A hotel could hardly be more unusual than the Faralda NDSM Crane Hotel in Amsterdam. The listed loading crane in the former shipyard, which was innovatively restored based on the concept of building owner and project developer Edwin Kornmann Rudi in cooperation with IAA Architecten Amsterdam and the engineers of VDNDP bouwingenieurs, now accommodates three exquisite suites. The elegant designer baths were furnished with different design collections from Villeroy & Boch, and on the upper balcony there is even a whirlpool from the SportX line – all at a dizzying height of 35 – 45 metres.
The “hotel crane”, which houses the Faralda NDSM Crane Hotel, is located in the former NDSM shipyard in the northern district of Amsterdam. After it was no longer used for industrial purposes, the site developed into a creative and culinary hotspot for stylish bars and restaurants as well as designers and artists. Project developer Edwin Kornmann Rudi discovered the inactive industrial crane and developed the idea to convert it into an unusual hotel.
Challenging concept and construction
The conversion of the listed crane was a challenge in terms of technology and concept and could only be successfully implemented after establishing a foundation especially for the project. The 50 metre high crane was fully disassembled by IAA Architecten of Amsterdam in cooperation with bouwingenieurs of Amsterdam in a project lasting two and a half years, during which the single components were restored and then reinstalled at the same location to create the design hotel. All new elements supplement the existing structure with a striking red steel sculpture. The design of the latter is oriented on the characteristics of nautical structures such as oil rigs or ships, featuring elements such as visibly welded steel plates or portholes. All construction elements are visible and their appearance is simple and rough. An exterior lift on the crane tower connects the levels with each other.
Luxury at all levels
Inside the crane tower the interior designers of Studio Heem of Haarlem created three luxury suites with different contemporary designs. For this purpose an intermediate ceiling was installed in the former crane cab in order to create a two-storey unit with a separate living room and bathroom on the lower level and a sleeping area on the upper level. Above and below, two identical containers were installed, each of which likewise houses one suite. With a height of 35 – 45 metres the suites offer an impressive view of the river, the city centre and Amsterdam’s harbour. The interior is also designed with a maritime atmosphere, which is created by the contrast of luxury, colour and industrial charm in combination with the view over the shipyard grounds. The large windows make the basic steel construction perceptible from every point within the structure.
Wellness at a dizzying height
The bathrooms are furnished with Villeroy & Boch sanitary products from the Loop & Friends and Aveo collections. Eyecatchers include the La Belle bathtub and the free-standing Squaro Edge 12 tub with skirting in graphite noir. The special attraction of the hotel is the masterly engineering of contrasts between luxurious design and functionality of the industrial monument. These contrasts are especially emphasised in the bathrooms. The high-quality sanitary products from Villeroy & Boch receive the maximum focus of attention by the red steel surfaces and visible construction elements. On the level above the suites, at a height of about 50 metres, there is an SportX line outdoor spa from Villeroy & Boch, which offers an extraordinary bathing experience with a spectacular view.
The transformation of the crane into a five-star design hotel is a successful and noteworthy example of the preservation and conversion of existing structures. The original charm and the construction units of the industrial structure were also retained without exception. The area of the former shipyard is developing more and more into a tourist centre, with the crane as a landmark that is visible from a great distance.