total art kristina goikoetxea   I  suikerfabrik Could you imagine the Lord Mayor of a city saying: “There will be no culture in this city if there is no subculture?”, and then he straightaway hands over 30 million for the development of subculture projects. Well, that’s what’s actually happened in Amsterdam. The evicted a large bunch of artists who were living in large old buildings so they could turn them into fancy apartment blocks. All of a sudden they realised that the city was starting to get very boring, and pushed by a sense of guilt (or who knows what) the Town Hall set up and started financing the broedplaats (live-in art houses for young artists). The biggest one of these is the NDSM-terrein. “The biggest in Europe” claims Francine from The Kinetisch Noord Foundation. They took the completely abandoned city shipbuilding yards, about 20,000 square metres - that’s not including the 50,000 sq metres on the outside – and gave them to subculture artists. You can see a couple of ramps and rusty cranes from their office window. “There are plans to use everything that you can see outside creatively.” Says Francine. “We’ll build some workshops under the ramps and the metal containers will be artists’ studios.” She says this as she shows us the experimental architectural plans. You can clearly see a crane, both functional and artistic, in the drawings of the plans.

When you go into the shipbuilding yards, you can see colourful huts of all sizes. They’re a few blokes working on some wooden structures. A theatre group is having a meeting in a caravan. A woman dressed in circus costume is painting a metal tree. “They’ll soon have a place of their own. We’re going to build three-storey buildings and each group will do with the space allotted to them as they see fit” adds Francine. All told, there’ll be 140 workshops.
We’re in “Theatre Village” at the moment. Acrobats and circus artists and performers will have their workshops. A bit further on we have “Handcraft Street”: jewellers, clothes and furniture shops. And that’s not all. Media projects, disciplined arts, filmmakers, chefs and even groups involved in mental health will all have their own space. “We looked for diversity when we chose the artists who were going to come here. We want to see artists from all walks of life here. We really feel that the experimental side of things is very important. Unknown projects will always be given preference.” And no doubt that all this diversity with come up with cross-over projects. They have already begun to use the exhibition hall that lies under this big hull.
But the most special building will be the skate park. This 1,000 square metre park will have glass walls so people can see out and in. As well as the glass, everything they aim to use is in the yard: rusty metal structures,... That way the yard loses none of its harshness. This NDSM-terrein is turning into a bit of a paradise for artists.
The question is: how much does it cost to hatch a creative egg here? 30 euro a square metre a year.

Proyectorganisatie NDSM-werf
Postbus BH Amsterdam
Tel. 020 3305480
Fax 020 6389160