Kolhoff, architect of Piraeus building at KNSM island.

Amsterdam Harbour Docklands Revitalisation Project.

Visit new city planning and modern architecture on a massive scale, on Kadijk, Java, KNSM, and IJburg islands


Private architecture tour of the exciting recent architectural developments in the Eastern Docklands of Amsterdam.

Architectural tour – a private tour with an easy ride by taxi, bus, tram or bike – or on foot, exploring the modern urban renewal projects on the former docklands area of Kadijk, Java, KNSM, Sporenburg, Borneo, and the huge IJburg islands, all in Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands.

The first project near Central Railway Station  is the Java Island in Amsterdam. We enter it via the Jan Schaeffer bridge. Here, one can study examples of contemporary port area renewal. Great attention is paid to the master plan, started by the City Council, and developed by a master architects / philosophers. From this master plan, a number of independent architects assisted in filling in the grid of the plan according to the given set of rules. Dockworkers and longshoremen were replaced by residents.

Is this a meteorite? I will explain.

KNSM island  was designed with quite another master architect, Jo Coenen, who himself built the crowning edifice at the end of the island,  the circular “Emerald Island” apartment building. Next it is the festive Barcelona building by Bruno Albert and the gloomy Piraeus building by Kolhoff and Rapp, almost resembling an East German Prison. The Skydome building by architect Wiel Arets is situated to the opposite side.

The next really huge man-made island, IJburg, is a tram ride or a taxi ride away and has yet other characteristics. I will carry a portfolio with maps and aerial pictures to explain the structures.

Camera team from USA, May 2017, at Maritime Museum / Scheepvaartmuseum.

Amsterdam architecture shows strong examples of contemporary port area renewal. Great attention is given to the master plan, which were developed by a master architect / philosopher. Then a number of independent architects assist in filling in the grid of the plan according to the given set of rules.

Maritime Museum, rebuilt VoC ship.

Barcelona building, fence by Tordoir.

Courtyard, Barcelona building.



All the way on the West end of the harbour is the interesting Silodam. Here, another public-private partnership ensured a fine place for inhabitants and visitors, including tourists.




Hall for staff signing on: Sterwards/Pursers, Chef Cooks and Linen maids.

Subjects: History and Architecture. Academic architectural tour by scholar-lecturer, art historian Drs. Kees Kaldenbach.

Drs Kees Kaldenbach: „…he is wildly overqualified to be a guide . That is his secret… Trust me on this.” Gabe. Statement made February, 2017.


The architectural walks I perform are well received by architects, school groups, builders, real estate developers etc.

I also guide architectural professors and students – and in November, 2016 I guided an Israeli city planner: “Kees, thank you very much for a lovely tour. you were kind enough to adjust to our dates and costs. the tour was very interesting, and you showed a lot of knowledge which gave it an added value. The conversion was flowing, and it was just like walking with a friend! We definitely recommend you to other people. Thx, Assaf & Gal”

“Drs. Kees, Typically when I review art, I am impressed with its sheer beauty, its value or the reputation of the artist.  I wanted to express my gratitude to you for sharing the artist’s feelings, the phase of the artist’s life and explaining how this was expressed in their art.  Your in-depth study of shadows, lighting and subtle objects in the paintings made my time in the museum exponentially better.  I will be able to take what I’ve learned to enjoy other works of art in the future. Thank you. I also appreciate the architectural tour you developed knowing we are builders by trade. Greetings, Jeff.”

Silodam from the end of the man-made dam. To the left an apartment building looking like shipping containers. This building is erected on stilts. Itr has a nifty protection against ships getting off-course.

Same building, on the side of the water, looking down from the terrace, which is open to everyone.


Towards the WESTERN end of the harbour there is the very interesting Silodam, with its own story attached. Part dates from the 1890s, a much later brightly coloured part from the 1980s. An underground robot parking system makes it possible for many people to live here and park their cars.


Larger images + youtube movies are available on this old school site.


Spooky image from the water, on a misty day.

Situated in the 1890s, a grain silo for feeding the population in times of war.

Tour by Drs Kees Kaldenbach, a professional Art History scholar with excellent teaching skills. Specialist in Fine art and Design, Architecture and History. VIP entry.