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Amsterdamse School architecture was a style of structural design that emerged in the Netherlands during the early 20th century. The buildings that are associated with the movement typically feature expressive, artistic flourishes that recall Art Deco or Art Nouveau, yet possess a distinctively restrained, almost judicious sensibility. Due to their historical and cultural importance, many of these structures are now listed monuments.
Het Schip is part of a larger residential block that was designed by Michel de Klerk under the guidance of a socialist housing group. De Klerk believed that he was building a worker’s palace which would remedy Amsterdam’s housing problems while paying tribute to the city’s laborers. Het Schip’s iconic spire is flanked by two rounded, brick walls that create an astounding, multilayered silhouette. In 2005, Het Schip was converted into the Amsterdamse School Museum.
📍 Het Schip, Oostzaanstraat 45, Amsterdam, Netherlands, +31 20 686 8595
Scheepvaarthuis was designed by several artists that would eventually become members of the Amsterdamse School and is usually recognized as the movement’s first complete architectural project. These figures were commissioned by an influential group of Dutch shipping companies to create a monumental office building on a long strip of land just beyond Amsterdam’s historic dockyards. Today, the building is owned by the Grand Hotel Amrâth.
📍 Scheepvaarthuis, Prins Hendrikkade 108, Amsterdam, Netherlands, +31 20 551 2512
To prepare Amsterdam for the 1928 Summer Olympics, the Dutch architect Jan Wils was commissioned to build a massive stadium in the southwest quarter of the city. This area had recently undergone considerable modifications and was quickly becoming a desirable, modern neighborhood. Aware of this, Wils designed the stadium with contemporary standards in mind and employed several aesthetic gestures borrowed from the Amsterdamse School’s repertoire, such as winding brick façades and heavily decorated, geometric entrances.
📍 Olympisch Stadion, Olympisch Stadion 2, Amsterdam, Netherlands, +31 20 305 4400
In the early 1920s, Arend Jan Westerman was commissioned to design a new polytechnic school on a small plot of land that connected three canals in western Amsterdam. Instead of shirking away from the water, Westerman decided to incorporate it into his plan and devised a building that flowed alongside these canals – an expressive composition that is among the finest examples of Amsterdamse School architecture.
📍 Het Sieraad, Postjesweg 1, Amsterdam, Netherlands, +31 20 820 0928
Waalseilandbrug is a small, fixed bridge that crosses a canal which runs adjacent to the Scheepvaarthuis. The bridge was designed by Jo van der Mey – one of the main architects behind the Scheepvaarthuis and a leading figure in the Amsterdamse School. Van der Mey gave his bridge several embellishments that betray his attachment to expressionism, including angular arches and decorative iron reliefs that are shaped like seahorses.
Jeruzalemkerk is a spectacular Protestant church located in the de Baarsjes neighborhood of Amsterdam. It was built between 1928-1929 and designed by Ferdinand Jantzen – an Amsterdamse School architect who went on to create several other monumental religious buildings throughout the Netherlands. Its geometrical façade is laced with symbolism, and its seven outer windows represent the biblical account of creation.
📍 Jeruzalemkerk, Jan Maijenstraat 14, Amsterdam, Netherlands, +31 20 612 4628
Amsterdams Lyceum was constructed in 1917 around plans laid out by the Dutch architect Herman Ambrosius Jan Baanders. The building’s main façade is completely symmetrical and converges around two magnificent arches that act as a gateway to its inner courtyard. Since its inauguration, Amsterdams Lyceum has housed a secondary school of the same name.