Architect: Arend J. Westerman (1884-1966) and Allard R. Hulshoff (1880 – 1958)
Commissioned by: Dienst der Publieke Werken gemeente Amsterdam (Office of Public Works, Municipality of Amsterdam)
Years of construction: 1921-1924
At the beginning of the twentieth century, schools and other public buildings played a major role in Amsterdam’s urban development. City architects used these buildings to decorate the cityscape and to avoid monotony. Its special features make the school the flagship among schools in the expansion of the city to the west.
Construction of Vierde Ambachtsschool (fourth trade school), 1924
The shape of the building is unique. The municipality usually reserved rectangular plots of land for schools. But the district authority of Sloten, under whose authority the Postjesbuurt (neighbourhood) fell until 1921, reserved a pentagonal plot. The building is also distinguished by its location: it is the entrance to the neighbourhood from the Kinkerstraat (street) and is surrounded on three sides by water. Furthermore, the artisanal nature of the school means that the layout of the interior is far more spacious than other schools.
Het Sieraad (the jewel), 2009
The statues and reliefs were made by Hildo Krop, appointed the city sculptor in 1916. The statues of the man and the woman next to the main entrance symbolise industrialisation and nature and bear the message 'Zonder moeite niets' (nothing without effort). The statues around it portray the professions taught at the school: smith, benchworking, carpentry and electronics. Today, the building houses other organisations such as the Frank Sanders Academy for Musical Theatre.
Main entrance lined with statues by Hildo Krop, 2008