Bridge control house Hortusbrug

Muiderstraat – Nieuwe Herengracht
Dirk Sterenberg
Publieke Werken
Gemeente Amsterdam

Concrete house with steel frames

Close to the Hortusbrug, alongside the Hortus Botanicus, stands a striking modernist bridge control building, the Hortus house, built in 1956 to a design by Dirk Sterenberg. The white painted concrete structure, taut steel window frames and blue colour, is reminiscent of the work of Gerrit Rietveld and De Stijl.

The building appears to float on the water. With a striking feature of two large cantilevers, the bridge control office on one side and a balcony on the other side. Underneath the office are a bicycle shed and a toilet. Originally, the latter discharged directly into the canal, but this is no longer the case. Sterenberg positioned the building slightly away from the bridge, so that the bridgemaster would have a good view of the bend in Nieuwe Herengracht. Consequently, the building is not accessible from the bridge, but via a flight of steps on the waterside. (ARCAM/space&matter)