Expensive

The manure storage shed was somewhat of a disappointment to the Vereeniging (Association). Mistakes in the calculations meant that the complex was ultimately more expensive than budgetted, and while the board viewed manure storage as a necessity, it also thought that the building added little aesthetic value to the park. Nevertheless, given that it was a functional building, it was very carefully designed in a style inspired by the Dutch Renaissance, the building style of the Dutch Golden Age.

 

The Kinderkookkafe now occupies the hangars. Photo: Trude von Liebenstein

Urban engineer

The manure storage shed was designed by the city engineer Van Niftrik. As the most important advisor to the director of the Office of Public Works among others, he had a major influence on the expansion of Amsterdam city between 1864 and 1901. Most of his work was on civil engineering projects for the municipality, though he sometimes took on private commissions. The manure storage shed is one of the few buildings that he designed.

 

The stables were in a bad state and restoration began in 2005. Photo: Stadsherstel

Renovation

By 2005 the complex was dilapidated and needed to be thoroughly restored. During the renovation work, an ingenious system embedded in the concrete foundations to drain the moisture in the manure came to light. Since the renovation, the manure storage shed houses several organisations including a childcare centre and the Kinderkookkafé (children’s cookery café) and acts as a storage facility for Stadsdeel Zuid (South Amsterdam).

 

Interior of the Kinderkookkafe (kids cook café). Photo: Ernest Annyas