When the Scheepvaarthuis is finished in 1916, it is a very modern building, not at all appreciated by all the inhabitants of Amsterdam. The building has central heating, a working elevator and a terras on the roof so that the office people can have their lunch outside. The new believe in fresh air and light is established in the building as a working space. People who would like to go on a journey can go to the Scheepvaarthuis to book their journey in an atmosphere of luxury.
Unfortunately for Amsterdam, the haven of Rotterdam is taken over their position as imporant city in the shipping industry, and also the concurrence of the airtravels does not do good for the company. It results in an empty Scheepvaarthuis in 1979. The municipal of Amsterdam used the building since 1938 untill they offer the building for sale in 1998. Then the building is bought by Van Eijl who would like to transform it into a luxery hotel. Van Eijl asks the architect (Kentie) to make a design that respects the authentic identity of the building but also presents an atmosphere as if the hotel has always been there. During the restauration the outside appears to be much lighter than imagined. Beautiful yellows and orange colours appear. And the windows of Javanese teak-wood are shining like gold in the sun. The building gets the nick-name: building with the golden windows.
During our weekend of A Few Days Like No Others we arranged a guided tour and a lunch in the hotel. The guide was very knowledge, a fact that our group could very well appreciate. The lunch was not very special, but tasted good anyway: soup with bread.
The guide took us out for a better look at the outside of the building. It appears that the back of the building has never been finished. There is even a much older building that is connected to the hotel that survived the building fever, because at some point Van Eijl was short on money and the owers of the house managed to get it a monumental status, so it was saved of destruction.
It actually gives the impressions as if they still building on the hotel.
Back inside the building we are enjoying the grandeur of the interieur.