Machinefabriek Noord

A place where businesses, people and subcultures grow organically

Mixed use

Our vision

Once a factory building, the Machinefabriek Voorwaarts in Amsterdam-Noord has not been used as such for many years. Instead, it has served as a breeding ground for creative businesses. From the Skatecafé to independent breweries and from Boogieland (a boxing school) to a music studio, a variety of various subcultures have established themselves and flourished there. We were given the opportunity to develop the Machinefabriek into an area in which people can both live and work. In doing so, we will keep its DNA intact and its characteristic atmosphere alive.

Our approach

We are aiming for a spontaneous, urban feel. By combining a tower with medium and lower blocks, the area will feel as if it has evolved organically. The site’s industrial heritage will live on in the robust design of the blocks and houses.


Most businesses will be rehoused in the premises. The Skatecafé, for example, will move up to the fourth floor, effectively creating a skating track with a panoramic city view. By using the roofs as gardens, an outdoor area for the day-care centre or sports areas, we will energise the community. And it all goes without saying that the area surrounding the Machinefabriek will be bicycle-friendly. Well, this is Amsterdam after all!

Client Midvast

Programme residential, museum, restaurant, gym, workshop area, commercial space, parking

Team Alvaro Alcain
René Berbee
Jon Eseverri
Amaia Escribano
Maddalen Miner
Volker Ulrich

Size ca. 35.000m2 BVO

Year 2017 –



Architect vurb architects

Image credits vurb architects