Volkshotel


 
Wibautstraat 150
Amsterdam
Bureau Kraaijvanger; Steven Steenbruggen
1965; 2014
Cultuur, Hotel
 

The former offices of the Volkskrant newspaper date from 1965. The design, by the Rotterdam architectural firm Kraaijvanger, was very modern for its day and was based on the layout of a newspaper. The façade refers to a front page with at the top the large heading ‘de Volkskrant’. The seven white storeys and the grid of windows allude to a newspaper layout with seven text columns. The 1.5 million white façade tiles – which gradually fell off one by one – refer to the same number of letters in a newspaper.

Transformation
In 2007, the newspaper left the building and it was temporarily used as a club, café and creative breeding ground. Since the summer, the former Volkskrant building has housed the Volkshotel. It has been completely redeveloped and adapted to its new use as a hotel, while preserving the original 1960s design. The architect Steven Steenbruggen decided that the façade should be white once again and so the façade bands have been white rendered. The top storey – which originally housed the newspaper canteen – has been removed and has been replaced by a completely new, insulated, glazed club space for Club Canvas.

Hotel rooms
Bas van Tol (design office Müller Van Tol) was responsible for the interior and was inspired by the history of the building and the newspaper. The themes paper, ink and photography are expressed in silk-screen prints of newspaper photographs on the hotel walls and enlarged black and white archive photographs on the walls in the corridor. The hotel rooms are furnished with abundant use of steel, glass, wood and concrete. The wooden frames around the wall to wall windows, which are deep enough to sit or work in, are a superb detail.
(Text: Yvonne de Korte, photo: Jan de Wit)


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