NH Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky

Dam 9
G.B. Salm, Gebr. Van Gendt A.L. Zn, F. Kuipers, P.J.H. Cuypers e.a.
Tram 1, 2, 4, 5, 9, 16, 24, 25 (halte Dam)
Marlies Buurman & Flora van Gaalen, Room Service, Amsterdam 2007, p.26-27.

A village at the Dam

NH Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky began as a small coffee house in Warmoestraat and has developed into one of the biggest fivestar hotels in the Netherlands. The history of its development is a story of expansion and restructuring.

Since it was built in 1866, with the help of various architects, including the Van Gendt brothers, F. Kuipers, P.J.H. Cuypers and M. Grothausen, Krasnapolsky has grown into a large complex, a ‘village on the Dam’. The Winter Garden, designed by G.B. Salm, is renowned and of great architectural importance. This tropical garden, which dates from 1880, is situated in a gigantic hall two storeys high. It has a glass roof with iron trusses, which are supported by cast-iron columns. On the first floor was a cast-iron balustrade, attached to which were arches with hundreds of lamps. The construction also had a decorative function, which was a novelty in Dutch architecture in the late nineteenth century.

From 1882 onwards, the Winter Garden was lit by electricity, which was very modern at a time when the city was illuminated primarily by gaslight. An electricity generating station,designed by Salm, was installed in the hotel’s inner courtyard specially for this purpose. It is the oldest surviving electricity generating station in the Netherlands and is a listed monument. The building that houses Restaurant Reflet is also a listed monument. It was built in 1885 and was then called ‘De Witte Kamer’ (‘the white room’). The interior still contains paintings of the period by A. Graux. In the nineteen fifties, with the help of Marshall aid, the Polmanhuis was added to the hotel, as a result of which Krasnapolsky was now really situated on the Dam. (ARCAM/BU/FG)