DAVID CARR-SMITH 2005 : all images & text are copyrighted - please accredit text quotes - image repro must be negotiated via dave@artinst.entadsl.com

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CONTENTS   4 SITES  

SILO

  TETTERODE   DE LOODS   EDELWEIS   APPENDICES   NOTES   SUB-SITES

BOOK:  DAVID CARR-SMITH  -  IMPROVISED ARCHITECTURE IN AMSTERDAM INDUSTRIAL SQUATS & COLLECTIVES

"GRAIN-SILO" SQUAT 1989 to 1998

NEW-SILO  - p1(of 2)

 

< SILO - INTRO <  
< SILO - GROUND-FLOOR <
 

< SILO - CENTRAL STAIR <
 

< SILO - ATTICS <
< SILO - DRYING TOWERS < 
< SILO - "CORNER TOWER" <
 
< THE PUBLIC SILO & THE KROEG <
 
   NEW-SILO - PUBLIC & PRIVATE

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the NEW-SILO

   NEW-SILO - p1: INTRO & PUBLIC USE
> NEW-SILO - p2: JAROEN'S APT >

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INTRODUCTION

The New Silo is like a hugely simplified Old Silo - as if all its essential forms and components were abstracted and remade in their most obvious shapes on a monolithic scale (a giant child's concept-model). What in the Old Silo is blurred and complicated by style and a building technology (brick and wood) that requires a complex craft of fitting, balancing, bracing, is replaced by the massive crudity of excessive physical resources (of reinforced concrete and industrial steel) ... the New Silo is an engineer's jelly!

The old Silo's boarded attics with their deep wooden trusses and posts, have here become a single vast unencumbered steel-covered space edged with steel-braced glass; its ground-floor of many thick-walled chambers: a huge single discharge-hall opening to the dijk through loading doors, raised on the podium of a half-sunk concrete basement full of squat pillars like a subterranean car-park.

The New-Silo was squatted in september 1993 - organised by Marcel [Re: S DRYING-TOWER]Except for the discharge-hall - used for warehousing by a local company (tolerated by the Silo's owners as effective 'anti-squatters') - the Collective controls the whole New Silo. The pillared basement is hired to rave promoters; the vast light attic and the cavities in the vertical-conveyor 'tower' that climbs to it are used for art and dance performances (of Silo origin or outside groups); and now in the tower's apex a single apt is being made.  

NEW-SILO FROM STENENHOOFD
(pic 8-95 / to NW)

NEW-SILO TOWER (VIEW FROM KOIK'S E-ROOF)
(pic 9-94 / to S)

NEW-SILO: SILO DISCHARGE HALL (NEVER SQUATTED)
(pic 9-94 / to S)

The owners of this building allow a company to use this space for storage to help prevent squatting by the Collective. The Collective sealed the access from this space to their squatted Basement below. 

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the BASEMENT:  PUBLIC RAVE & PARTY SPACE 
[all measurements are approximate]

So much of the huge 40x19m sub-lit basement is full of squat pillars - that obstruct with their width all but short diagonal glimpses, allowing relaxed sightings only along 9 transverse and 5 longitudinal avenues (whose perspectives tend to vanish into darkness!) - that disorientation and a sense of multiple isolations in its pillar-cornered 'spatial-cells' is inevitable even when the basement is empty. In spite of this claustrophobic, socially divisive and physically brutal environment; or perhaps because of it, the New-Silo basement became one of Amsterdam's most successful regular 'rave' venues!   

In this undifferentiated place one is 'oriented' (if one did not wander far into its depths) by its slightly lower three-bay entry portion with its 'anchoring' feature; a 7m pit (in fact the ultimate base of the New-Silo's 'tower') whose 6m hatch-like opening yawns in the floor near the basement's entry. 

An urgent task after the september 1993 squatting was to seal a 5x6m hole above the basement pit, which opened in the Discharge Hall above - a space used by a company friendly with the owners. When the company was absent the Discharge Hall was broken into and the hole sealed with wood covered in conveyor-belting 'fixed with many nails': "unpleasant to remove", 'it would break saw-blades'. By november 1993 the pit had been cleared and before the end of 1993 the first public event was held. By spring 1994 there were regular "parties" and the new venue was well known in the city.

NEW-SILO EVENT FLYER (A6): "5-YAAR SILO" EVENT
(4-6-94)

The basement is sometimes used for Silo initiated events, such as the public "5 Yaar Silo" "Quack"  Danceparty, and is routinely hired for weekly raves and parties by event organisers from outside the Silo.

[For more examples of events publicity - Re: NOTE- 3 ]

NEW-SILO: DIJK ENTRY TO THE BASEMENT PUBLIC SPACE
(pic 4-6-94 / to E) [film has colour-damage]

Public access to the Basement entry is controlled by raising/lowering over it a huge step-shaped steel flap raised by cable from a redundant cantilever above. 

Here, on the occasion of the "5 Yaar Silo" event, a notice fixed to the 'riser' of this 'yawning beak' invites visitors to "duck" as they pass under it to the descent. A big oval puddle (like a slice of egg!) lies on a steel slab before it.

NEW-SILO: DIJK ENTRY TO THE BASEMENT PUBLIC SPACE - STEEL DOOR/PLATFORM
(vid-frame 6-8-93 / to EEN)

The basement's closed public entry - this huge steel flap is lowered over its access steps. At its far end is a locked gate defending access to the space between the Silos - access for the New-Silo and its basement / the S-Tower / and all the rest via the rear quay. 

The dignity of this massive and totally pragmatic object is (perhaps ironically) deflated by the trite little chalked-on flower (probably by a visitor).

NEW-SILO: DIJK EXIT FROM SW CORNER OF BASEMENT
(pic 6-94 / to EEN)

At the SW corner of the Basement is a small stair emerging via a small door onto the dijk loading platform, to the right of the overwhelming graffiti. Descent to ground is via a hazardous looking pile of logs.

NEW-SILO BASEMENT: PIT BEFORE CLEARANCE
(pic 8-93 / to E)

Before it was cleared this pit showed its size, not by its depth - for its bottom was hidden - but by the size of the objects that had been hurled in as if it were a dustbin: a chaotic tangle including whole flights of steel stairs and rectangular steel tubes of bucket-conveyors. 

To empty it an electric driven hoist was installed, working through a pulley welded over the pit's centre.

NEW-SILO BASEMENT: VIEW OVER PIT
(pic 9-94 / to SSE)

The basement pit is the deepest place in the New-Silo & the lowest level of its 'tower' - about 55m from its roof. Huge concrete blocks encumber its floor - (?)the mountings of the tower's vertical-conveyor motors(?). (About 50m above, analogous concrete mountings encumber the tower's topmost space, Jaroen's proto-apt).

 

NEW-SILO BASEMENT: INSIDE THE PIT
(pic 9-94 / to S)

Up on the platform behind the "trousers" (the distributor-box junction of 3 chutes) [ref: MILOU - GR-FLOOR: Stove] stands an onlooker, otherwise - apart from the incongruous foreground settee & old streamers - there is little evidence of the regular rave-parties.

NEW-SILO BASEMENT: FROM ENTRY (WITH PARTY DECOR)
(pic 4-6-94 / to SE)

One enters down a ramp (on party nights tickets are transacted at this point) and past the pit into the main space (here preparations are underway and the entry is barred). On the right side red-lit steps descend into the pit.

NEW-SILO BASEMENT: VIEW INTO PIT (WITH PARTY DECOR)
(pic 4-6-94 / to S)

 

NEW-SILO BASEMENT: IN THE PIT (PARTY PREPARATION)
(pic 6-94 / to EES)

 

NEW-SILO BASEMENT: MAIN FLOOR WITH BAR & ENTRIES TO N-END & PIT
(paste-up x3 pics 4-6-94 / to N)

NEW-SILO BASEMENT: MAIN FLOOR WITH PARTY DECOR
(pic 4-6-94 / to ?)

NEW-SILO BASEMENT: MAIN FLOOR WITH SITTING PLACE & PARTY DECOR
(pic 4-6-94 / to ?)

NEW-SILO BASEMENT: MAIN FLOOR BAR (LAST VERSION)
(pic 11-97 / to S)

NEW-SILO BASEMENT: MAIN FLOOR BAR COUNTER (MAIK TERVEER)
(pic 11-97 / to S)

Bar counter by Mike Terveer [Re: ATTIC-S apt ]:

Chutes (corn-transport pipes from site) cut and inscribed with an oxyacetylene-torch. The short chute unit supports the long chute unit. The illusion-image is of a table with a draped patterned cloth.

NEW-SILO BASEMENT: MAIN FLOOR PARTY DECOR - SHELF-COLLAGE & PAINTING
(pic 11-97 / to WWS?)

NEW-SILO BASEMENT: MAIN FLOOR E-SIDE
(pic 4-6-94 / to EEN)

NEW-SILO BASEMENT: MAIN FLOOR E-SIDE - WAY TO WC
(pic 4-6-94 / to E)

NEW-SILO BASEMENT: MAIN FLOOR E-SIDE WC
(pic 9-94 / to S)

The steel 'doors' are curved portions of some huge installation hinged onto steel tube posts. The walls are ubiquitous cement-blocks and the wc's are raised to accommodate drain-pipes.

NEW-SILO: MORNING AFTER PARTY REVELLERS - SILO QUAY (SOUTH OF SILOS)
(pic 1994 / to W)

One morning, just south of the New-Silo's quay, on the pavement opposite the bus stop, this group of party leavers spontaneously posed.

The rail track before me has issued from the Silo's dijk and continues left to De Loods-Westerdok.

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the TOWER & SILO-CHARGING HALL: VENUES OF PUBLIC ART PERFORMANCES
[all measurements are approximate]

The stair-route from the cat-walk entrance between the Silos, zigzags up through a spectacular concrete-beamed space laced with enormous tubes, and the incongruous remainders of 'performances': a miniature auditorium of ad hoc scrap-wood benches, a rope-threaded shaft, a book on a chair. 

On an enclosed landing at 30m, in contrast to the verticality of the tower, through a small side-door and beyond a cluster of colour-coded chutes, is the surprise of the vast light flat space of the silo-charging floor - a venue for theatrical art-performance events and the limit of public access. Up and past the charging-hall the tower is released from the building's bulk and one enters the private domain of the New Silo's only apt [Re: NEW-SILO - p2 ].

NEW-SILO THEATRE POSTER ON STREET
(pic 9-94 / to SSE)

A welded steel rocking 'road-work' sign left standing on the Westerdoksdijk pavement near the Silo entry. 

[For other examples of publicity for externally sourced events: Ref: NOTE-3 ]

NEW-SILO: ENTRY GATE TO THE SPACE BETWEEN THE SILOS - ON ITS INNER SIDE THE LOCK IS TUBE-PROTECTED
(vid-frame 6-8-93 / to NE)

 

NEW-SILO TOWER ENTRY IN THE SPACE BETWEEN THE SILOS 
(vid-frame 6-8-93 / to E)

Beyond the barred gate, the New-Silo tower's entry catwalk is a step up from the steel platform. The second door accesses the tower's stair and the levels 4/5 venues for public art performances.

NEW-SILO TOWER L4: PERFORMANCE SPACE & STAIR TO THE L5 SILO-CHARGING HALL 
(pic 9-94 / to NNE)

Having climbed 8 stair flights inside the 'tower' we reach its biggest cavity: level-4 - three 'floors' deep and threaded with the shafts of bucket-conveyors (that raised grain to the silo-charging floor). Portions of the shafts of the vertical-conveyors have been unbolted and excised by the squatters to make both the floor space and the tubes accessible for performances. 

Through this dramatic space we mount 6 more flights to level-5, which affords the only opportunity, other than the basement, to experience a New-Silo location alternative to the tower.

NEW-SILO TOWER L4: A PERFORMANCE VIEWED FROM THE BRIDGE 
(pic 4-6-94 / to SSW)

We are looking down from the steel bridge that spans the space beneath the underside of the great L5 attic charging-floor - an art performance, associated with the "5-Yaar Silo" event, is in progress. 

NEW-SILO TOWER L5: THE SILO-CHARGING HALL FROM L5 LANDING
(pic 9-94 / to S)

From the level 5 landing, through a small door in its confining S-wall, is the charging-floor of the silos, its entry framed by bizarrely bent and coloured tubes - a cramped baroque proscenium for a vast glass-walled stage - venue for art and dance performance events.

NEW-SILO TOWER L5: SILO-CHARGING HALL 
(pic 9-94 / to S)

NEW-SILO TOWER L5: SILO-CHARGING FLOOR WITH PUBLIC ART-PERFORMANCE
(pic 4-6-94 / to NNE)

NEW-SILO TOWER L5: SILO-CHARGING FLOOR WITH PUBLIC ART-PERFORMANCE
(pic 4-6-94 / to WWS)

NEW-SILO TOWER L5: SILO-CHARGING FLOOR - STAIR ENTRY END
(pic 11-97 / to NNW)

After the New-Silo was abandoned.

NEW-SILO TOWER L5: SILO-CHARGING FLOOR - STAIR ENTRY END
(pic 11-97 / to EEN)
After the New-Silo was abandoned.

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^Top    > Next Page >

^  NEW-SILO - p1: INTRO & PUBLIC USE
> NEW-SILO - p2: JAROEN'S APT >

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CONTENTS   4 SITES  

SILO

  TETTERODE   DE LOODS   EDELWEIS   APPENDICES   NOTES   SUB-SITES