Beurs van Berlage
Exchange building turned event venue
In the Golden Age, Amsterdam was the first place in the world to create a fixed location for the trade of stocks and shares. Three hundred years later the prominent architect, Hendrik Berlage, built the third Amsterdam Stock Exchange; the praised Beurs van Berlage. The building was constructed between 1896 and 1903 and was used as a commodity exchange up until the end of the 1980s.
Berlage’s aim was to reject the styles of the past and integrate sweeping planes and open plan interiors. The building is also a testament to the artisans who built it – exposing and decorating the basic structures.
Due to the outstanding and unique red brick design, the building generated a lot of controversy. It was said to break with tradition. The building was thought of as colossal and people felt that the contrast between the flat brick walls of the structure and the century old façades of the buildings across the street was too evident. Berlage designed The Hague Gemeentemuseum in the same style.
Nowadays the Beurs van Berlage is considered to be the beginning of modern Dutch architecture and is one of the 100 Dutch world heritage monuments listed by UNESCO. At present, the building with its unique ambiance is used for many events such as concerts, shows, exhibitions, fairs and exclusive parties. The Dutch Philharmonic Orchestra and the Dutch Chamber Orchestra are two examples of Holland’s top orchestras to hold their rehearsals and concerts here.
After viewing this legacy of the ‘father of modern architecture’, you can sit back and enjoy a cup of coffee, lunch or dinner in the lovely café at the Beurs van Berlage. The new bar, which was designed by Marc Ruigrok, provides a beautiful contrast between the monumental tile tableaux by Jan Toorop and the contemporary style of Berlage. From behind the glass doors the visitors have a view of the atmospheric Beursplein, the Stock Exchange and ‘De Bijenkorf’ department store.