‘Industria’, the club building of the Industrieele Groote Club (IGC), stands on the corner of Dam and Rokin. It was designed by the architect Foeke Kuipers (1871-1954) and is considered to be his main work. Kuipers was inspired by Berlage’s Amsterdam Exchange and indeed H.P. Berlage was one of his mentors. Kuipers not only designed the building itself, he was also responsible for Industria’s interior.
The Industrieele Club, founded in 1913, was a national centre for Dutch trade and industry. Immediately after the club’s foundation, the architect Kuipers was commissioned to design its club building. Its location was ideal: on the route to Amsterdam’s main railway station, Centraal Station, and close to the bustling Amsterdam Exchange. However, construction was soon interrupted by the discovery of the remains of medieval lock walls and by the outbreak of the First World War. ‘Industria’ finally opened in 1916.
Three business clubs in one
The IGC came into being in 1975 through the merger of three clubs: the political book club Doctrina et Amicitia (1788), the exclusive Sociëteit de Groote Club (1872) and the ‘nouveaus riches’ of the Industrieele Club (1913). The first two had merged in 1922 to form the Groote Club Doctrina et Amicitia (D et A). Their club building at number 1 Paleisstraat was appropriated by the Germans during the Second World War. Many are familiar with the story of the shooting at the club during liberation celebrations. An increase in the rent in the 1970s meant that the Groote Club (D et A) could no longer afford to stay in the building. In 1975, the Groote Club (De et A) relocated and merged with the Industrieele Club, giving rise to today’s Industrieele Groote Club.
The influence of Berlage’s Exchange can be seen in the façade. It is executed in brick with alternating natural stone elements that have been painstakingly integrated in the façade surface. Each elevation has a different design. A tower with a copper crown divides the main elevation into two façade surfaces. ‘Industria’ was designed as so-called ‘gemeenschapskunst’ (community art), in which art and the applied arts support and accentuate the architecture. Kuipers made use of, among other things, palisander and ebony, wrought-iron lamps and railings, stained glass, ceramic tiles, marble and velvet. The three middle floors are used by the IGC. The rest of the building is rented out. There is talk of a new, luxury boutique hotel on the third floor of Industria, but this has yet to be confirmed.
(Text: Francine van den Berg/ ARCAM, photo: Jan de Wit)