The Scheepvaarthuis (Shipping House) is one of Amsterdam's best-known monuments. Architect J.M. van der Mey designed the building. The Scheepvaarthuis is located on the corner of Prins Hendrikkade and Binnenkant, in the former harbor of Amsterdam.
PIECE DE RESISTANCE
The Scheepvaarthuis was built as a joint office for six Amsterdam shipping companies. It was to be a modern and functional office building. The structure is a piece de resistance of the Amsterdam School and one of the main examples of this architectural style. Characteristics of the Amsterdam School are the profuse masonry along the chimneys, ridge beams and frames and the design of the corners.
The building is richly decorated with sculptures and wrought iron. Many of the decorations refer to the history of shipping in Holland. Symbols include seahorses, dolphins, waves and anchors.
The four oceans (the Indian Ocean, the Mediterranean, the Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean) are represented around the entrance. In the window next to the main entrance you see an illustration of Neptune with a globe. In the other window, the cities of Amsterdam and Venice symbolize the V.O.C. (United East India Company) and the W.I.C. (the trade with America and Africa).
The most remarkable feature of the interior is the central stairwell. The staircases have been richly decorated with shells, octopuses and other figures. During office hours you may join a guided tour of this beautiful feature.
The last of the six shipping companies left the building in 1981. Since then the building has been the head office of the Municipal Transportation Company Amsterdam (GVB). At the moment there are plans to turn the Scheepvaarthuis into a hotel. The new owner will have to preserve the monumental aspects of the building, as it is a national monument.
More detail pictures:
Inside of the building. Glass rooftop in the form of a ship. Very beautiful stained glass
Main entrance, not in use now
Main entrance ceiling. Stellar configuration Ursa major
Beautiful, artful masonry all over the facade. Letters stand for one of the shipping companies, Koninklijke Nederlandsche Stoomboot Maatschappij
Very beautifully ornamented facade on the Buiten Bantammerstraat. Central staue, made out of lead is that of Jhr. Op ten Noort, being the father of architect van der Mey. His mother was theihouskeeper
Beautiful cast iron fence, all part of the 'global' archicture
Inside of the building.
Bridge across the Kromme Waal, designed also by van der Mey. Pure Amsterdam School architecture. People in Amsterdam were very upset in 1924: No Amsterdam kind of bridge they said