Oostelijke Handelskade 4
Oostelijk Havengebied
B. de Greef, W. Springer; verbouwing VASD ontwerpers
R. van Brenkelen (BMZ), Getuigen van een wereld die verdween, monumenten van bedrijf en techniek in Amsterdam, Amsterdam, 1996
Infra, Leisure

Entertainment venue in a former power station

This building on Oostelijke Handelskade has been the home of the cultural entertainment centre Club Panama, a combined theatre, club, restaurant and studio, since March 2001. The building originally operated as a hydraulic power station which powered the harbour cranes ranked along Oostelijke Handelkade. This quay was a centre of Amsterdam’s harbour activities from its construction in 1875 until after the Second World War.

The harbour power station was built in an eclectic style with neo-Gothic influences in 1885. The facade is executed in red brick with alternating bands of natural stone. It is also decorated with a frieze of round arcading and decorative brickwork. Internally, the building has an exposed roof structure with steel Polonceau trusses.

The hydraulic system of the power station was replaced by a direct current generator in 1899, after which it functioned as an electric power station. A new wing was added for this purpose on the south side of the power station in a style matching that of the existing building.
For their current 21st-century use, the buildings were renovated by VASD designers. This bureau also designed the restaurant’s interior. The interior design of the nightclub is by Ruud van Empel. (ARCAM/TJ)