|Category||Leisure, Openbare ruimte, Voorziening|
The building, which was originally called Grand Hotel Centraal, was designed by the architect G.J. Rutgers and has national listed status. On completion, Grand Hotel Centraal was the largest and most luxurious hotel in the Netherlands.
Present-day Vijzelstraat is largely the result of a municipal decision of 1907 to widen the existing street. While other radial streets in the southern section of the ring of canals remained intact, Vijzelstraat was widened to 22 metres in response to the increasing amount of traffic. This road widening necessitated the demolition of all the buildings on the west side of Vijzelstraat.
Rutgers’ design is positioned as an elongated volume in the freed up space. Construction began in 1925 and the building was completed in 1929. An arcade in the base spans the pavement the entire length of Vijzelstraat. Above is a solid six-storey volume containing hotel bedrooms and function rooms. Columns of oriel windows create a vertical accent.
Rutgers’ original design extended from Singel to Herengracht. Although the realized building is shorter than this, Reguliersdwarsstraat had to be bridged. This bridging is accentuated by a wide, massive balcony, with a slightly set back wall with oriel windows.
The style of the Amsterdam School is plainly discernible. Characteristic features include the use of brick, the natural stone accents and the sculptures in the elevations. The most striking sculpture is situated high above the street, on the corner of Vijzelstraat and Singel.
G.J. Rutgers was an Amsterdam School architect. Other work by Rutgers in Amsterdam includes several housing schemes in Amsterdam Zuid, in Hacquartstraat and Minervalaan.