The former forge-complex the ‘Smederij’ at the NDSM Wharf in Amsterdam has been transformed into a work environment for a number of companies. GROUP A was responsible for the design of the transformation and for the newly added hotel.
The NDSM Wharf is the historic remnant of Amsterdam’s once-great shipbuilding industry. Today, a creative city is developing out of the industrial landscape on the north bank of the IJ. The core of the former workshops is composed of the Smederij, the Timmerwerkplaats, the ramps and the cranes. The Smederij is a national monument that consisted of five smaller workshops and a main forge, which is today the most authentic element. The 36-by-45 meter forge was built in 1909. The transformation of the complex into a work environment for a variety of companies was commissioned by Mediawharf Monumenten B.V.
The most authentic part of the complex is the former forge. Inside the forge, the archtects have retained the building’s industrial character by maintaining the monumental steel structure. The colums and trusses were only sandblasted and received no further treatment, which gives them a striking contrast to the clean, white elements added to the new structure. A large wooden stairway and a 14 meter high atrium form the heart of the forge. The original crane bridge used during the wharf’s days as a shipbuilding centre still hangs here. The floors were returned to their original height, and the gigantic windows run from floor to ceiling, so that daylight can reach the ground floor from the shed roofs. The ground floor comprise office space and a public restaurant with a terrace facing the square. An industrial stairway is located outside on the first floor with a view over the ramps and the IJ, which is used as an extra balcony by Greenpeace Netherlands, one of the tenants of the forge. The outer brickwork has been cleaned and left intact, so that the rough exterior remains visible. Where bricks were missing, the hole was filled with bricks from other sections of the wall. Glass wall sections were installed where needed for the building’s new function.
The hotel tower was built on the site of the last pitched roofed workshop left standing adjacent to the Smederij. By lifting the roof up 30 meters, GROUP A created a tall, slim tower that serves as a beacon on the NDSM Wharf. The top of the hotel offers visitors a spectacular view of the Amsterdam skyline. From an urban planning perspective, this project demanded a 360-degree design with a raised element, in order to create more of a visual connection between the city and the wharf.
Pitched roofed workshops
The total transformation began in 2009, with the reconstruction of the four pitched roofed workshops. These were completed in 2011 and leased to become the main offices for Red Bull and Fronteer Strategy. At the time, the workshops were in such poor condition that the developers decided to demolish them and start over, using the steel roof spans for the new building. This allowed them to re-build the structures in their original form, with their familiar industrial contours. By adding characteristic high sliding doors in the same shade of blue used elsewhere at the NDSM Wharf, these buildings complement their surroundings.
The transformation has breathed new life into the Smederij, restoring the soul of the original complex. The combination of old and new, light, space and steel turnes the Smederij into an inspiring new place to work and relax in Amsterdam. Its flexible layout and ceiling heights of up to 4.5 meters make the spaces ideal for a wide range of business concepts. The completed project is a model of Dutch industrial heritage, repackaged for contemporary office spaces and a hotel.
The former forge-complex the ‘Smederij’ at the NDSM Wharf in Amsterdam has been transformed into a work environment for a number of companies. GROUP A was responsible for the design of the transformation and for the newly added hotel. The NDSM Wharf is the historic remnant of Amsterdam’s once-great shipbuilding industry. Today, a creative city is developing out of the industrial landscape on the north bank of the IJ. The core of the former workshops is composed of the...
- Year 2014
- Work started in 2013
- Work finished in 2014
- Client Mediawharf Monumenten bv
- Contractor IBB Kondor, Oegstgeest
- Status Completed works
- Type Factories