Port of call

The am­s­ter­dam district mak­ing waves on the wa­ter­front

Wallpaper - - Newspaper -

when am­s­ter­dam com­mis­sioned the 19th­cen­tury Dutch ar­chi­tect Pierre cuypers to seal off its me­dieval har­bour with the grand cen­tral sta­tion, the city of­fi­cially turned its back to the wa­ter. it took more than a cen­tury for the city to turn back around. to­day, the vast swaths of aban­doned ship­yards and brack­ish ter­rain along the ij wa­ter­front have be­come the city’s most fran­tic build­ing sites. the houthaven (lum­ber port) is the first of many new wa­ter­front dis­tricts cur­rently tak­ing shape. still a few years from com­ple­tion, it is al­ready clear that the houthaven has lit­tle rev­er­ence for the past. in­stead of di­lap­i­dated stor­age ware­houses, you’ll find ware­house-in­spired res­i­dences. and while still sur­rounded by the ac­tive cranes of heavy in­dus­try, the neigh­bour­hood’s fu­ture is in cre­ative in­dus­tries. tommy hil­figer, calvin klein, toms, Diesel and aegis have al­ready moved their hqs here, bring­ing a fash­ion­able crowd in their wake. only a 15-minute bike ride from cen­tral sta­tion, the houthaven prom­ises to be a chic and self­suf­fi­cient district for the city’s ris­ing cre­ative class – for the time be­ing any­way. it’s a pi­o­neer town with in­trigu­ing ameni­ties that have set the stage for its fu­ture suc­cess.

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