The NDSM wharf, since 1922 located at the north side of the IJ river, has been one of the world’s leading wharfs for decades. The bold and brave owners of the first hour successfully responded to the increasing demand of steel, engine driven, seaworthy vessels. In the heydays of the 50’s and 60’s the docks along the IJ river embedded brilliant engineers, skilled welders, innovative factories and professional schooling. In the meantime, in the fallow hinterland, a residential area popped up to provide housing for the many craftsmen needed to get the work done.
From scratch, over 100 large ships have been constructed and many international vessels have been repaired or modernized in one of the immense dry docks. In 1955 princess Beatrix performed her first official independent ceremony at the NDSM wharf. Proudly flinging Champagne, she launched and baptized a 200-meter-long tanker named Vasum, emphasizing the importance of the NDSM wharf for the Dutch industry.
Slowly but firmly the rugged terrains of the North attracted new crowds: artists, writers, musicians and creative entrepreneurs looking for affordable space and inspiration, an area with little boundaries, a breeding ground for free spirits. Ateliers, studios and workplaces popped up and the abandoned industrial halls and engine houses carefully started a new life sheltering unconventional festivals and hippie markets. In 1999 MTV Europe set up European headquarters in North; the unofficial marking point for the revival of NDSM wharf.
Today, the NDSM Wharf, being Amsterdam’s most thrilling and creative area, is in the midst of its transformation offering a colorful mix of high-tech architecture, weather beaten bollards, renovated industrial warehouses, boutique hotels and spontaneous street art. Embracing the inseparable craftsmanship of the Northern IJ banks and welcoming the sustainable innovations of today and tomorrow, our harbor Kaap de Groene Hoop is the conscious compass of the NDSM wharf.