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The Hidden Treasures of Sloterdijk

Sloterijk Central boasts with some 200 businesses around the constantly changing station hall, as well as some ±10 monumental artworks in the open space together with the new cultural hot spots such as Recycling City by Studio Valkenier. However, what is still lacking is activity that would mix the people from different companies in a sociable atmosphere. In our experience such meetings lead to an informal exchange of intelligence with regards to the surrounding environment.

SAMA (Street Art Museum Amsterdam) is the local expert in bringing street art to diverse audiences as a tool to start a dialogue. Our artwork “Accelerated Minds” by KENOR for TrainLodge Hostel in 2016 has become viral on internet and inspired a project in Kiev, Ukraine.

Our tours of street art through SAMA collection in Slotermeer and Geuzenveld on TripAdvisor are the 10 most exciting alternative things in Amsterdam, and have been acclaimed by authorities such as Paloma Picasso, Marcel Wanders, Sotheby’s Business Art School, Agnes B, New York Times and Taiwan Business Weekly, amongst many others.

Following on the success of the lunch walks for SPOT Schiphol Community and taking into consideration the new addition by MOCO to existing collection of art in public space around Sloterdijk area, SAMA aims to apply the knowledge of community building to central Sloterdijken.

‘Hidden Treasures of Sloterdijk’ Lunch Walk’s primary mission is to make Sloterdijk community - employees of the companies that are located in the area around Carrascoplein - aware of the culture around them: from artworks to places of interest, activity spots and upcoming new adventures - Aviodome.

From 1996’s ‘Het Wiel’ by Jeroen Henneman on Belastingdienst building to 2016 “Genesis” by Kenor (ES) on TrainLodge reception carriage, the diverse mix of visible and invisible artworks can provide an exciting catalyst and a dialogue starter: “Did you know?”. In addition, we shall ignite the interest of the visitors to the station, such as residents of the hotels, student housing projects and users of the budget travel solutions, to the alternative ways of enjoying the station and its hidden secrets. Thus fostering an opportunity to create more jobs for aforementioned students of the new residencies and local colleges: TiO, ROC, HMC and MA.

During the introduction of Icy&Sot’s artworks in Sloterdijk in collaboration with MOCO museum in 2018, SAMA and Gebiedsteam Sloterdijken have conducted the experimental pilot on the small department from ReedElsevier.

We have planned a short 45 minutes tour sharing not only the latest artworks but also the lesser known projects, such as Het Wiel, Tuinen van Bretten and TrainLodge. Although quite visible the places have hardly been visited because according to the feedback after the tour, most people don’t know “how to get there” or “why to go there”.

Sloterdijk, the Teleporting History

Sloterdijk was a village in the Dutch province of North Holland. It now is a part of the municipality of Amsterdam, and lies about 3 km northwest of the city centre. Since 2010 Sloterdijk has formed part of the stadsdeel of Amsterdam-West. Nearby is the site of Amsterdam Sloterdijk railway station.

To protect the area around Sloten from the as-yet undrained IJ the Spaarndammerdijk was laid along the south bank of this inlet. In this vicinity at the same time, a dam on the Slochter (or Slooter) river was built, the Slooterdam. Trade grew in the vicinity, and in 1465 a weigh house (or waag) was established. A church was built in about 1479; however, it was destroyed in 1573 by the Geuzen, a group of nobles rebelling against Spanish control of Holland, following the siege of Haarlem. In the 17th century the Petruskerk (St. Peter’s Church) was built, which stands to this day.

The construction of the Haarlem's Tow-Canal, a canal between Amsterdam and Haarlem in 1631 brought new prosperity to the village, and a toll was placed along the towpath. This is the oldest tow-canal in Holland. Travel on such canals was historically done by barges (or trekschuit in Dutch) which were towed by animals (and sometimes by man-power) on a path along the canal's edge (towpath).

Industry grew around Sloterdijk in the 19th century. On 20 September 1839, the first train to operate in The Netherlands traveled from Sloterdijk to Haarlem. The new rail line between Amsterdam and Haarlem ran parallel to the Haarlemmertrekvaart, but for half a century the line passed through without stopping.

From 1882, steam-powered tram, and later horse-drawn trams ran to Amsterdam along the Haarlemmerweg. This was the last horse-tram in Amsterdam, and it was electrified in 1916. An electric tram from Amsterdam to Haarlem and Zandvoort ran from 1904 to 1957.The construction of the new Sloterdijk railway station in 1956 should have meant the end of the village. Earlier, in 1860, much of the town was destroyed in a great fire, but had been rebuilt. The construction of the Coentunnel and a new business district almost led to the destruction of the entire village, but the Petruskerk and a few houses were spared in order to preserve the town’s history.

The 1956 station was moved to the northwest in 1985, along a new rail spur to Zaandam that had opened in 1983.Tram service also moved to the new station in 1985. The station was expanded to two levels in 1986 when the Schiphol line was opened, and in 1997 the Amsterdam Metro came to Sloterdijk.

Amsterdam Sloterdijk Station, designed by the architect Harry Reijnders, is the first station in the Netherlands with intersections on different levels. Transparency and openness were important departure-points in the design, which is why abundant use has been made of materials such as glass, steel and plastic.

The glazed concourse, which is free of obstacles, contributes to the desired visibility and openness. All facilities are, with a view to safety and survey-ability, situated on the station’s exterior. The table construction of white steel frames links the station to its immediate surroundings. It also, moreover, causes the station to give the impression, even from a considerable distance, of a modern meeting place for various modes of transport. The various primary colours used in this station building (and in other modern NS stations) serve as an extra information facility for passengers.

Sloterdijk Station is one of the modern NS stations in which openness and transparency have been used as a central theme. The eighties saw an increase in support for architectural design. When, moreover, central government decided to part fund, among other projects, Sloterdijk Station, the Dutch rail company NS was given the opportunity to focus attention on design and architectural quality in its new stations.

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