holland america line,
hall to trybe-experiment.
In september 1988 the HAL-building, the former headquarters of Holland
America Line in Rotterdam was pictured in NRC-Handelsblad. A bunch of young artists had
squatted the building (in the Netherlands a legalizable action) in order to create
accommodation for working & living. Claudio & Eugene left De fabriek and joined
in with their studio-plans and their concept about a foundation on cityrenewal.
The building was splitted up very fast. The chambers for the board of direction became
luxury livings; the office-units metamorphised in art studios. There was a "cuisine
avec cantine" and the grand reception was a good place to party and to exhibit.
An extra dimension to use the building was given by the memories, traceable in huge safes,
cellars & strongrooms; memories of them who had left Europe, in crises before &
after the big war, that had destroyed Rotterdam (1940-1945).
The area was priorated for urban renewal and this building had an impact beyond
art-studios. A workgroup to develop a plan based on individual ambitions & capacities
went to work.
December 1988 "Grand Manhattan" was founded with board members: Zoot,
JosÚ, Ralph & Ben. Spijker
& Vester were also part of the HAL-collective.
Jan was moved into the workgroup by
Eugene, Claudio & Zoot to study the possibilities of saving the building as "an
accommodation for artistic projects & experiments for support & consolidation of
an interactive relation between arts, urban renewal and environmental living &
working, auditing on a universal cultural approach of renewing Rotterdam and a realisation
concept within the opportunities of the HAL-collective".
March, 24th, the plans were accepted: "The Hal-project".
The owner of the
building wasn't touched.
He continued his legal way. On the 31 of March 1989 the judge
"urgent necessity for accommodation"
wasn't demonstrable. So were the other rights to squat:
"dilapidation of the area by the community" or
"the abuse of the right to use the building by the owner".
So the HAL-collective had to leave the building "one of those brighty days".
days after the foundation was set "stand-by", Zoot left for Amsterdam. Others
The HAL-collective anarchised and became a melting pot of Rotterdam initiatives by
In september 1988 the HAL-building became the cradle of House in Holland.
Nowadays it's called Hotel New York,
a good place to retreat to when you're tired of Rotterdam's Flexcool Citylife.
Those days Claudio & Eugene hadá squat (legalized) a unit in Porcellis
How to continue Manhattan?
In 1992, Foundation Inner Road was already started, Zoot asked
Claudio, Eugene & Jan
to take over the responsibilities concerning
Foundation Grand Manhattan.
Inner Road, specificaly working on innovative initiatives in the direction of
policy, had not yet integrated "accommodation & environment" as such.
The opportunity to include these items again created the possibility
to evoluate the
gaingate-principle to a keystone for social cohesive living & working:
the hal-building is a fameus hotel-restaurant:
the cityrenewal project