Time and again, Amsterdam has provided exciting architecture projects along the IJ waterfront. Rarely have disused industrial spaces been better creatively repurposed than here. The Kraanspoor Project on the eastern banks of the northern IJ is just one of the successful examples. The building was completed back in 2007. The goal was to cover the cement-and-track structure of a former crane system that until the late 1970s had formed part of a wharf with a new construction. The resulting building is a transparent, three-story glass volume measuring 270 meters in length that has been erected above the existing plant, which in turn sits on stilts. The new construction was planned and realized by studio OTH run by Dutch architect Trude Hooykaas, who discovered the potential of the industrial relic as early as 1997 and was able to successfully prevent the original plan to tear down the old structure in order to build here.
One of the Kraanspoor tenants is the concept agency Enbiun, which develops and provides support for design and marketing projects in the areas of food and hospitality. The Enbiun team itself designed the rooms it moved into last year. It goes without saying that everything revolves around food and hospitality here – the spatial concept includes a large shared kitchen and a lavish coffee bar. Naturally, an inspiring environment further requires the right furnishing when it comes to creative areas, and to this end the designers have made use of products by Zeitraum, among others. The interior features the slender chair model “Okito” as well as the bar stool version “Okito Bar” by the Bavarian manufacturer. Berlin designer duo Läufer & Keichel provided the design for the seating furniture, which is made up of a tubular-steel frame and a solid-wood seat and backrest, which are screwed together on the back in such a way that no fastenings are visible from the front. The shape of the chair appears relatively classical at first glance, yet its combination of craft and CNC-milled wooden elements make it very much up to date. All this makes for a great deal of farsightedness: in the furnishing, the agency’s concepts, and, quite literally, in our gaze across the ripples of the IJ. (mh)