Het Scheepvaarthuis - interior details

top: painted wall panel | bottom: brocade wall covering

I was recently lucky enough to join a guided tour of Het Scheepvaarthuis in Amsterdam. I say ‘lucky enough’ because I understand these tours don’t happen very often and I wouldn’t have been aware of the opportunity had it not been for the indispensable local knowledge of R&M (thanks R&M!). Het Scheepvaarthuis was once the headquarters of several Dutch shipping companies but is now a five star hotel (and at €470 – €690 per night I wasn’t going to get to see the interior without joining a tour!).

It was built in two phases (between 1913-16 and 1926-28) and is considered one of the primary examples of ‘Amsterdam School’ architecture… to my untrained eye a kind of art deco/art nouveau/modernista hybrid with a uniquely Dutch twist and lashings of brick expressionism. Architect Johan van der Mey set out to create a building that would embody Amsterdam’s maritime history and so it is jam-packed with wonderful aquatic, oceanic, nautical motifs.

I was really struck by the attention to detail given to every aspect of the building’s interior and exterior and also by the quality of the craftsmanship (woodwork, wrought ironwork, stained glass, stone & brick work etc.). They don’t make buildings like this anymore!

Het Scheepvaarthuis - exterior details

above: exterior details | below: interior & exterior details

Het Scheepvaarthuis - interior details