De Hallen

Adres: Tollensstraat – Bellamyplein 
Bouwjaar: 1901-1903 / 1914
Architect: Publieke werken Amsterdam
Restauratie architect: Architectenbureau J. van Stigt bv
Opdrachtgever: Tramremise Ontwikkelings Maatschappij (TROM)
Bouwbedrijf: Strukton & bouwbedrijf De Nijs
Bouwsom:  €32.000.000,-
Start bouw: januari 2013
oplever jaar:  december 2014
Bijzonderheden:  Rijksmonument
Fotoboek: De hallen 13 punten
Fotoboek: De hallen       13 punten



Brief description of the conservation work

Tram depot the Halls is a national monument and has historically been a closed enclave in the late nineteenth-century expansion of Amsterdam, characterized by long closed brick blocks with monumental facades facing the street, roofs with their slender frames and Polonceau rafters are remarkably The Halls is a traditional, functionalistic complex build for  the maintenance of the first electric trams around 1900.
The building was in a deplorable state. The challenge was to do a renovation according to the 21 century and to open en connect the building in his surroundings.
Our vision is that the functions within a building should follow their form, and how the wide range of facilities could be situated as appropriate as possible in the building.
The future users were closely involved, to make the complex a magnet for people from all over the city and even worldwide, but also an area where users will work with pleasure.

Concise summary

Program:Total 22.000m²  of which  16.000 m² Movie halls,(9) TV studios,(2)  library, hotel de Hallen, 2 restaurants , a Foodcourt, Passage, Craft center and small business and retailers, Gallery,  Re-Cycle, House of Denim ,Kinki  Academy, One Media, a Nursury Stay World Kids, Grand & Johnson.
Under hall 1, 2 and 3 a car- and bicycle parking is realized (6.000 m²)
Total investment: 37.5 million of which 32.2 million building /construction and installation costs.

From initiative to foundation TROM

Spring 2010, local residents, future users, architect André van Stigt and other stakeholders and supporters set up the Tram Remise Development Company (TROM). The initiative-group TROM has a number of purposes:

  1. To make as soon as possible a new, sustainable and high quality complex of The Halls in Amsterdam West
  2. onnect with the needs and desires of the neighborhood, but also give the complex a metropolitan air.
  3. To make the realization and operation financially feasible.
  4. To open the building for public and to connect it in its surrounding.


The Halls Amsterdam had to function on both neighborhood- as on urban level, and it was not enough to fit in the usual way of development and to face the environment only with the result. The TROM opted out of conviction for a planning process,  in which promoters, local residents, prospective users, builders and financiers were committed to the root targets. During the plan development that decision of the TROM was very important and it becomes crucial in the management phase.

Foundation Trom Nonprofit organization with social importance

The initiative itself was taken with the aim to ensure the national monument from a social ambition and not from a financial ambition with social risks. That ambition is shaped in a way that is seen around the neighborhood and by the users as a contribution to a social importance. The TROM Foundation, established by the promoters, is therefore also a non-profit organization. Of course there were technical and financial conditions. Therefore there is an independent board of, constructional and financial experts. This board maintains intensive contact with promoters, local residents, users and other stakeholders.

Private financing

An important feature of the plan for The Halls concerned the financing. To continue the desired mix of commercial and social functions in the complex, without subsidies in the development and exploitation, creativity was needed, and a solid plan was set up involving different parties and private investors. The financing is privately established.

Create interest for work

The number of people with the knowledge, skill and experience in order to restore and maintain monuments reduces quickly. Also, the number of young people in Amsterdam with these skills is reducing, there are less internships and a study to learn the craft of building is not desired by youngsters. With the redevelopment of the former tram depot several internships were integrated. The intention is,  together with the contractors, to create a spot in the Halls where young people can be interested to work in the field of construction. Idea behind is,  to let young people participate in the maintenance of De Hallen under supervision of teachers. There will also be internships and working-places offered by several tenants. These places are meant for both people from different specific schools as well for  people with a distance to the labour-market (Recycle, the Gallery Kinki, House Of Denim).

Cooperating parties for the establishment of the Halls

The parties that have worked with De Hallen:
The Library Amsterdam, Vondel Hotels, Studio,s NTVF, MOHA / The Movies, Arkin / Roads / Recycle, Beeldend Gesproken (Art Gallery), Stadsherstel/AMF, City District West and the residents association around De Hallen.

Marketing and promotion

The Foundation pursues an active marketing and promotion policy for the entire complex, both on a cultural historical monument, and as a shelter of a dynamic, cultural and social set of functions and activities.

Description of the heritage

De Hallen Amsterdam is a national monument and is build in phases between 1901 and 1928, it holds some very characteristic features. The structure of the long halls with the structure of elongated halls with the passage  at the end is unique. It is the only tram depot in the Netherlands that is kept in its original state.
Tram depot the Halls has historically been a closed enclave in the late nineteenth-century expansion, characterized by long closed brick blocks with monumental facades facing the street. Behind the facades lies a spatial inner world. The Halls is a traditional, functionalist complex which was needed for the maintenance of the first electric trams.
The roofs with their slender frames and Polonceau rafters are remarkably, they made a free span of first 9 meters and later (in Hall 1) in 1928 with new constructions even 21 meters.

The old three-way exchange, of which there are only 2 in the Netherlands, the chimney at the end of hall 7 and the 5 meter high wooden paneled doors that give accesses to the various halls showing us the craftsmanship of that time. Inside a large structure with five halls, two halls (6 and 7 ) were axial constructed, hall 6 is the so called “ traversing hall” and hall 7 was for the workshops.

The oldest structure of the current tram depot at the Bellamy square date starts 1901, the complex was in fact hidden between the Ten Kate Market , Kinkerstreet and Tollensstreet, in the middle of a working and lively neighborhood.
It was an active area only accessible for those who worked at the  GVB=  municipal transport company.  Many people found work in this field. In the depot were also different workshops for  the craftsmen, like a wood and metal workshop and a forge . But also a laundry and places for the offices for  the GBB.
Hall 4 was divided into a northern half with a depot for trailers and southern half in which the painter workshop were housed.
The halls were on two sides accessible. On the north side of the Bellamyplein were all halls provide access doors for the rails.
Also on the south side were all traces fitted with doors that opened into the transverse Hall 6 , called “traversing hall” . In here was a locomotive wagon track, so they could easily be moved to another track or hall without changing direction. At the eastern end of the wagon track was a turntable so that the trams could be rotated 90 degrees and ride out to the Tollensstreet through the eastern exit.

The second major phase followed in 1914. The new building between Tollensstreet and Bilderdijkade consisted of an oblong building with residences (Hall 17). The third phase involved the expansion of the Halls 2 and 3 on the side of the Bellamyplein an internal renovation of hall 7 and the last important part of the building in 1928 was the first floor with offices above Hall 2 and 4

Heritage protection: A group of residents and architects, gathered in neighborhood committee for the area of the GVB, were convinced that this building needed reuse and preservation . From 1999 they obtain  a monument status for the building complex. One of the architect came up with the Covent Garden as a reference image for the Markets. They say “This building is an oyster with a pearl inside.”
This committee and local politicians ask together for a monument status and that is honored. The old tram depot becomes a national monument.
After 10 years of commercial plans making failed, a social plan was developed by respecting the building and was successful.

State of conservation and use of the heritage before the project commenced.

When the TROM started in 2010, the tram depot was in a deplorable state. How could this happen?

Well before the GVB  (Municipal Transport Company) was leaving the Central Workshop at the Tollensstreet,  the officers of the Old-West district began to think about the future of the building complex. In 1994 they start with official notes about ideas , an exchange of views with local residents and community organ  in Old-West, took place.  The local neighborhood newspaper of  February / March 1995 called residents  with ideas and wishes to come in a meeting to talk about the future of the complex.

In January 1997  The GVB carries the former tram depot finally over to the Local District.
The question is what forms of temporary use is desirable and possible. There are many ideas but one of them is  that the halls after January 1 1997 should be temporarily used for at least a period of two years.
In those 2 years,  ideas about the purpose of the building could be worked out.

Immediately many candidates showed up, as start-up companies, stores, artists, set designers, etc .
The local government calculated the rent prices for m²  so that they could cover a bit the costs of an empty building. Different prices for offices, storage, artist workspaces, and young designers, musicians.
The temporarily use was much longer than 2 years and during all these years many filmmakers found their perfect spot to turn a movie, or fashion shows.

Of all temporary users the men of the Amsterdam Public Transport Museum (AOM) are the longest lasted. They oppose to the bitter end against the eviction and remain until 2006 in the tram depot, where they lovingly maintained  a number of historic trams. Only after a lawsuit, that they lose, the trams have to clean up the field.
All these years many plan makers talked with the local municipality  architects, developers , residents united , the temporarily users united and also Harry de Winter ,a well known television VIP. He came up with an idea to make an entertainment center.
All plans failed by a lack of money and local resistance.

After the building was empty, the squatters entered, and they took hall 3 as their domain. They created a complete inner world in this enormous monumental  hall, complete with café in a bus, many tents and self made living areas where people could live and sleep, even a garden with a small pool from the rain water coming through the roof, was part of their world.
The Trom had started a relation with the squatters, in a way that they were seen by the TROM as more or less the guardians of the complex. ( at  least in case of a fire they would be the first to notice) The squatters stayed until the very end, may 2012.

The building degenerated through all the years; holes in the roofs, plant growth inside, domain of pigeons and other pests that through the holes and broken windows found a safe place in the large halls. It was a very sad development, the believe that something beautiful could be realized on this spot was only with a handful of hardcore residents around the Halls and the squatters. De talks that the halls had to be demolished, were here and there more and more audible.

Detailed description

1.            Scope of the project: aims and objectives

The aim was to give new life for a beautiful industrial monument with a visibly grown history  in a part of Amsterdam where not that many monuments are and to give the district a boost,  so that people can be proud of. The complex and the ensemble value gave the halls special quality.

    1. To make as soon as possible a new, sustainable and high quality complex of The Halls in Amsterdam West
    2. Connect with the needs and desires of the neighborhood, but also give the complex a metropolitan air.
    3. To make the realization and operation financially feasible.
    4. To connect and open , the formally closed building, to the district and to make it this building a public spot in town.

History and Building

In 2007 the architect office was  approached for the redesign of the tram depot by real estate developer Burgfonds. The design phase of the redevelopment of the tram depot was completed in 2009, complete with planning permission and ready to start. In this process we worked close together with people of the neighborhood “Around de Halls”
However, by economic conditions and various other political decisions, the project did not come to an output. The economic crises was already known by architects, builders and developers.New start early 2010, the council decided that it was necessary to plan, for the preservation of the old tram depot, a new phase of thinking along residents.A new developer has been asked to look afresh what is possible with the tram depot. The municipality has asked around in the neighborhood again to form a “reflection group”  Andre van Stigt and Jet van den Heuvel joined this group of residents en interested people brought together in the “reflection group” from their earlier involvement in the plan making with Burgfonds. They brought in  the initiative of a Craft Centre in one of the Halls.
Partly, on proposal of the project manager of the council ,the “reflection group” started an alternative 2nd plan , in addition to the plan of the developer. The group was not satisfied with the plans of the developer who wanted to demolish part of the monument, and who was not that interested in what the neighborhood wanted. This form of citizen involvement is special. In the spring of 2010, a number of parties have taken the initiative to set up the Trom  (Tram remise Development Company)  to an earlier example of the Bom (Neighborhood Development Company) founded by Van Stigt in the nineteen’s to realize the grainsilo,s with Schaefer.
A severe competition between Trom and developer Lingotto started. Trom came out to win the competition and was chosen to redevelop the Tram depot. That was never expected by the people of  the city council.


The passage
Life-blood of the Halls is the Passage that connects the Bilderdijkkade and Ten Kate Market together. The Passage consists of two parts: The first major section runs from the Ten Kate Market to Tollensstreet. The second smaller area is located in Hall 17, the extension (1908) of the former tram depot, and runs from the Tollensstreet to Bilderdijkkade.
The entrances of almost all users is at the Passage, except the hotel and nursery. The passage has a public function, the ideal place for special markets such as Local Goods, exhibitions, the red carpet for the movie halls or catwalk at fashion shows.

The tenants of the Halls

A  large diversity of tenants find their place in the Halls. During the development of this building the classification of the spaces are taken into account with the intended functions, in order to maintain the original state of the monument as much as possible.
Hall 1:
The Library: The library and their reading café “Belcampo” is the living room of the neighborhood.
Hotel the Halls: placed In line with Hall 1 has  a prominent entrance and terrace at Bellamy square side.
Onemedia: Right next to Hall 1 is the staircase and elevator from the parking garage to the workspaces of Onemedia which is housed on the first floor.
Hall 2:
Movie Halls: Next to the library you will find the  movie halls. A movie theater with a varied program that can be seen in three large and six smaller halls. In the movie halls the old Parisien Hall (1924) seen as world heritage and owned by family Desmet, is replaced. The initiators of the Movie Halls are the owners of the famous art deco movie center “The Movies.”
Hall 3:
Restaurant Lounge and Food Halls: This is one of the  oldest, most monumental and gift hall. Due to the public function and use, a second public axis is realized in addition to the main Passage. The Food Halls are on the side of the passage, the pub and restaurant Halte 3 and  Meat West are situated at the Bellamy square side. On this side is a spacious terrace.
Hall 4:
The TV studios. The studios are run by a professional team, NTVF Productions BV. Hall 4 has two studios on the ground floor and the production functions and offices on the 1st floor. Besides Tv programs this studio will be used for small events.
Hall 5:
The craft center. This hall provides space for varies crafts, a.o. an initiative of a number of companies who participated in the realization of the halls and who are concerned about the craftsmanship in construction. They want to bring their mentality closer to the youth Other companies in Hall 5 are the Denim Lab and the headquarters of Kinki hairdressers. Adjacent to Hall 5 at Bellamy square you find a nursery with its own playground and entrance managed by the company World Kids.
Hall 6:
Passage. Public space and access, entrances to the companies and organizations of The Halls. The Passage can be used for special markets such as Local Goods. In the Passage is also the entrance to a free bicycle parking.
Hall 7:
In hall 7 are several relatively small units, in which a diversity of creative tenants have settled down. Seen from Tollensstreet you find gallery and art rental “Beeldend Gesproken” ​​, followed by bike shop Re-Cycle, who also takes on the management of the bicycle parking. Next to Re-Cycle, the Jeans Academy, store  and Jean Archives from the owner Foundation House of Denim, managed by James Veenhof . Next to them , Kinki Academy and Youngbloods a training center to become a hairdresser and a place where your hair can be cut. At the Ten Kate Gate you find Grand & Johnson a designers company.
Parking and bicycle parking:
At the  Bellamy square side, close to hotel de Hallen  is the entrance to the parking garage for 165 cars. In the Passage is also the entrance to a free bicycle parking, enough space for about 500 bicycles, including repair. The bicycle parking is guarded during the day and late in the evenings there is camera surveillance.Altogether, the Halls is a dynamic mix of users involved. Users who find each other on aspects of cooperation in workplace training and multifunctional use of each other’s facilities. Our users have been integrated along ‘on planning and development, but there is also assumed a reversible, flexible construction.

2.            Historical and technical research
 By doing  a “stage”-feasibility study:

  • a good architectural recording and analysis;
  • by thoroughly analyzing the characteristic features and limitations of the buildings;
  • and by finding  “appropriate” functions  that correctly economic and spatial made use of the buildings,

All details were collected through so-called “feasibility studies”  a prior stage of the Preliminary Draft, with a financial support and detailed recordings. This is also very important to insure the principal before the contract will be signed. In many buildings and also for the Halls was a financial, functional and aesthetic consideration in an early stage of great importance.

3.            Stages of implementation

The building phase started in January 2013.
The first phase completing was April 2013  Library, Hotel,  Gallery , Recycle, Parking.
The second phase September 2014 Movie halls, TV Studio, Nursery, Restaurants, Kinki Academy, House of Denim, Grand &Johnson.

 4.            Design and conservation work carried out

We are simple and effective for restorations. Our solutions are designed to achieve a harmony between old and new, by carefully but with contemporary detailing and resources, to reflect the existing architecture. Only on strict functional (users) reasons changes in the monument are acceptable.

 The balance between the technical, aesthetic and functional needs in the project was  “leading” with the building principal as focal point: so to say functions follow the form, or functions on a “logical and proper place to achieve. So 1 studio and a few cinema rooms were located in the halls with an upper floor. These functions need no light.

 Foundation TROM will stay involved in the project for the coming ten years . They are also responsible for the maintenance contract which is signed with the contractors at the beginning of the process. So from the beginning on the contractors are made responsible for the conservation of the building for the future.

 5.            Context in which the project was undertaken

The building was in a deplorable state in the heart of a multi cultural 19e century district of Amsterdam where renovations has taken place only the last recent years. The building was standing for more than an age already in the district but many people never saw the inside world. We were convinced that renovation, reuse and connecting the building to his surrounding by giving it a public function would be an enormous impulse for the complete district and the people who lived there.

 It was also in the middle of a economic crises in Europe and it was very difficult to approach banks to loan money for building projects. So the TROM  has spoken with many of them. Finally the Triodes bank together with the NRF ( national restoration fund) became partners for a part of the costs.

6.            Design and technical problems involved and their chosen solutions both before and during the work

The architect wanted a building that was not only sustainable but also meets the  technical requirements of the 21st century. LED lighting, Floor- heating and cooling, mechanical ventilation system. A private WKO installation which made the energy costs lower for the tenants. Parking under hall 1,2 and 3 because he had to do a new foundation which made it easy to make a layer under the building.

Functions were  implemented on the basis of a program of requirements there where it was suitable for the building. So the building was more or less leading. All the roofs in the halls are kept in sight, even in the movie halls it is possible to have light if needed,  by opening the screens. Hall 3 the most monumental hall was difficult  because the requirement of Monument care  was, that this hall had to be completely open and from the passage you had to look through to  the Bellamy square. So How to find a tenant who can exploit so many  m² for restaurants and catering.  We are the capital of the Netherlands, but not NY, London or Paris where millions of people live. Monument care also wanted  the three-way interaction rail replaced In hall 3.

It was difficult to convince the tenant  about all these requirements. All requirements are realized.

7.            Use of appropriate building and conservation techniques

Our projects are designs have a signature, experienced in reuse since 1985 with the first major project in Amsterdam of the reuse of the Entrepotdok. We always look for  the affinity with the historical context, detail and integration in large and small scale, particularly by the finding of new destinations to buildings so that they become a lively part of the city and the environment. The architect listened to the building and gives the building a leading role in the functions to fit in.

 If you visit our website you will see that  projects designed to support our ideas and methods, are established in a context of participation, collaboration with neighborhoods / users, residents and of course the clients.

The philosophy of the office is that the architect presents the role of the confidant of the principal. This means that he personally and intensively leads the complete construction process  “from preliminary design, to implementation, from mainline to detail,”. His knowledge and expertise in cost control (budgets, specifications) are committed, and the architect is responsibility for the main organization, inclusive the integration of the installations.

In some special complicated situations we work together with the civil engineers (van Rossum,  AVW and Techpro). But even in that situation we retain the initiative and determine the main line. Architecturally and in details the photos of our work speaking their own language.

Costs (in Euro), financial and management arrangements

Total Investment                                                                                           37.6 million euro

  • building costs 2 million ( 22000m²)
  • architect constructor, management 4 million
  • other development costs 0 million
  • costs for tenants 4 million
  • taxes, rents, financing 4 million

Financial structure

Construction: TROM a nonprofit foundation as active partner on behalf of the cv commandieten in the role as developer.
7.5 million private investors; including architect and his family, family De Nijs and private residents of      Amsterdam participated.
In the event halls: also approx 3.5 to 5 million subordinated loan of the contractors.
City of Amsterdam  takes the parking turn-key for 5.8 million, and the Passage for  1.6 million.
Province of North Holland € 750.000
Loan of Triodos  and NRF  9.3 and 6.9 million  (40% total)


Selling Parking and Passage              7.400.000

Net                                                                                                                        30.200.000

Yearly rent starting                                                                                            2.400.000

Yearly costs                                          600.000

Yearly financing rents etc.                                                                                800.000

           financing pay back                                                                                  600.000

Risk and rent on investment                                                                            6%    


The project started and is realized in  the middle of the economic crises in Europe and it was very difficult to approach banks to loan money for building projects. So the TROM  has spoken with many of them and that took a complete year, although we had rented out the building already for 85%  inclusive contracts of the tenants. Finally we found  the Triodes bank willing together with the NRF ( national restoration fund) They became partners for part of the costs.

Contribution of the project to the conservation and enhancement of the cultural heritage

The project is the proof of a complete Revolution in thinking  about reuse in the Netherlands. In fact; Start with users. Start with finding the good respectable function for the building / building places. Another way of financing. No subsidized functions or money No social housing but 40 % private investment with low return( 5%) and tax –value reduction for the restoration part ( 40 % loaning 20%  selling). Together this made possible that social firms ,the  library , Filmhouse and educational related firms came in, paid by the commercial tenants as Hotel, restaurants and TV studios.
The architect as building master and responsible for the total project.
Another important change: the developer TROM and investors take their responsibility for at least 10 years by not selling the building.

Other participants

  1. Foundation Trom ( Tram depot development company) a non profit organization,  was  established to become the CLIENT, and this foundation will stay connected  with the Halls at least  for the coming ten years.  Members of the board

Mr. Haas Kuijper                 secretary
Mr. Roel Geuzinge              treasurer
Mr. Eisse Kalk                       chairman

  1. The Contractor De Nijs and Strukton  participated in the project financially with subordinated loan and they rented the craft hall for the coming ten years.
  1. The neighborhood community  “Around The Halls” were involved, even before the project started,  and participated in the development of ideas for the concept of the halls. Representatives of the community are  Hanna Klomp and Joop Dijkhuis.
  1. A large number of potential tenants had been involved in a early stage for the concept and they are now tenants of the complex.Vondel Hotels Jan Willen and Arjen van den Hof owners of Hotel de HallenLibrary Erica Schoen manager of the libraryArt Gallery  Monique Cornelissen ( social firm)  directorRe-Cycle  Emile Hoogenboom ( social firm) manager
  1. The municipality of Amsterdam in person of Co Stor, he was an important link between the Foundation Trom and the varies municipal services.
  1. Dutch Restoration Fund (NRF) participated with a very low rented loan and they believed in the non profit project developer and Triodos Bank.
  1. Mr Igno Dijvenstijn , tax advisor, and a tax inspector checked the entire specifications and conditions by looking at the items of deferred maintenance that were deductible for tax. They worked together  with the architect in this phase. This was very  important for the private investors, for whom it was interesting if they participated  in the project to get tax deduction.
  1. The notary Monique Laenen of DLA Piper who also participated as a volunteer in the concept phase to advice the board Trom, how to realize this project, in the world of real estate development,  as a nonprofit principal.
  1. Some private financiers, for instance  the architect himself , the mother and the wife of the architect and some other relatives and residents of the city of Amsterdam. All together for around 7 million euro.
  2. Varies interior architects participated with the main architectHans Kuiper for filmhalsl and tv studiosMarco van Veldhuizen for the hotelLuc Willekes for the library
  3. Constructor: Van Rossum ( structural engineering agency) http://www.vanrossumbv.n
    Contractor:                          VOF Strukton-De Nijs
    Mechanical engineer:        Unica
    Electrician:                           van den Pol
    Plumber:                              Lenting
    Facade restoration:            Ervas

Accessibility of the building

The Halls Amsterdam is located in West, between the Kinkerstreet and Bellamy square connected by Tollensstreet and ten Kate Market. 90 % is accessible for disabled people, elevators bike ( 600) and car parking (165).

Access by public transport : line 7 from Leidse square; line 17 from Central Station. Trams stop at Bilderdijkstreet , Kinkerstreet , Ten Kate Market .

Opening hours : from 07:00 to 23:00 hours ( weekends until 03:00 ) Hotel open 24 hours of course.

Expected visitors: 1 million per year ( 3000 a day)  for food court 9 film halls, 2 studios and market

We work on it that tourists will not only visit the center of Amsterdam but also the interesting districts close to the inner center of Amsterdam.

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