician homes were built along the Herengracht and Keizersgracht for the city’s wealthy merchant and 113

regent class, while the Prinsengracht was more modest and intended for the middle class. The canals allowed goods to be transported from the city’s main harbor to the individual canals and homes of merchants, who stored their wares on the upper floors of their homes. From a beam and hook on the top of the house, goods could be easily hoisted up from the quays into the attics. Prior to the approval of the third extension, the area west of the Prinsengracht from the Brouwersgracht to the Elandsgracht had been partially settled by the city’s burgeoning working class. Prior to the fourth extension the area had not yet been annexed by the city and was considered urban sprawl. Because the houses were low-lying with one or two floors and large gardens, it became known as the “Jordaan,” a bastardization of the French word for garden, jardin. With the third extension, the Jordaan, its streets named after flowers, was allowed to retain its original layout. —





All photo’s: Museum Het Schip

THE BIRTH OF A NEW MOVEMENT In response to the new funding opportunities of the municipal National Housing Act (Woningwet) of 1901 and inspiration from H.P. Berlage, the most prominent architect at the time, a group of young architects broke away from the period’s rational modernism and began designing more expressive, detailed and decorative façades and interiors. Driven by Michel de Klerk, Johan van der Mey and Piet Kramer, this new expressionism flourished while the city expanded. Entire neighborhoods were built in this style. Much of Berlage’s dominant influence is evident in the design, but fueled by municipal money and primarily socialist ideals about affordable housing and planning, the architects of the Amsterdam School evolved the new style rapidly into an entire artistic movement. Borrowing inspiration from the traditional Dutch use of bricks, imaginative form took precedence over the function of the building, focusing on the external appearance of the façade. Varying types of profiled brickwork, curves and bulges, rounded forms, ornamental spires, figurative sculptures, dramatic stained-glass windows and corners emphasized by tower elements are all characteristic of the Amsterdam School. Wrought iron was used in fences and other decorative elements, often painted dark, “Amsterdam green.” Yet, with all the finely

In a short but intense period between 1910 and 1930, there was an explosion of public housing development. It was then that the Amsterdam School of architecture made its mark with expressionist, decorative buildings. In a vast expansion outside the old city center, the strongest examples still reside in Amsterdam, but the popular style soon spread to Dutch cities far beyond. Words: Erik Boker crafted expressionist decoration, the lines of the buildings maintained a strong, simple and clean form. AMSTERDAM’S FINEST EXAMPLES Between 1912 and 1916, the architects began constructing what is considered the first example of the Amsterdam School style, finally completed in 1928. The Scheepvaarthuis (Shipping House) is situated on the Prins Hendrikkade near the Amsterdam harbor and was used to house the shared offices of the six major Dutch shipping companies. 115

The use of the building was reflected in many details referencing maritime themes, the ocean and even a relief sculpture recounting Dutch colonial history. Johan van der Mey took the lead on the architectural design of the building. But as with many of the Amsterdam School projects, the design also incorporated interiors, decorative details and even furniture. Many artists of the time contributed to the project, creating a collective, creative atmosphere. The richly decorated central stairway is


All photoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s: Schaapvaarthuis



a prominent feature of the Scheepvaarthuis. Enclosed entirely by a towering arch of stained glass (again documenting nautical themes) by renowned glazier William Bogtman, the hall is bathed in natural light. In 2004 a major renovation by Ray Kentie took place, and with the help of several artists, the building started its new life as a five-star hotel, the Grand Hotel Amrâth Amsterdam.

of the late 19th century that led to the National Housing Act, working-class poorer people lived with their entire families in one room, with the only heating supplied by burning peat. The social housing association Eigen Haard (“in our own hearth”) commissioned De Klerk to replace three blocks of decaying tenement housing located at the Spaarndammerplantsoen.

A second landmark of the Amsterdam School and considered to be the most important example of the style, is the Museum ‘t Schip (“The Ship”), which currently serves as the Amsterdam School Museum, covering art, architecture and social housing in Amsterdam. Michel de Klerk was the architectural designer of this marvel of unconventional form. In the housing crisis

What he developed between 1911 and 1920 was a radical departure in both form and living conditions: a brick complex resembling a giant ship made up of 120 tworoom, spacious apartments, some with gardens. Also contained within the structure were public utility buildings, such as a post office, school, community house and telephone box. 117

BLENDING STYLES Interestingly, as the Amsterdam School style spread during these years, the legendary De Stijl movement emerged with it, in architecture as well as in painting and design, emphasizing form, line and elementary color over function. De Stijl became most famously propelled by Piet Mondriaan and Gerrit Rietveld. Yet, what soon sprang from both movements’ enthusiasm was a dramatic return to functionality, a critical response to what many called the “excessiveness” of the Amsterdam School style. The New Objectivity soon took power in design, calling for clean lines and soberness instead of decoration, pushing form back again to follow function. Some declare the official end of the Amsterdam School to be in 1923, the year of Michel de Klerk’s death. —



Ranging from the obviously visible to the subtly hidden, Amsterdamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s buildings feature lots of quirky inconsistencies. One of the most commonly remarked upon are the leaning or crooked buildings, the cause of which has led to many theories. Less well known is the hidden and unusual beauty of dilapidation and emptiness behind many façades. Words: Erik Boker, Photography: Renzo Gerritsen SINKING AND LEANING The explanation for the leaning and crooked narrow houses in Amsterdam itself skews from side to side. Even among experts, it is hotly contested, but there are some solid theories. To avoid the inevitable sinking of the

structure into the wet ground, Amsterdam houses were originally built using wooden piles drilled 11 meters into soft peat and clay until they hit a sturdy layer of sand. In modern times, they drill to 18 meters and reinforce the piles with concrete. Centuries ago, 118

however, the wooden piles could differ in quality, length and thickness. Rotting is also a concern, as the water level (controlled by the governmental body the Waterschap) can be lowered to a level that would expose the piles to oxygen, and therefore rot, leaving




the building vulnerable to uneven sinkage over time. Other theories include renovation within a row, whereby the structure of one house would change, causing shifts in the others nearby. Also, and perhaps especially, if an extra floor is added to the top, the weight of the house increases, disrupting the original builders’ calculations. THE FORWARD LEAN Amsterdam houses not only lean into one another but can also lean noticeably forward. This is actually a calculated and intentional maneuver, called “op de vlucht.” In medieval times when houses were made from wood, planners and builders used a technique called “jettying” (overstek). The upper floor was made larger than the floor below, which protected the lower floors from rain and made more space for the narrow streets below. After a fire in 1452, which destroyed most of Amsterdam’s timber houses, a law was passed that only brick could be used, but the city’s builders’ guild retained the tradition of houses that lean forward. As it was a staple port city, merchants who lived in these houses stored goods in the attics. The method of hoisting goods by the hook and beam at the top was actually facilitated by a forward-leaning façade. In the 19th century Napoleon scrapped the tradition and built straight structures, and

In the 19th century Napoleon scrapped the tradition and built straight structures, and by the mid-20th century, “op de vlucht” was banned entirely. by the mid-20th century, “op de vlucht” was banned entirely. Currently, giving way – so to speak – to current conditions, the law allows a leaning house to be built if the others next to it are leaning as well. ABANDONED SPACES While some buildings lean, tilt, skew and sink, others sometimes fall empty entirely, caught somewhere between re-designation, lack of funds, pending sales and remodeling. There is a 50-year-long tradition of squatting (“kraken”) in Amsterdam, whereby people, some in defiance of exceedingly long housing waiting lists, find residence in these abandoned spaces, repair them to a livable state and make them their home, sometimes for decades. Some of these squatted buildings are in iconic and prominent locations in the city center. Laws have changed these days, shifting squatters’ municipal protections, and squatting was officially banned 120

in 2010. “House right” laws and continued negotiations with owners still allow discussion; however, the last seven years have seen a dramatic surge of city action to renovate, knock down and build anew, leading to the rapid disappearance of the unique styles and qualities of this type of residence, architecture and tradition. Driven by curiosity and a penchant for all things old, Renzo Gerritsen set out to document what remains of the tradition of hidden abandoned spaces and their inhabitants in Amsterdam. Along some of the historically richest streets in the city center, the façades you see as you pass sometimes hold a completely different world behind them. As seen in his photographs of a space within Lange Niezel, a street once known for great wealth that has changed to red lights and pubs, and the Tobacco building with its exposed beam layers, the history of the city lies within its decay. Often a combination of raw and new, the crumbling brick and old spiraling wooden staircases reveal a rare look at Amsterdam’s skeletal remains, in juxtaposition with new framing added by residents or newly built foundations. A new interior might be even more beautiful than the previous, but it’s also profoundly unique to the residents’ efforts to create a shared space, each carving their own place in the architectural landscape. —



The Rijksmuseum

There is an overwhelming abundance of spectacular architecture in Amsterdam. Three museums in particular stand out as beacons of the history of Dutch culture as well as for their own architectural history, presence and unique structure. These historic buildings are complemented by some distinctly modern designs, blending the old and the new in Amsterdam’s eye-popping architectural landscape. Words: Erik Boker

photo: john lewis marshall


THE RIJKSMUSEUM Originally designed by Dutch architect Pierre Cuypers (1827–1921), the Rijksmuseum opened in 1885 and is one of the most iconic buildings in the Netherlands. After 125 years of use, the museum closed for renovation in 2000. In 2001, the committee carefully chose architecture firm Cruz y Ortiz from Seville, Spain, to take Cuypers’s vision and recast it for the 21st century in a landmark technical makeover.

Taking care to preserve Cuypers’s neo-gothic style, Cruz y Ortiz integrated up-to-date facilities into the 19th-century grandeur, opening up the space by removing lowered ceilings, half-floors and galleries added on in the 1950s and 60s. The result was a 2,330-square-meter atrium space, created by sinking the entire foundation below sea level, with large glass-covered roofs and polished stone floors that reflect the natural light, creating two open spaces connected by a tunnel. 121

Cuypers’s original monumental ornaments were preserved and blended with the modern updates in prominent rooms and the gardens, with contemporary water artworks, a playground and more. There is also the irregularly-shaped Asian Pavilion, the Atelier Building with its zigzagging roof and conservation center, the restored school building The Drawing School and the Philips Wing with thirteen galleries for revolving exhibitions.


The Tropenmuseum 122

photo: rob van esch




The Stedelijk Museum

THE TROPENMUSEUM First shown in the Colonial Museum in Haarlem in 1871, an exponentially growing collection of objects brought back from then-colony Indonesia was overseen by Frederik van Eeden. Under the Royal Tropical Institute founded in 1910, the expansive collection moved to Amsterdam East, opening as the Colonial Museum and Colonial Institute in 1926, after many delays due to war. In rich Dutch neo-renaissance style, the building complex was designed by architects M.A. and J.J. Nieukerken and boasts a floor plan of 12,000 square meters. The façades of brick and French limestone have a symmetrical

structure with tent roofs and dormer windows. Its main feature is a magnificent great hall at the entrance, a central and rectangular covered light court with double glazing surrounded by three floors of galleries. Small details are worked into the pillars, walls, façade and carved friezes with references to Dutch colonial history. The Tropenmuseum, as it is now known, went through a major renovation in the 1970s. Atrium floors were lowered, front stairs demolished, tile floor replaced (then reversed to show its unvarnished side), atrium again raised and a children’s museum created – Tropenmuseum Junior – in 1975. The organization and framing of its collections also went through a 124

restructure, and it now houses temporary exhibitions and a splendid collection of objects from Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, New Guinea, India and Southeast Asia.


THE STEDELIJK MUSEUM The original Dutch neo-renaissance-style building was designed by Dutch architect A.W. Weissman in 1895 in a sober red brick and pale stone combination inspired by its cousin down the road, the Rijksmuseum. After a lengthy and tumultuous renovation period, the Stedelijk reopened in 2012 with a new facelift and a bold new entrance.

photo: john lewis marshall



The National Maritime Museum

After years of problems following a forced closure in 2003, the project was handed to Benthem Crouwel Architects, whose proposal retained the old building’s façade, grand staircase and natural light, but moved the entrance to face the rest of the central square area. Nicknamed “The Bathtub,” an alien, smooth white form made of reinforced fiberglass bending over the Museumplein and a glass façade together doubled the exhibition space to 8,000 square meters, creating a ground-level entrance reception area, café, terrace and bookshop, as well as an underground exhibition space and library. Critics were quick to dismiss the bold design, but the Bentham Crouwel

Wing creates a powerful new image for the museum, reclaiming its status as a worldclass cultural destination.


THE NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM The National Maritime Museum is situated in the Plantage, the cultural garden of Amsterdam. The museum is an imposing historic structure originally used by the admiralty of Amsterdam as a storehouse for the shipping needs of the war fleet. Since its establishment in 1656, it has remained a storehouse in various forms as well as an architectural marvel with astounding views of 125

the city. It has endured multiple transitions: housing cannons, sails and flags, serving as a repository for rainwater for sailing crews, a stint serving Napoleon’s navy, a devastating fire and subsequent assaults and, until the early 1970s a storehouse for the Dutch navy. In 2011, it underwent a renovation to preserve the atmosphere of a 17th-century storehouse by only adding components of glass and metal. A striking new element was introduced: the glass roof over the courtyard, a self-sustaining construction of 34 x 34 meters, using 1,200 pieces of glass and 160,000 kilograms of steel. Inspired by the compass lines on old nautical charts, it truly must be seen to be believed.



photo: iwan baan

EYE FILM INSTITUTE The EYE Film Institute, located across the IJ river behind the Amsterdam Central Station, is a spectacular building with a dynamic, white, geometric form. Serving as an exhibition space, cinema, laboratory and the national film archive, this building was completed in 2012 to celebrate the elemental qualities of film itself: light, space and movement. At the same time, the striking forms create an alluring contrast to the historic center of old Amsterdam, offering a beacon for the new Noord district across the river. A short ferry ride allows visitors the opportunity to explore a newly developing community where empty and aging wharfs once stood. The use of light as a defining element is unavoidable in both its interior and exterior design and function. With floor-to-ceiling glass enclosures overlooking the river, the quality of the light is tangible within the space. Transitions between the rooms exert a sense of continuity, while diverse lighting conditions melded with diverse materials from oak planks to concrete create continuously changing areas and a truly dynamic space.

EYE Film Institute 126




photo: martijn kort

Aâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;DAM Tower


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concept store current location: Prinsengracht 234, Amsterdam

Amsterdam Luxury - Issue 13  

The ultimate guide for the fashionable traveler with a contemporary lifestyle and love for luxury, art and design.

Amsterdam Luxury - Issue 13  

The ultimate guide for the fashionable traveler with a contemporary lifestyle and love for luxury, art and design.