Amsterdam hostel for working men

Marnixstraat 266-340
J.E. van der Pek
P. Korzelius, Vereniging Amsterdams Bouwfonds 1905-1975 : 'De volkshuisvesting dienen op sociaal verantwoorde wijze', Amsterdam, 1988.

Housing for single working men

The need for accommodation for single workers came to official attention around 1905. The emphasis had hitherto been on building family homes, which the housing associations saw as a less hazardous investment.

H.C.A. Henny, the director of Vereniging Amsterdams Bouwfonds, decided to commission a study of housing requirements for single working men. Once it was clear such a need indeed existed, the Amsterdam City Council assigned the Vereniging a plot of land on the site of the former Amstel sugar refinery in Marnixstraat.
The design of the building was prepared by J.E. van der Pek, the house architect of Vereniging Amsterdams Bouwfonds. In 1918, two years after the start of building, the Mayor of Amsterdam J.W.C. Tellegen ceremonially opened the hostel. The rents ranged from 4.20 to 6.30 Guilders, a much higher range than the 2.45 to 2.85 Guilders originally estimated. This was too expensive for ordinary working people, and by 1920 the hostel building was entirely occupied by middle-class tenants. The cultural value of the building lies in its characteristic exterior and in the importance it has had in the history of Dutch housing in general and of Vereniging Amsterdam Bouwfonds in particular. It is currently used as care-assisted housing for elderly tenants. (ARCAM/TJ)