International Institute for Social History

Zeeburgerkade 10
Henk van der Leeden
Atelier PRO
Cultuur, Kantoren, Onderwijs

The solid concrete building on Zeeburgerkade served as a cocoa warehouse until 1989 when the Institute for Social History moved in. Because of its solid construction, the building was ideally suited to house the institute’s heavy archives. In order to make the building attractive for staff and visitors, the closed block was opened up, to a design by the architectural office Atelier PRO, by removing wall and façade sections.

On entering the building on the south side, which has deliberately been kept closed, the atrium becomes increasingly spacious and leads to a huge window with a view of Entrepothaven. Situated on this side are, among other things, the library, restaurant and offices. On the first floor, an extension for the reading room has been built on the cantilevered former loading platform. The top two storeys, which is where the repository is located, have been left largely intact.
In 2001, the Press Museum, designed by Henk van der Leeden, formerly architect at Atelier PRO, was opened in the same building. The museum was to be an open, public-oriented centre with its own identity. Van der Leeden designed a rounded glazed front on the building’s huge rear elevation, as a result of which the Press Museum, as it were, ‘seeks to break out of the introverted cocoa warehouse.’

The Pressmuseum was closed in 2017.