An inland vessel in a lake

Creating a lake

Sloterplas vessel

At the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, the population of Amsterdam increased significantly. Despite the new neighborhoods built around the old city in the 19th century, the housing shortage was still high. In 1921, a number of peripheral municipalities were annexed by Amsterdam in order to make room for new neighborhoods.
After the 2nd World War, the construction of spacious, green neighborhoods, called garden cities, started. To the west of the city was an old polder two meters lower than the surrounding land. This was the former “Slootermeer” that had been reclaimed in 1644. Because it was lower, it was unsuitable for residential construction. It was decided to extract sand here for the surrounding new neighborhoods. Between 1948 and 1956, the sand was excavated here, up to 37 meters deep. This is how the Sloterplas was created.


The lake and its banks were arranged for recreation. On the border of the North and East banks, the city wanted to build a large observation tower. Due to a lack of money, they did not get further than the foundation. On that foundation a wooden structure was placed in which cafe Oostoever settled. 

From the other side of the water, the café with the terrace in front of it resembles an inland vessel moored on the shore. The special street lamps complete the picture. The wooden cafe was demolished in 2015 to make way for a modern cafe restaurant. Although the work was finished a year later, the restaurant never opened. In an investigation into the finance that was used to make the renovation possible, the origin of the investments has never been clear. As a result, the municipality stopped the project because it could be a money laudring project. The impasse has remained and until today (May 2020), the restaurant still has never been allowed to receive guests.

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