Volkshotel’s building originates from the 60’s, build as a home for one of Holland’s largest newspapers, de Volkskrant. After the newspaper moved out in 2007, the building was in bad shape and demolition seemed inevitable. However, the ‘Urban Resort’ foundation found a way to temporarily use the building. These ex-squatters invited hundreds of creative minds to come and join them and turn the old offices into creative workspaces. One of the creative minds that moved in even turned the old journalist’s canteen into club and restaurant Canvas.
The building became a part of Amsterdam’s cultural scene and plans were made to transform, instead of demolish it. In 2014, Volkshotel was born. A place for everyone, still with a ‘Broedplaats’ containing over 200 creative minds, a transformed Canvas, basement cocktail bar Doka and cafe Werkplaats on the ground floor.
Thanks to Urban Resort, this building is still standing. During the days that it was actually set to get demolished, they kept it going with their slightly idealistic and experimental ideas. Urban Resort’s Hilde: “This place is special, because it consists of so many really different kind of creative minds. It was the first creative workspace that Urban Resort ever set up, so it was all one big experiment.”
It will keep changing
With festivals attracting around 1200 visitors, floor parties, exhibitions, film nights, discussion groups and much more, Hilde has had a lot to keep track of. Hilde: “At one point, a man lived here, in a broom cupboard. He kept it secret for a long time but when people found out, no one knew what to do.”. A lot has changed since then, Urban resort has grown to have 12 projects and no one (as far as we know..) is living in a broom cupboard anymore.
Broedplaats VKG is still an important part of Volkshotel. Not only do they contribute to keeping the vibe lively and local, they also collaborate with us when a creative hand, photographer or designer is needed. In the coming months we will highlight some of the creative individuals and give you an insight of what happens behind the doors of these 85 studios.
All photos & written text by: Merel Løkke Rasmussen