In more Juliana Engberg news – following on from yesterday’s announcement of her prestigious award – we can now report that the traveling curator is currently in Amsterdam sizing up the art, the museums and the quality of the hotel rooms. How do we know this?
Why, we’re following the blog Engberg on The Road a travel diary of Engberg’s trail around the world in search of art for the 2014 Biennale of Sydney. Of the accommodation Engberg declares:
We love our hotel friends at the Sofitel, but I’m sure they will forgive me this one major plug. If ever you find yourself in Amsterdam and want to see one of the most amazing hotel interiors ever, pop into the Amrâth. It’s near the main station. This astounding building, finished in 1916, and designed by Johan van der Mey (I hadn’t heard of him either) and others, is eccentric and extravagant: a Gesamtkunstwerk of nautical embellishments, amazing wood features, sculptures, stained glass featuring astrological navigational schemes, maps, ships and so forth, and deco marble staircases. It feels like a galleon … it IS like a galleon. Around the outside of the building, which uses a verticality made from brick work – all faceted and pointy – there are numerous small stone-carved sculptures featuring sea creatures and other personages and things which lend a kind of crazy fantasy to the whole structure. You almost feel it’s been CGI-ed into the city it’s that maverick and sort of gothic; working against the puritanical Dutch Baroque with its clean and simple interior spaces and plainish facades, this is statement architecture. It was once the ‘Maritime House’, a place for shipping offices, and its location celebrates the launch of the Dutch explorations. Now it’s a very unique pit stop.
We fully intend on looking up the Amrâth when next we’re in town. Of the Stedelijk Museum Engberg observes that’s all back-to-front, but this is as intended, so relax, but find out the rest for yourself at the blog.