The “houses” of the bridges of Amsterdam become hotel suites with a view to the canals
It is difficult not to be impressed by the number of bridges scattered across Amsterdam – 1281, according to the last survey – the oldest of which dates back to 1648. Some are romantic, others are imposing engineering work which, for over a century, had been hosting the bridge keepers, who used to open and close the bridges to allow boats to pass. However, with the introduction of a centralized system to monitor bridges, the buildings with the guardians’ houses have gradually been left empty and unused.
Today, many of the bridge “houses” in Amsterdam are being converted into hospitality facilities.
SWEETS Hotel: 5-star hospitality on Amsterdam’s bridges
This ambitious program, conceived in 2012, entails the opening of 28 ‘bridge houses’: some of the buildings used to monitor the bridges have been transformed into rooms for two. SWEETS hotel, as the project is called, offers already 15 facilities open to the public. The other suites are being restored and will be available by the end of 2020.
The SWEETS hotel project is conceived by Space&Matter, the development partner Grayfield, and Seven New Things (Suzanne Oxenaar, Otto Nan and Gerrit Groen, the founders of the Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy and The Exchange hotels).
A room with a view (to the Amsterdam canals)
The tiny buildings show different styles of architecture, from the school of Amsterdam to modernism. Some of these structures are national monuments; several bridges are located in busy areas, others in quieter neighborhoods. They all share the same unique view to Amsterdam’s canals.
Each bridge house tells its history. The oldest, the Amstelschutsluis, on a island in the middle of the Amstel river, was built in 1673, while the most recent, Sluis Haveneiland, was built in 2009. The 28 bridge houses of the SWEETS Hotel project, are scattered across Amsterdam, and the interiors of each harmonize with the architectural style of the exterior, making the best use of the small area of the house. [Text Luisa Castiglioni – Photo Mirjam Bleeker, Dieuwertje Komen]