Sweets started out as an idea to create a distributed hotel concept for the city of Amsterdam that optimally re-uses existing small scale real estate as individual hotel suites. Our eyes soon fell on the rich collection of 'bridge houses' (brugwachtershuisjes) along the Amsterdam canals that give shelter to the bridge operators. When we found out that within the next few years these tiny buildings will become obsolete as new technology will centralize the bridge control system, we saw a chance to realize our idea. In collaboration with Grayfield development we pitched the concept to the entrepreneurs of the Lloyd Hotel Amsterdam who instantly fell for it. In close collaboration with these three parties, the idea is now developed into a unique hospitality concept.
With its streets, bars and restaurants, Amsterdam itself will take over the common hotel facilities with the bridge houses as its exclusive suites. High up inside the Sweets, its visitors will experience Amsterdam city-life from a new perspective. Whilst residing in the midst of the dense city the views over the canals are vast. These views and the historical value of the bridge houses will surely create a memorable visit. Since all Sweets are next to the water, a water-taxi service will ensure the Sweet feeling starts as soon as you hop on at central station.
This summer space&matter curated an exhibition about the bridge buildings. On view in the exhibition are replicas, specially made for the occasion to a scale of 1:50, of twenty-seven bridge control buildings, enabling visitors to see all of these buildings together. Famous Dutch architects such as H.P. Berlage, Aldo van Eyck and Piet Kramer are among those who designed the buildings. The collection therefore provides an overview of architectural styles, from the Amsterdam School to Post Modernism. Moreover, the history of the network of bridges and bridge control buildings, their cultural and historical significance and the role of the bridgemasters are explained using infographics, photographs and archive material. The exhibition is on show at Arcam, Amsterdam until September 21st.