The first pile

On 31 October 1919 the first pile of the fourth craft school was hammered into the ground. The school building was created under the direction of A.J. Hulshoff, head of the City Architect Office. The plot on which architect A.J. Westerman built the school is pentagonal in shape and surrounded on two sides by de Kostverlorenvaart. Long drawn horizontal façades with vertical ornaments, large windows with horizontal subdivisions, attention to details such as the flagpole and sculptures of Hildo Krop in the façade.

The official opening

On September 9th, 1925, the official opening of the building took place. Where nowadays press from all over the country is invited for important openings, this was a very quiet opening. The modesty and circumstances led to only two speeches and a small group of press who got a tour. In spite of this, the reactions were favorable: they spoke about it as a beautiful craft school. As of all the special features, the Fourth Craft School became the showpiece among schools in the western expansion of the city. The school gave place to a carpentry course (2 years), machine banking and forging (3 years), electrical engineering and instrument crafting (3 years).

The name change

On the 10th of December 1948, a ceremony took place during which the name of the ‘Fourth Craft School’ changed into the Ir. W. Maas Geesteranusschool. Engineer Willem Maas Geesteranus was director of the N.V. Werkspoor and sat in the board of the Society for ‘Den Wekenden Stand’, department Craft Schools. He became chairman in 1942. From 10 December 1948, the new name of the school was decorated in ornate letters on the façade.


Royal visit

To underline the importance of industrialization and the role of schooled workers, Queen Juliana visited the Ir. W. Maas Geesteranusschool on the 26th October 1949, together with her husband Prince Bernard. This royal visit likewise had to do with the 25th anniversary of the school. The two were given a tour while the students showed their crafts. After their visit, a beautiful photo book was made that is still kept in the city archives of Amsterdam.

A National Monument

On January 20, 2003, the building was the in the De Baarsjes district to receive the status of a national monument. There was a major restoration and renovation is the former craft school, of which an important part was the coverge of the courtyard with glass. Through strategic interventions in the building such as the formation of the atrium with a glass roof, a functional, transparent and accessible building was created. In February 2007 the craft school became housing to ‘Het Sieraad’; a center for Knowledge, Art and Work.

Opening Edel

The district council has closed a lot of hospitality in De Baarsjes in 2007 and was now open to new initiatives. Melvin Kruin, Daan Rohde and Onno Eijkelhof saw great potential in the changing neighborhood and started a new adventure: Edel. The former theory room, space for physical education and electrical engineering was on the 14th of April replaced by restaurant Edel, which positioned itself as a French brasserie. Everywhere in the restaurant you will still find winks to the striking history of the building. Over the years Edel has developed as the living room of West where quality and creativity meet each other.

The Drawing room

Drawing played a significant role in education of the fourth craft school. Both the first and the second floor of the building consisted almost exclusively of drawing rooms. A quarter of all hours were spent on drawing education, consisting of both trademarks and signatures. The pupils often used their own drawings as a basis for their pieces of work that they made during practical education.

The Boiler room

Perhaps one of the most fascinating areas of the artisanal school is the boiler/heating room. A space that is still closed to the public today, but fortunately there are beautiful pictures of it. According to tradition, the son of the director H.A. Evers sometimes hid in the machine room during the war.

Smederij lokaal

From the opening of the school onwards, the light wedding room was used as De Smederij. Scattered around this room were 24 smithy fires -all automatically blown- and 24 anvils with chairs. In 1929, a journalist took a look and was impressed by the enthusiasm: “The pupils confidentially looking at their white-incandescent irons.” They had to be able to use their own tools such as a forging hammer, a hammer and a hot chisel to produce.


De Plaatwerkerij

In De Plaatwerkerij, the boys were prepared to adjust je metal. For example, they made coal buckets, stove pipes with accompanying elbows, garbage bins and other products for daily use. From 2018 onwards, the space will be used for creative events.

Het Bankwerklokaal

In the past, boys worked to mill, grind, plan, drill and saw on six long bench tables. There were thirty vice’s on the tables. On the sides of the tables there were drills and lathes. The boys worked with focus and diligent: “They are even eagerly awaiting the moment when it is their turn to take a platter to one of the lathes. The boys won’t stop working’’

Back to top