Architects: Johan W. F. Hartkamp (1864-1947), Jan van Erven Dorens (1904-1993), Ben Merkelbach (1901-1961), Charles Karsten (1904-1979) and Piet Elling (1897-1962)
Client: NV Lettergieterij Amsterdam, formerly N. Tetterode
Dates of construction: 1902, 1906, 1912-1914, 1939-1941, 1947-1950.
The Tetterode complex is made up of five different historic buildings with one common link: the Lettergieterij Amsterdam type foundry, formerly known as N. Tetterode. Until 1981 the company produced a wide range of items for the printing industry here, as well as trading in and maintaining printing equipment.
The Lettergieterij Amsterdam type foundry owned a large collection of books and other documents in the field of graphics. In 1914 they were housed in a library designed by K.P.C. de Bazel on the Da Costakade.The library was transferred to the University of Amsterdam in 1971. The interior by De Bazel was largely reconstructed in the university auditorium at the Old Lutheran Church on the Spui.
The building by architects Ben Merkelbach and Charles Karsten was designed during the Second World War, but was only built after the war ended. The building, including the lower section designed by Jan van Erven Dorens, has a concrete skeleton with glass and steel facades in the early modern Nieuwe Bouwen style. Its interior spaces are tall and light.
The type foundry vacated the building at the beginning of 1981. The complex of buildings became a target for property speculators, and was threatened with complete demolition. But local residents protested against this move, and squatters moved into the building. After years of legal wrangling the squatters, in partnership with Het Oosten housing corporation, succeeded in having the building converted into living and working premises. It now contains homes, small businesses, a theatre, shops and workshops, with around 150 tenants.