Tower time …The 22-storey A’dam Toren, former home of Shell, now houses clubs, bars and a restaurant.
by Yvonne Gordon, The Guardian April 13, 2016
The landmark tower, Toren Overhoeks, will reopen in early May as A’DAM Toren – Amsterdam Dance And Music. The former home of Shell, the 22-storey waterfront tower will have clubs, bars, cafes, a revolving restaurant, a 360-degree observation deck, offices and a 110-room hotel, Sir Adam, run by the people behind luxury boutique hotel Sir Albert, also in Amsterdam. The trio at the helm of A’DAM Toren – Sander Groet, Duncan Stutterheim and Hans Brouwer – are well known in the Dutch music and events scene and a host of companies in the creative industry have signed up for the office space. Expect a few quirks: a giant swing hanging from the top-floor observation deck, clubs on both the top and bottom floors, graffiti in the car park and the two-floor “Loft”, with seven-metre-high windows, a bar and DJ booth, which promises to be the hippest hotel suite in the city.
• Opens May 2016, adamtoren.nl
Eye Film Museum
Named after the river IJ (which is pronounced “eye”), the EYE Film Museum changed the Amsterdam Noord waterfront when it opened in 2012, directly across the water from Centraal Station. Inside the iconic white building – almost a sculpture in itself, which looks different from every viewpoint – you’ll find a selection of film screenings and exhibitions. There are four cinemas, and as well as new releases, the archive has more than 37,000 titles. Browse in the shop for film-themed gifts (such as Francis Ford Coppola wine and Daniel Craig masks) and finish your visit with coffee or cocktails on the terrace while taking in the river views.
•Films from €10, bar-restaurant open Sun-Thurs, 10am-1am and Fri-Sat to 2am, eyefilm.nl
Arriving at the NDSM wharf by ferry, you’ll notice an abandoned submarine, the floating Botel boat-hotel, an old lightship and some tall ships tied up. Walk around the old shipyard and you’ll find old trams (now lived in), a crane which is now the three-room Faralda Hotel, shipping containers with a restaurant and others which are student accommodation. In the distance, the Kranspoor office building looks like a giant piece of Meccano. The desolate-seeming shipyard is actually bubbling with creativity – the area is home to MTV and Red Bull and inside one NDSM hangar you’ll find Kunststad (Art City), with studios for 200 artists and designers. As well as Pllek and IJ-Kantine restaurants (see below), the giant transparent Noorderlicht cafe has outdoor DJs and live music in summer.
If it just looks like a stack of rusting shipping containers piled haphazardly at the edge of a shipyard, it’s because that’s exactly what Pllek is – from the front. Walk through a container and the space opens out into a large square room, with shipping container walls and a glass-front, set right on the river. Furniture is made from recycled materials and salvaged maritime objects and floors are bare concrete, but it’s the river views that really catch the eye. Visitors come over on the ferry for long weekend lunches; the cool kids arrive at night for the DJs, when the seating is cleared away. The outdoor seating and beach area fills up quickly in good weather and of course, there is yoga on a Sunday.
• Kitchen open 9.30am-10pm, bar open till 3am at weekends, +31 20 2900 020, pllek.nl
The latest incarnation of Clink hostels (founded in London by two Irish backpacking sisters), Clink Noord is in an old Shell building, which still has an industrial vibe. As with much of Noord, creativity is the theme and there is studio and gallery space, a cafe, a nightclub, plus programmes for established visiting artists, bands and writers (paint, play or write and stay for free) which means guests are often treated to a free gig or exhibition. On the practical side, nice touches include free Wi-Fi throughout, power sockets and a locker for each bed, bike storage and en suite dorms.
•Dorm beds from €17, rooms from €70, +44 20 7183 9400, clinkhostels.com
A former factory that once made ships’ engines and kitchen equipment, this waterside industrial space on the river IJ is now home to the Stork fish and seafood restaurant. It’s not easy to make a 1,100-squre-metre hangar feel cosy but this has been achieved with just the right furnishings, lamps, plants, screens and boat sails suspended from the ceiling. However, it’s the seafood menu that’s the star: daily specials and fresh catches often include sea bream, sea bass and brill. There’s a platter with North Sea crab, snow crab, mussels, clams, smoked salmon and mackerel rillette, or try a serving of oysters or the North Sea sole.
• Mains from €17.50, seafood platter €19.50, +31 206 344 000, restaurantstork.nl
Hotel de Goudfazant
Named after a 1960s song, Hotel de Goudfazant is a place to eat rather than rest your head as it doesn’t have guestrooms. While its neighbour Stork has managed to soften the industrial feel, at Goudfazant it makes the most of the stark, factory setting. Don’t be surprised to be seated on an old office chair, with a retro sports car parked near your table (the space was once a garage) and spot a bicycle rack (usually full) next to the wine cooler. The reasonably priced food is French in theme, with lots of seafood (oysters, crab, monkfish and salt cod are regulars) and don’t miss the cheeseboard to finish.
• Mains from €18.50, three courses €31.50, +31 206 365 170, hoteldegoudfazant.nl
If you’re exploring Amsterdam Noord by bike, check out Nieuwendammerdijk, a beautiful, long and narrow street of historic wooden Dutch houses, some dating back to the 1500s. Number 202-204 is where the wealthy De Vries-Lentsh shipbuilding family lived – the house is caled De Halve Maen (the half moon) after the Dutch East India Company ship that took the first Dutch settlers to New York in 1609. Some of the houses have clock faces and crested facades, like numbers 301 to 309 which were captains’ houses in the 1700s. The neo-classic houses at numbers 300-308 were home to famous doctor Johan Georg Metzger in the 1800s – he was given the land by princess Sophia of Sweden in gratitude for treatment.
The former workers canteen for Shell between 1941 and 2011 (when the company occupied the entire Overhoeks area), the Tolhuistuin (tollhouse garden) is now a thriving event and restaurant space – the first floor of the pavilion is home to the large cafe-restaurant THT (cards only, no cash) and the small park behind the building is a popular spot in summer. There’s also a gallery, concert hall, dance studios and regular events. Take the audio tour to learn more about the area – such as the gallows where prisoners were hanged in view of the river in the 1600s. You can either rent an audio device or download the tour via app.
• +31 207 63650, tolhuistuin.nl
Drop into this large bright brasserie on the river IJ, right on the NDSM waterfront, for breakfast, lunch, dinner or drinks on the riverside terrace. The huge space is dominated by massive windows to the front and back, giving it a transparent, bright feel, and colourful furniture contrasts with the large grey industrial pipes overhead. The lunch menu includessalad, soup, sandwiches, steak and sea bass, while the dinner menu might include duck with rocket stew, baked sole with salad or beetroot risotto. It’s also right beside the NDSM ferry so popping over just for lunch is do-able.
• Lunch from €6.50, dinner mains from €17.50, seafood platter from €19.25pp, +31 206 337 162, ijkantine.nl
How to get there
Free ferries run from behind Amsterdam Centraal station. For A’DAM Toren, Eye Film Institute, Nieuwendammerdijk and Clink Noord, take the Buiksloterweg ferry (five-minute crossing). For the NDSM shipyard, Pllek, IJKantine and Noorderlicht cafe, take the NDSM ferry (15-minute crossing). For Hotel de Goudfazant and Stork, take the IJPlein ferry (five-minute crossing then a 20-minute walk).
This article was written by Yvonne Gordon from The Guardian and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.