Hidden away in Amsterdam Overtoomse Veld is the creative hub called Beehive, no breeding ground but a place where designers can flourish, according to Bert Kramer.
Beehive was set up some five years ago at an abandoned airbase in Amsterdam as a way to deal with vacant properties in a creative manner and now has various locations in the neighbourhood Amsterdam New West – housing a large multi-cultural community and comprising a good deal of Amsterdam’s newer areas.
Part of the Beehive community is Bert Kramer who Design.nl talked with this week about his latest architectural interventions. We first met the designer at one of his most recent projects at the Jan van Schaffelaarplantsoen in another of Amsterdam’s lesser-known neighborhoods the Kolenkitbuurt.
Here, what started out as a small open-plan chicken coop, has grown out to be a lovely community-run park complete with barbecues and designer seating areas. “Various groups and creatives work together in this type of project”, says Bert Kramer. “Locals such as Ghassan the chicken keeper, artist network Casoland and autonomous designers each contribute to the project.”
He continues: “My role in the design was the chicken coop itself. It may not have the most ideal form, but that’s the way I like my interventions.” Kramer started his career as an interior architect, creating furniture and interiors but quickly realised he was more of a conceptual thinker than a product designer.
Now, many of his projects are based on community gardening and some form of educating young people. This weekend will see the opening of Overtoom Gardens in which locals from Overtoomse Veld were asked to hand in old plastic bags in return for a hanging planter made by Kramer’s wife Marie-José Hamer of hamers. “All kinds of urban green are featured in the Overtoom Gardens. Wild plants, guerilla gardening, you name it. But we’re also working with local schools, all kinds of institutions and of course local inhabitants.”
From Friday, an entire wall at Beehive will entirely covered with hanging garden planters. “The numbers on the planters correspond with the numbers given to the participants of the project”, adds Hamers. Its a sustainable, ecological and above all social project.
And socially improving the local neighbourhood seems to be the whole idea behind Beehive, which not only forms a low-cost workspace for creatives but gives back to the community in the form of concerts, cookery evenings and other events.
Kramer is enthusiastic about the gardens, getting people involved and looking at new ways in which he can project his creativity and make the area better. Take his low-tech, high-end pizza oven, made seemingly from junk but functioning to serve gourmet pizzas – “and it has a smoke oven too”.
Points of sale
( 0 Votes, average: 0 out of 5)
click to vote
- Amsterdam Fashion Week 2013
- Dutch Design Week 2012
- Milan 2012
- Amsterdam Fashion Week 2012
- Dutch Design Week 2011
- Amsterdam International Fashion Week 2010
- Amsterdam International Fashion Week 2011
- Dutch Design Week 2010
- Dutch Design Double 2010
- Milan 2010
- Design.nl 100th Issue Favourites
- Dutch Design Week 2009
- Dutch Design Double 2009
- Milan 2009
- Amsterdam International Fashion Week 2009
- Going Out - Restaurants, bars, cafes, clubs and hotels
- Graphic Design Festival 2008
- Dutch Design Week 2008
- Retail Therapy - Where to buy Dutch design
- FreeDesigndom 2008
- Milan 2008
- Amsterdam International Fashion Week 2008
- Design.nl Tokyo favourites