Manhattan on the Meuse

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, Eugene, Claudio,
 Broetske, Allard, Marie, Josť, 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".

halkraak_small.gif (7980 bytes)

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 spoke:
"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".
 The days after the foundation was set "stand-by", Zoot left for Amsterdam. Others followed.
The HAL-collective anarchised and became a melting pot of Rotterdam initiatives by squatting.
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 squatted (legalized)
a unit in Porcellis Street.
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
wellbeing & 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 trybe.

gaingate and trybe


nowadays the hal-building is a fameus hotel-restaurant:

part of the city renewal project
"kop van zuid"


Manhattan  Project  3.01
NL  3022 BL 54  
disclaimer     Q&A       contact
last update 09-02-2023 17:32