10 Years Pakhuis de Zwijger
In 2016/2017 we celebrate the tenth birthday of Pakhuis de Zwijger. It started with a dream, sprung from Cultuurfabriek and the directorship of Over het IJ Festival almost 20 years ago, which became reality in 2006 at the southern part of the IJ-bank – at that time a bare plain with old warehouses far away from the city centre. A major challenge to start a successful cultural enterprise, to say the least. Transformed by architect André van Stigt, today the former refrigerated warehouse functions as a debate centre of the 21st century, putting dialogue before debate and connection before opposition. It stimulates collaboration towards a livable city, puts urgent matters on the agenda, linking them to the creative industry. It is about integrating, connecting domains and disciplines, sharing knowledge and experiences, and designing and imagineering the future of everyday living.
With an amazing team of coworkers, we keep the building buzzing and created countless special projects, design sessions, presentations, movie screenings and talkshows – from tens a year in the beginning to over 600 in 2016, gathering a community close to 100,000 members following us live and online. As an internationally operating platform for the city in transition we do research, develop online platforms, set up meetings and organise challenges, City Expeditions, and think tanks together with some two hundred partners while building local, national and international networks of City Makers and City Embassies. We welcome everyone regardless of age, sex, race or cultural background. At the same time, it represents the bottom-up vanguard: people with guts and perseverance, contributing actively to societal issues in the city, inspiring and activating people and communities and putting the collective interest.
Who owns the city?
In the next few years, we will focus on the question: Who owns the city? Can we rethink the Amsterdam values? Will Amsterdam become a real inclusive city? Are we able to connect neighbourhoods to necessary innovations and can makers also make the difference in urgent urban challenges? Will we all profit from the economic growth in the metropolitan region? Are we able to turn our old economy into a new green and circular one? Can we make sure our children will grow up in a livable, sustainable and self-su cient city with equal opportunities for everyone?
City Makers Square
To celebrate our 10th anniversary, we have installed the first official City Makers Square, right in front of Pakhuis de Zwijger: