Imagine you were washed ashore on an island, accompanied by the wreckage of the ship that shattered on the cliffs of that same shore. What are you going to do? Yes, build a shelter with the remains of that ship. Cafe De Ceuvel looks like it was built from the wreckage – not quite, but its improvisational character, and the selection of materials, speaks for itself.
It is indeed more than a shelter. It is a cafe, yes, and as such the social center of the city development project “De Ceuvel”. The former abandoned area at the dead end of a canal in Amsterdam Noord has been handed over to small creative companies, cultural initiatives, start-ups. Each has built their own office space, from now grounded houseboats.
Even though it is a development project (like many others in Amsterdam) it breathes the air of freedom and creativity, hippie-style. It is simply a very nice place to hang out with open camp fires outside, hammocks, lazy chairs and abandoned boats to be used as chairs. Sometimes there’s live music.
In fact – I took a camera team from German television to de Ceuvel, which resulted in them falling so much love with it, they included it in the item about Amsterdam they were working on (me in it ;)). Just saying – if they liked it, and you have a knack for alternative places, you are probably going to like it too.