Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam, Westergasbrug


Built from 1883 to 1885 along the Haar­lemmer­trek­vaart, the Wester­gas­fabriek (Western Gas Factory) was a coal gas extraction plant — it supplied Amsterdam with gas, mostly used to illuminate streets and buildings. The 4 hectare (around 10 acres) terrain housed many buildings, designed by architect Isaac Gosschalk in Dutch Neo-Renaissance style. These days it is used as a cultural venue.

Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam, along the Haarlemmertrekvaart

Wester­gas­fabriek, view along the Haarlemmer­trek­vaart (July  2021).

When the factory was built, environ­mental issues were more of an after­thought. So when the gasworks were closed in 1967, what was left was a heavily polluted terrain, difficult to repurpose. Until the 1990s it was mostly used as a storage area for the GEB, the City Energy Company. They demolished some buildings (like the gas plant itself and the water tower), but others were saved. The remaining buildings were designated as National Monuments in 1989. The GEB left the terrain in 1992 and the District Council of Wester­park then took over the location.

Entrance to the Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam, with the Conscious Hotel on the right

View from the entrance to the Wester­gas­fabriek. On the right the Conscious Hotel, the former Gasworks offices (July 2021).

Culture & Recreation

After the entire lot’s polluted soil had been thoroughly cleaned up, an open park was created around the renovated historical buildings. Opened in 2003, the terrain has become a lively cultural hotspot in a green park setting, hosting many bars, cafés, restaurants, theaters, festivals and expositions. The complex is now simply called Wester­gas. The former offices of the Wester­gas­fabriek have been transformed into the eco-hotel Conscious, between the renovated cultural area Wester­gas and the older Wester­park public garden, created in 1891.

Westergas Gallery (July 2021)

Westergas Bridge

Around 1885 there already was an iron draw­bridge here for the Wester­gas­fabriek, but it was removed in 1956. The current Wester­gas­brug across the Haarlemmer­trek­vaart which gives access to the terrain of the Wester­gas­fabriek dates from 1919. It was originally located on the Zij­kanaal on the NDSM terrain in Amsterdam-Noord, moved to its current location in 1956.

Website Westergas: https://westergas.nl/en/whats-here/

NL: https://westergas.nl/whats-here/

Handy map of what is where: https://westergas.nl/en/map/

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