NDSM, the cultural Oasis of Amsterdam

An ex shipyard that became the cultural hotspot of Amsterdam.

NDSM, the cultural Oasis of Amsterdam

NDSM is a former shipyard located on the banks of the River IJ in Amsterdam Noord, the neighbourhood has became a huge cultural hotspot in recent times because of a lively community of artists and cultural associations that got interested in the area and decided to start their business in such a peculiar place.

The Old Warehouse hosts many expositions and it’s there where one can find lots of artists doing their art in very different ways and conceptions, it is free to visit and a joy for the eye with its multicolour and diverse structures: nowadays festivals, performances, exhibitions and myriads of other cultural events are held in its post-modern surroundings.

The neighbourhood was built using the industrial structure of the old shipyard, that’s why it’s normal to see loud-coloured containers used as apartments by students at the NDSM Wharf which are truly considered full-blown houses.

Now let’s talk about one of the most surprising clubs of NDSM and Amsterdam itself: SEXYLAND, starting from the name. The club originally was located inside an old sex shop located in the red light district, the building wasn’t in a very good condition then the activity has been moved elsewhere but the owners have decided not to change such an attractive name…

SEXYLAND therefore has absolutely nothing to do with the libertine life of Amsterdam but is rather a bold conceptual Club project, based on the ideas of sharing, co-working and mutability. Every day entering the club it’s easy to find some changes, and discover a completely different place.

This is because SEXYLAND is a club that changes 365 days a year, everyday the place is rented to a different owner and therefore can give off a completely new feeling: from art exhibitions to rap battles, dinners with stroboscopic light and even concerts of classical music. It is nothing but a splendid multi-faceted Tabula Rasa.

Another iconic place certainly worth mentioning is the culture bar Noorderlicht: compared to the previous one this could be considered a traditional live music bar but the musical offer is certainly extraordinary! We move from artsy jam sessions to indie and folk concerts, to conferences, and festivals that can last even a few days. All in front of the splendid NDSM pier, surrounded by wooden structures, benches, plants and boats.

Last but not least, the IJ-Hallen market is also one of the happenings which are hosted in the large Warehouse. It is the biggest Flea Market in Europe which is held every 3 weeks and due to its considerable size it is literally possible to find anything there, for this reason it is necessary to pay an entrance fee of 5 euros, 2 euros for children.

Walking anywhere in the area one can feel sort of a special atmosphere, surrounded by culture bars, bikes, ships and graffiti which tell you to make Art instead of Money…this is the neighbourhood of NDSM in Amsterdam Noord.

Written and Translated by Gerardo Iannacci