Burgemeester Tellegenhuis (Maupoleum)

Piet Zanstra
Architectenbureau Zanstra, Gmelig Meyling en De Clercq Zubli
Maup Caransa
Hielkema, H., 'Requiem voor het Maupoleum', Ons Amsterdam, 46ste jrg.(1994), no. 11, p.261 ff.
Kantoren, Onderwijs

Multi-tenant building for textile wholesalers (demolished)

The ‘Lastage Highway’ was designed just after the second world war as part of a fast traffic route connecting the railway stations Amstel and Centraal. The route of the new road was to follow Jodenbreestraat, a street which showed substantial gaps in the buildings on either side. The deportation of Jews during the war had left many properties empty, and in the desperate winter months after the armistice, most of the abandoned buildings were practically demolished for the sake of firewood. The Reconstruction Plan including the new traffic route was approved by the Municipality in 1953.

The remaining textile wholesalers in the neighbourhood were unhappy about being forced to move. With this in mind, the project developer Maup Caransa launched a project for a multi-business building for textile wholesalers on Jodenbreestraat. The building was designed by the functionalist architect Piet Zanstra of the firm Zanstra, Gmelig Meyling and De Clercq Zubli. It was four storeys high and had a concrete facade over 180 metres in length along Jodenbreestraat. Repeating windows and a row of four large roof superstructures gave the volume a varied rhythm. On the Jodenbreestraat side, the building had an arcade with an elevated terrace, intended as a promenade parallel to the new highway. Soon after delivery in 1971, the building was rented by University of Amsterdam. Popularly nicknamed the Maupoleum, it began to reveal technical deficiencies and suffered from poor building management. The display windows were poorly utilized from the start, and the promenade took on an abandoned atmosphere, peopled by drug abusers and vagrants.

The tragedy of the building is that it was designed for a context that never transpired. In 1994, after decades of criticism directed at it, the Maupoleum was finally demolished. The original narrow profile of Jodenbreestraat was restored, and two new buildings were erected. Only the wide bridge joining Jodenbreestraat to Sint Antoniebreestraat still recalls the unrealised plan for the Lastage Highway. (ARCAM/JEA/JW)