I can still remember my enthusiasm when I first set foot on the Eastern Docklands of Amsterdam (Oostelijk Havengebied), quite recently after moving here some 3 years ago.
Having already seen the typical canal houses from the centre, the luxurious villas in Oud Zuid and the residential buildings in the well known Amsterdam School style that populated the areas outside the centre, it seemed to me pretty amazing to discover that Amsterdam was so much more than that (from the architecture point of view, of course).
However, I`ve never actually been to the Westerdok. That all changed last weekend, when I made a short stop at the food & music festival taking place in the area (more info about the festival in a future post!)
Just like the Eastern Docklands, the Westerdok used to serve as dockland area for the ships coming to or leaving the harbour of Amsterdam. In respect to its historic function, the streets are all named after famous ships that transported goods from the West Indies.
Nowadays, the Westerdok is a completely reconstructed area, where the newly erected buildings are mostly apartments, offices and art studios. In the last photo you can see (part of) a particular building – the remarkable Graansilo, which served the function of cleaning, storing and pumping grain to and from ships and wagons. The silo was completely abandoned in 1986 and then squatted by artists, who used the space not only for living, but also for art installations, performances and of course for parties. It is now, as you may have guessed, an apartment building.