Tippin' the Scales


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Dancing Cranes

This small significant building on the banks of the IJ had to make way for the new construction of IJDock. This complex – to include the Palace of Justice and the National Police Agency – is under construction. In 2009 the demolition started. Some ornamental pieces of the facade of the former Colonial Property Building will be reused in the construction of the ‘Chocolate Factory’.

In 1909, the Colonial Property Building was designed and built as a repository for colonial products. The CPB was housed in the first half of the 20th century here, later it became the Colonial Goods Inspection Building. In the 70’s the National Police Agency department of the Water Police was moved here.

Now the cranes are dancing to do their work in erecting these new buildings. Just as in the old days when the Colonial Building was standing here, the buildings will be ‘floating’ on the water. There’s no solid ground they are building on, just pillars driven into the riverbed. On these pillars the indoor parking spaces rest and the buildings on top of them are to keep them in place. It would be a fun sight to see the Palace of Justice drift off into the harbour.

Across the IJ waterway the new ‘eYe Institute’ more commonly known as the Dutch Film Institute is nearing its completion. It’s the siding that makes everything a bit more difficult to complete. This giant box will look like a Tangram puzzle when it’s completed. It will be also one of the most remarkable buildings along the IJ shores. A Black duckling transforms into a White Swan.

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