Canteen building KNSM-island
Ateliers and living in the stair well
The former canteen building for dockworkers in Levantplein is one of the most authentic buildings on KNSM-eiland. Like many other retained buildings from the heyday of Amsterdams docks, the canteen building was squatted by artists for many years. What is unusual, however, is that the freestanding canteen building on stilts has not been incorporated in the new build, but rather its original style has largely been reinstated.
This is due to the artists who, in consultation with the council, purchased the building for a symbolic sum. The renovation plan was almost rejected due to a lack of adequate escape routes. By chance, however, some old ships staircases were found, enabling a separate entrance to each studio dwelling to be created. The artists were not allowed to sell their dwellings for ten years. That period has now elapsed and several dwellings have been sold for considerable sums. An interesting feature is the dwelling that has been created in the former stairwell of the canteen building. (ARCAM/RS)