This technical school, the ‘Derde Technische School van de Maatschappij voor den Werkenden Stand’, opened in Timorplein in 1912.The building was designed by the architects at the city’s public works department, who probably took their inspiration from the work of H.P. Berlage and Jos Cuypers. The school’s ground plan measured 74 by 50 metres. Distributed over four storeys were separate classrooms for plasterers, bricklayers, stonemasons, blacksmiths, lathe operators, carpenters etc.
Timorplein is situated in the Indische Buurt. This working-class neighbourhood was built at great speed between 1900 and 1930 in order to house the huge influx of dock workers in Amsterdam. Construction was so hasty that insufficient time was allowed for the raised polder ground to settle. As a consequence, subsidence occurred and as early as 1936 a number of dwellings had to be demolished.
When in the 1960s the adjacent dock area Oostelijk Havengebied became redundant, the Indische Buurt was left isolated between the deserted docks and the railway line. It fell into decline and was even on Minister Vogelaar’s list of deprived areas. In order to prevent further decline, the city council launched a large-scale regeneration programme in the area. Many dwellings were renovated and new facilities were provided for residents.
Geurt Brinkgreve Award
As part of this urban regeneration programme, the almost one hundred year old, vacant school building was given a new use. It now houses a Stayokay hotel, the headquarters of this hotel chain, Studio K, a cultural centre with a cinema, stage, a bar/restaurant run by students and IIRE, an international education centre. In addition, the housing association YMERE rents out various spaces in the building to start-up entrepreneurs. In 2007, the redeveloped building received the prestigious Geurt Brinkgreve Award.