Het Tolhuis

Buiksloterweg 7
W. Springer
W. Springer
Cultuur, Groen, Leisure

The Tolhuys

The peninsula Volenwijck was the first area to be built on outside the dike in Amsterdam Noord. In 1600, Buikslotertrekvaart was dug here, from the IJ in a northerly direction, in order to facilitate trade with villages such as Nieuwendam and Buiksloot. In 1662, ‘het Tolhuys’ was opened for the levying of tolls on this canal, after which it became the main point of arrival and departure for ships.

The building later also served as an inn. The North Sea Canal with its locks was opened at the beginning of the nineteenth century. This resulted in additional commercial activity and the building became a centre of entertainment where visitors from the city could enjoy life in the open air.

Today’s Tolhuis was designed in the neo-Renaissance style by the city architect W. Springer and was built in 1859. The style is recognizable in the tympanums, capitals and pilasters employed in the design. The building has a T-shaped ground plan and is centrally situated in the toll house garden, designed by the city engineer P. van der Sterr. The building’s south and west sides are oriented to the IJ. In 1989-1990, the building was converted, to a design by the architect Theo Bosch, into a café-restaurant. The former billiards room is now a wedding room.

Over the years, the building became surrounded by development and greenery and part of the original garden belonged to the neighbouring Shell premises for some considerable time. Since 2002, when Shell sold areas of land to the city council, the garden has had a cultural function. (ARCAM/VKB)