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Amsterdam's latest Hotspot pulls them in

Late in 1999, a group of artists, theater people, skaters and architects calling themselves Kinetisch Noord (Kinetic North) approached Amsterdam City council with a proposal - to turn the disused NDSM wharf, a former shipyard on the northern banks of the IJ, into the major European hotspot of young talent and artistic activity. Their dream that the old shipyard could find a new life as a kind of groovy and modernistic arnivalof creativity, fun and entertainment for all the family in the heart of Amsterdam industrial and mercantile port. Providing a really sustainable and people-serving development for this hip city.

- The modern and luxurious 175 room floating hotel AmstelBotel has just moored there AmstelBotel
- The icket for TibetFestival is to be held at NDSM on 20 April TicketforTibet
- The IJ Jazz Festival will be opening in the Spring.
- The Pollux, a former navy training ship, has been restored and transformed into a cafe/restaurant. Pollux
- The spacious Noorderlicht (Northern Light) Caf?, the unconventional IJ Kaantina , the Gulden Pheasant, NDSM OverHetIJRobodock
- Plus, every weekend youl find a BIG party happening a la Amsterdamnd the NDSM now provides a berth to an old Russian submarinenbsp;

A space larger than 10 football fields

The disused NDSM Wharf - a rough but spacious tribute to Amsterdam heavy industrial past, was larger than 10 football fields. The huge area contained a hangar-like structure 20,000 sq. meters in area and 20 meters in height, a 6,000-sq. meter building and two historic ship slipways, plus the usual accoutrements of a working shipyard (cranes and all) rusting, unloved and unused. But, with sensational views over the IJ river and Amsterdam itself, the transportation systems to deliver a major workforce daily, a unique place in Amsterdam illustrious mercantile heritage and VAST amounts of parking!

In June 2002, Kinetic North presented its plan, and, since then, affordable studios and other working spaces have been built. Working closely with tenants, Kinetisch Noord builds the main bodies of spaces, which are then finished by the resident artists, giving everyone a say in their costs, quality and design. Each block has electricity, water and sewerage connections. The work spaces vary from 50 to 150 sq. meters, with heights of 3.20 m, 6 m and even more.

The Unconventional Venue Now

The enormous 100 x 200 metres NDSM hall,, houses the unststad(Art City) a complex of artistsstudios and workshops on one or two levels, connected by a network of long broad streets and narrower side streets., and the ostvleugel(East Wing 12 studios housing traveling theatre groups, set builders and artists). There are now 10,000 sq. meters of workshops, a 2,000-sq. meter skate park, 4,200 sq. meters devoted to other youth activities and 6,000 sq. meters of exhibition and theater space.

The south corner is occupied by the Internationale Theaterwerkplaats, a multifunctional area of 450 sq. meters with a mezzanine, changing rooms and a bar. The Vrije Kavelstrook (Free Lot Strip) on the south side of the hall contains lots where tenants can design and construct their own buildings. Section 4, on the west side, is earmarked for youth-oriented projects and initiatives, such as a floating skate park that stands seven meters high. The space under the skate park is used for a variety of other activities, such as puppet shows, a hip-hop school, an internet caf? and chill-out areas.

Noordstrook (North Strip) is 6,000 sq. meters (with a former shipyard workshop attic space yet to be adapted) that is suitable for theater performances, exhibitions and surprise projects. Future plans include festivals and parties.

The Docklandshall is adjacent to the NDSM hall and covers 5,800 sq. meters. The hall is suitable for large-scale events, such as theatre and music performances, company conferences, parties, major exhibitions, and markets and bazaars. The hall can accommodate up to 5,000 visitors (ideal for house parties and large performances). However, the space can also be partitioned to host smaller productions and events. The hall is offered as a large empty space, without partitions, stages or bars, giving full freedom to arrange and fit out the space as required.

The wharf also houses two enormous ramps, ramp X and ramp Y. Under the ramps are a number of spaces that artists have turned into workshops. These artists include sculptors, painters, a photographer, set builders and a coppersmith.

A canteen for users of the NDSM facilities is situated at the top of ramp Y. The roof of ramp Y, with its amazing views of the IJ and the city, offers excellent possibilities for open air performances.

Exciting Projects and a Myriad of Opportunities

The wharf also offers ample opportunities for exhibitions, try-outs, large and small performances, festivals, parties and so on.
NDSM tenants are working on a number of projects on the site, some of which are already complete including Dazzleville, painted temporary workshops covering some 900 sq. meters, De Houten Kop pavilion, a caf? and performance area made from recycled materials and straw, Hellingen (slipways) X and Y, 2,500 sq. meters of traditional studios and an underground canteen for those working at the wharf.

Renewable energy, a heat pump, a windmill attached to a crane, prayer and gas station od and Gasfor spirituality and mobility (the gas station pumps vegetable oil) and mobile gardens and a mobile library.

Great Festivals

With its position, transportation, parking facilities and wide range of catering NDSM is absolutely ideal for BIG parties and festivals, so it quite natural that Amsterdam biggest and grooviest festivals are now held here.

Robodock is a unique and very edgy international festival with a main core of technology, spectacle theatre, multi-media and industrial installations. The festival shows unpredictable combinations of different disciplines and bizarre theatrical applications. It four days 'state of the art' - projects that have no like in Europe and that are specially developed for and by the Robodock Festival.

ver het IJFestival.- a summer festival of large scale theatrical projects and avante-garde mayhem. Expect the unexpected!

Financial & Other Support

Support has come from organizations including: Ontwikkelingsbedrijf Gemeente Amsterdam (OGA, BroedplaatsAmsterdam, Dienst Maatschappelijke Ontwikkeling (DMO) Amsterdam, Ministerie voor Volkshuisvesting Ruimtelijke Ontwikkeling & Miliieu (VROM/IPSV Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst (Art), Fonds voor Amateur- en Podiulmkunst, VSB Fonds, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, Het Gilde van Werkgebouwen aan het IJ (association of 24 (former) squat builidings in Amsterdam), Terschellings Oerol , Over IJ Festival (Amsterdam) Theater en Huis a/d Werf (Utrecht), British Council (Brussels) Urban Catalyst (Berlin), La Friche (Marseille) PS1 (New York) and others.

So, it all set to happen at the NDSM yet another Golden Age for (unconventional) tourism in Amsterdam.


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