Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam
A hundred years old former building of the Stock Exchange in Amsterdam is now used as an exhibition and concert hall.
Architecture and history of Beurs van Berlage building
Beurs van Berlage is an important monument of the modern Dutch architecture. It was built between 1898 and 1903 by the prominent Dutch architect of the 20th century Hendrik Petrus Berlage (1856-1934). Berlage costructed the Beurs on the newly created piece of land obtained by covering the city's oldest harbour basin located in the very center of Amsterdam.
The architectural importance of the Berlage Beurs lays in its original volume and the new aesthetics it proposed at the time. It is the sober brick building, which does not try to immitate ghotic or renaissance as many other important city buildings in Amsterdam erected at the end of the 19th century. Like for example Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk Museum, Central Station or Stadsschouwburg. But instead establishes its own, new style.
The Beurs van Berlage building is simple and sober in its form. Its main decoration is a big clock placed high on the tower. On the corners of the Beurs stand three sculpture figures. Gijsbrecht van Aemstel a legendary hero celebrated in literature, founder of Amsterdam, Jan Pieterszoon Coen, a hero officer of Dutch East India Company from its beginnings in the 17th century, and Hugo de Groot (Grotius), a humanist, writer, philosopher and lawyer of international importance.
The Beurs van Berlage has the unique and well preserved interiors. The main hall used originally as a trading floor for commodities strikes with its simplicity but at the same time with the craftsmanship of its decorations.
The roof, made of double glass panes gives a lot of natural light inside the building. Several sorts of profiled and glazed bricks, as well as stone, wood and iron were used in a harmoniuos way.
Famous at the time artist Jan Toroop created three big tableaus made from tiles. The Past, The Present and The Future. The stock traders did not receive some other Jan Toroop's ceramic decorations well. Especially the ones representing different forms of human labour. There were calls to remove them as some said they resemble the works of socialist artists.
There are wall paintings representing industry and commerce by Richard Roland Holst. And a decorative relief made of terracota by Lambertus Zijl that represents human progress.
Beurs van Berlage has been at the time of its consruction an innovative building. Which brought international recognition to its creator and influenced other architects. Especially from the Amsterdam School movement.
Beurs van Berlage today - Palazzo Publico
Beurs Berlage served for almost a century as an Amsterdam stock and commodities exchange. As the trading activities grew, the building became too small and already in 1912 stock trading had to be moved to a new building at Beursplein 5. Still, some forms of trading were located in the Beurs van Berlage until 1998.
Today, the Dutch like to call the Beurs's function with an Italian expression - Palazzo Publico, a public hall. With a surface area of almost 1600 m2, the main hall of the Beurs van Berlage is the largest in the centre of Amsterdam. It was here, that in 2002 the civil wedding ceremony between the Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima took place before proceeding to the Nieuwe Kerk.
Being a building of public utility, the Beurs van Berlage finds itself in permanent financial difficulties. In April of 2007 the municipality of Amsterdam helped by the group of financiers bought the building for 15 million euro, bailing it out of bankruptcy.
Exhibitions and concerts at the Beurs van Berlage
For the schedule of exhibitions and concerts check the Beurs website and the Amsterdam newspapers.
How to get to Beurs van Berlage
Beurs van Berlage opening hours
Beurs van Berlage is an international conference, conventions and meetings centre, and it might be difficult to visit it only for its architecture. Nevertheless, the café located in the building, is open every day to the public.
Beurs van Berlage café opening hours
Monday till Saturday 10am to 6pm and Sunday 11am to 6pm.
Telephone: +31 20 530 41 46
Beurs van Berlage contact number
For the possibilities of organizing a conference or event, contact Beurs van Berlage via telephone +31 20 531 33 55
Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam