Situated on the expansive waterside corner of the Westermarkt and the Keizersgrachtlisted office building known as Huize Labor dates back to 1919, when a double merchant’s building from 1616 was demolished to make way for it. The Latin tag Labor hic omnia vicit (“labour conquers all”) is especially apt, then. The building represents the last ever design of Dutch architect Gerrit van Arkel. His legacy is well served by this classic example of the craft-centred Amsterdam School architectural movement (part of the Expressionist movement) with its expressive forms, decorative masonry and wrought ironwork.
The striking entrance, confidently capped with the name of the building and the façade’s distinctive canopied windows means visitors will be in no doubt as to where to come. Inside, a lavish lobby gives way to flexible state-of-the-art office spaces whose high-end finish complements the traditional craftmanship reflected in original wooden doorframes and stained-glass windows.
The building was always conceived as a hive of industry, and originally featured a distillery in the basement. These days there’s no shortage of drinking and dining options on your doorstep. And of course, Westermarkt 2 is a stone’s throw from the foot of the Westertoren, the 85 metre tower that’s part of the Westerkerk and one of the city’s most beautiful landmarks.