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  - p2(of 2)

 

< SILO - INTRO <  
<  NEW-SILO - p1: INTRO & PUBLIC USE <   

    NEW-SILO - p2: JAROEN'S APT 

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the NEW-SILO'S APT 

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JAROEN LIVING-SPACE (1994 --) 
[mostly written c1995 & 2006]

Prevented from acquiring a living-space in the old Silo, in c1994 Jaroen began the monstrous task of clearing and adapting the most arduously accessible of all the Silo's habitable locations - the topmost cavity of the New-Silo's tower, approx 37 vertical metres up/down 18 flights of 202 stairs. 

Most were found cut and thrown down by the Silo's owners to make access 'impossible' - almost every one of the 18 flights was re-placed by the New-Silo squatters and crudely welded. 

Entered from the catwalk between the Silos, its first four flights are confined by walls. Disconcertingly, its third flight is rough wooden 'fill-in' and the fourth, though steel, dosn't properly fit!  At level 3 the tower opens to its full plan and the stair rises four flights to level 4 supported only on cantilevered landings and exposed beams. 

Level 4 is the base of the largest cavity in the tower (approx 13m tall); uniquely the stair restarts near the centre of this huge space, enhancing its drama as it climbs 6 flights past the plunging tubes of erstwhile bucket-conveyors. Its fifth landing extends as a steel bridge which spans the tower's width between two doors, via which access may be found to the exterior: a thin-railed catwalk that tops the building's walls. Up a short flight the stair is again enclosed, its level 5 landing a small lobby to the huge silo-charging hall that surmounts the building's main body; plus an exit to a platform jutting from the facing of the tower. 

Two flights above, we again emerge from confining walls, and enter the tower-proper at level 6. In this brick room, piled with rubble disgorged from its ceiling-piercing tubes, is the last stair, obstructed by a front-door bolted to its landing, opening into the big box-like cavity of level 7, whose terrace-like roof caps the tower - the New Silo's sole apt and the whole site's highest location.

NEW-SILO: FROM THE DIJK
(pic 6-94 / to SE)

Jaroen's ropes can be seen hanging from the catwalk that fronts the tower at L5 (accessed from the silo-charging hall landing) - used to hoist his belongings at least most of the way up to his L7 apt at the peak of the tower.

 

NEW-SILO: TOWER-STAIR ENTRY DOOR
(pic 11-97 / to WWS)

View between the Silos from the S-end high portion of the quay. 

To the left of the 'sunken-area' stair one can access a narrow, plank-paved catwalk cantilevered along the New-Silo's face. The door [first-left in this view] is the lobby of the New-Silo tower's stair - serving Jaroen's L7 tower-top apt, the L4 "Patapoe" radio-station, and public access to art-performance spaces - first a small 'theatre' in the vertically vast L4 tower cavity; secondly the horizontally vast L5 charging-hall.

At the far end a gate allows Dijk access to the catwalk and steps down to the Basement's entry. This is opened for public events [- at the time of this picture such events were no longer held and the steps are obstructed].

NEW-SILO TOWER L3: 
(pic 9-94 / to EEN)

The stair's first four flights - from the catwalk entry to level 3, are walled in. Level 3 is the first of the tower's full-plan spaces, through which the stair climbs supported only on canterlevered landings and exposed beams.

[NB off pic: a 3rd window [behind us, off pic left] is used as a 'short-cut' access from the S-Drying Tower's L3 terrace, via a frightening little wooden bridge.  Also behind us - on a small platform from long-beam [pic top-rt] to wall - Jaroen mounted his apt water-system: a tank plus pump (his apt is about 36m above) and drain bucket.]

NEW-SILO TOWER L4: APPROACH TO THE SILO'S HIGHEST APT
(pic 9-94 / to N)

Inside the 'tower' on level 4 (already about 18m above the water); in its biggest cavity, three 'floors' deep, looking up 6 flights past a steel bridge that spans the space to the underside of the great L5 attic charging-floor. 

On the E-side [off frame rt], up short steps in a locked room, is the Silo radio station "Patapoe" (broadcasting via a transmitter on the tower's roof).

NEW-SILO TOWER L5: ANTE-ROOM TO THE SILO-CHARGING FLOOR 
(pic 9-94 / to S)

After the climb on open stairs through levels 3 and 4, the tower's level-5 landing is small - narrowly confined by an intrusion of the silo-charging hall into the space of the tower. A small landing door affords this sudden and suprising view of its vast space beyond a thicket of coloured chutes. 

L5 is the public's limit and the ante-space to Jaroen's domain. 

NEW-SILO TOWER L6: SPACE BELOW JEROEN'S APT
(pic 9-94 / to EEN)

At level 6 one has entered the free-standing portion of the tower. 

Traversing L6 is hazardous - from his forming apt space above, Jeroen shovels the debris of his clearance work down the open-ends of truncated conveyor-shafts.

NEW-SILO TOWER L6: SPACE BELOW JEROEN'S APT
(pic 9-94 / to EEN)

On the landing of the L-6 stair Jaroen mounted his first lockable 'front-door'. By 1995 his defined territory had expanded and a second door controlled the entry to level-6 itself.

NEW-SILO TOWER L6/7: ENTRY INTO JEROEN'S APT
(pic 9-94 / to SW)

We have just passed Jaroen's 'front-door' [pic lft] and are climbing into the L7 apt space. 

JAROEN APT L7: IN PROCESS OF CLEARENCE 
(9-94 / to W)

The new apt space was the New-Silo's 'motor-room' where the vertical-conveyors' engines were mounted on huge concrete bases [far beneath (like a reflection in a well) similar concrete forms encumber the basement's pit: ref]. 

Across the west wall's face the tower's final stair and a steel-ladder rise to the roof hatch. 

JAROEN APT L7: IN PROCESS OF CLEARENCE
(paste-up 2pics 9-94 / to E)

Apt interior from roof-stair landing. 

The space is encumbered with the un-removable concrete foundations of the tower's conveyor engines (recovered by the Silo's owners), and the ends of chutes and bucket-conveyor shafts intruding through the floor. Over all these Jaroen intends to construct a platform(?). 

He has cleared engineering brick from most of the sealed windows. All debris are dropped down the shafts to L6. 

JAROEN APT L7: FLOOR CHUTE HOLE 
(pic 9-94 / to SSE)

This is a living-space with the added distinction of a radical feature: the unprotected opening of a chute-tube (thought to open into a steel vessel 35m below) - its hole neatly flush with the floor, 41.5cm wide - just sufficient for small-to-average shoulders - like a black disc lying a few inches to the left of a well-worn path through the growing apartment, next to a jacket draped on a ladder - a horrible invitation to a total and unredeemable mistake; a presence so absolutely from 'the other side' as to cause in one an exquisitely poignant state of vital awareness.

JAROEN APT L7: NORTH WINDOW VIEW
(pic 9-94 / to N)

View from approx 45m-up through a window in the north wall of the apt, along the old Silo's roof and past the pyramid (whose topmost window shows someone sitting in its little apex room), over Het Ij towards the world's horizon.

 

JAROEN APT L8: HATCH ONTO TOWER ROOF
(pic 9-94 / to SE)

JAROEN APT L8: TOWER ROOF
(pic 9-94 / to EEN)

The Silo "Patapoe" radio station's transmitter is fixed to the corner pole

JAROEN APT L7: NORTH WINDOW VIEW
(pic 9-94 / to N)

Jaroen's apt is a nexus between a world-curving out-view of land water sky and the thin deep tubes and massive cavities of its vast fundament of concrete.

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CONTENTS   4 SITES  

SILO

  TETTERODE   DE LOODS   EDELWEIS   APPENDICES   NOTES   SUB-SITES