The eleventh century onwards saw the creation of the rural area that was given the name Binnendijkse Buitenveldertsche polder. From the seventeenth century onwards farms, inns and luxury country homes for wealthy Amsterdammers were built here. Furthermore, over time artisans established themselves here, such as chair makers, knife grinders and hat makers.

Polder house at the current location of the Rustenburgerstraat, 1899.

Boom in house-building

In 1865, the carpenter Jan van Bemmel requested permission to build ‘a House of stone, covered with tiles’ in the polder – the present-day ‘polderhuisje’ (polder house). Van Bemmel was a ‘self-builder’: a project developer avant la lettre. Meanwhile the arrival of companies like the Heineken Brewery in the second half of the nineteenth century ensured that even more workers settled in this area. This made the need for housing so acute that the entire area had to be built up.

The polder house still proudly stands in the Pijp, 2005.

De Pijp

The area, which belonged to the district of Nieuwer-Amstel, was annexed by Amsterdam in 1896, allowing expansion of the city to the south. The existing buildings initially remained largely preserved. The newly built houses were constructed on raised sandy ground, which gave rise to a difference in height. Nowadays the ‘polderhuisje’ is one of the last remaining examples of peri-urban housing architecture in De Pijp. In 2000 it was designated a local listed building and on the initiative of the occupant it was restored using sustainable techniques between 2000 and 2006.

Restauration of the polder house, 2002.