Overlooking the leafy innermost canal on Amsterdam’s famous grachtengordel, Singel 151/Spuistraat 104 is the former office of Elsevier, publisher of the weekly national news magazine by the same name and the Winkler Prins encyclopedia, one of the most comprehensive reference books ever published.
Decorative gable stones above the large ground floor windows depict two open books and scroll reading ‘Anno 1912’, bearing witness to the property’s legacy of creativity and learning, and the year of its completion to plans by architect Johann Gottfriet Robbers, the son of Elsevier’s first director. In 1952, the building received a considerable extension out towards the Spuistraat at the rear, including a new office building and typesetting workshop designed by the celebrated Dutch architect Arend Jan Westerman. Fully refurbished, these airy and spacious premises still have something of the lively yet orderly spirit of the newsroom.
Spuistraat itself leads south towards Het Spui, which remains the focus of the book trade in Amsterdam, and Singel 151/Spuistraat 104 is ideally placed to take advantage of central Amsterdam’s diverse hospitality scene, from its brown cafés to the chic waterside restaurants of recent years.