[UPDATE: the property formerly known as “The Yays – Crane Apartment” was renamed Amsterdam The Crane by YAYS in 2021]
On November 29, 2017, the unique ‘The Yays – Crane Apartment’ opened on the KNSM-Island in Amsterdam. The monumental Figee crane 2868, which was renovated in the Frisian village of Franeker in 2016, is back in its home port along the IJ-River. The crane is now home to The Yays – Crane Apartment, managed by Yays Concierged Boutique Apartments.
On November 21 1944, a German Sprengcommando blew up the harbour cranes along the industrial IJ-River in Amsterdam. After World War II, the Royal Dutch Steamboat Company (KNSM) commissioned the construction of new cranes, built by the ‘Haarlemsche Machinefabriek’ of the brothers Figee. These cranes served the world trade by unloading ships in the port of Amsterdam until 1979. When container transport took over, the IJ-River became too small and the cranes too fragile. The last large shipping company KNSM ceased their activities in 1979. The Eastern Docklands deteriorated into an area of grass, rails and empty warehouses.
When the municipality of Amsterdam decided to transform the Eastern Docklands into a residential area in 1975, they spared one crane from demolition. Figee crane 2868, located at the Surinamekade on KNSM-Island, built in 1958. A local resident, in cooperation with the Eastern district of Amsterdam, Yays Concierged Boutique Apartments, the Conservation of Historic Buildings and Sites and the municipality, initiated the restoration and is now back at its spot at the Surinamekade. Amsterdam based interior designer Edward van Vliet transformed the unique monument into an apartment while maintaining its characteristic look and feel. The crane has been revived and renamed into ‘The Yays – Crane Apartment’. Thanks to the original location and unique neighbourhood, guests will still feel the crane’s history and enjoy ultimate comfort at the same time.
‘The Yays – Crane Apartment’ was officially opened by initiator and historian Peter Bekkers and Domien Kamsma from the Amsterdam municipality. The festive opening event was attended by initiators, the municipality of Amsterdam, monumental care and other stakeholders. Henk Roos, the last crane operator was the special guest of the evening. He comments: “It feels like we’re back in the old days.”
Peter Heule, CEO Yays Concierged Boutique Apartments, adds: “We’re pleased to have the honour to manage the former Figee crane 2868 and to offer it ‘a new life’ with Yays. The crane is back in its home port after a thorough restoration and redecoration by the well-known designer Edward van Vliet. This is the way how we would like to contribute to the development of the city of Amsterdam. We’re looking forward to welcoming the first guests and offer them this unique experience.”