Kinetic North

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Kinetic North

Kinetic North - organization

society to transform NDSM wharf in Amsterdam North

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1 obtaining the former NDSM wharf for low-profit art, culture and crafts production
2 inciting a community that develops NDSM wharf towards an experimental, multi-disciplinary cultural environment
3 creating a cultural hotspot of (inter)national importance

a network of artists and users of evicted warehouses in Amsterdam

Stichting Kinetisch Noord  / Kinetisch Noord Foundation

number of people:
a project organisation of 7 persons, 153 users (2002, April)

established spring 2000, entered NDSM wharf in February 2001, projected exploitation till 2013

1 renovation of the hull: ~ 3,5 mln euro (credit from Amsterdam Noord)
2 costs for interior wharf space: = 6.8 mln euro (Breeding Places)
3 organisation costs: ~ 300.000 euro/year (staff and office)
4 rent from tenants: 22,7 euro m2/year (ex VAT and service costs)

Stichting Kinetisch Noord
TT Neveritaweg 15
1033 WB  Amsterdam

The ‘Kinetic North’ organization, is a society established with the aim to transform a former ship construction wharf - NDSM in Amsterdam - to a workspace for artists, performers and starting entrepreneurs with a low or non-commercial profile. Its main aim is the realization of atelier-, work-, rehearsal- and presentation spaces rented at an affordable prize to its tenants. Further on, the society wants to gather diverse artistic and crafts disciplines, which inspire each other and start fruitful collaborations.


During the late 1980’s empty warehouses in the Amsterdam harbour, which offered space for more ‘alternative’ arts and lifestyles, got evicted to make space for high-commercial living spaces. Thus, the network of artists and starting entrepreneurs using them was gradually pushed out and started to turn their attention on new possibilities.

In 1999, an opportunity opened at the NDSM Wharf - an enormous former ship construction wharf in Amsterdam North. The municipality announced a competition to find alternative uses for the derelict ship wharf. In answer to the competition, the workgroup Kinetic North was formed and proposed to redevelop the shipyard through cultural entrepreneurship.

organization & actors

The Kinetic North organization is set up as bottom-up; with the aim to cut out unnecessary hierarchy and have maximal engagement from the users. There are three bodies channeling the development of the wharf:

1. a 'society' – 'Vereniging NDSM' – consists of all tenants. The society is split in 20 clusters in which complementary artistic interests work together. Each cluster occupies a physical part of the wharf, and is responsible for the construction of its own working spaces and for obtaining the required legal permissions and licenses, i.e. building permissions. Representatives from the clusters take care about general interests of the participants, through one of the four teams concerning construction, maintenance, outdoor space and the artistic program. For new tenants there is no active recruitment. Coming proposals are registered by the project organisation and offered to the clusters for selection.

2. the project organisation - is set up as a service desk towards the tenants and functions as a bridge between the users and the board of foundation. It also channels the communication with the city government and the financers.

3. the board of the foundation – ‘Stichting Kinetisch Noord’ – with its 6 members is involved as a remote controlling body. It consists of influential professionals with a background in cultural, legal or financial fields. The foundation in the long run wants to delegate largely its responsibilities to the users of the wharf – united in the society 'Vereniging NDSM'.

internal and external organization

interior of NDSM hall

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