The canals of Amsterdam are an iconic part of the city's landscape, and the defunct stations once used to control their traffic are now serving as an intimate way to experience them. Visitors to the Dutch capital can now book a stay in a former bridge keeper's cabin, offering unique waterfront accommodation with a historical flavor.
For more than 100 years, cabins built onto bridges across Amsterdam served as control stations for the water traffic passing through. But the city has now introduced advanced systems that control things from a central hub, rendering these buildings obsolete.
Rather than letting the defunct buildings gather dust and cobwebs, local architecture firm Space & Matter is filling them with tourists instead. It has teamed up with the Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy and fellow firm Grayfield to transform all 28 of Amsterdam's bridge control buildings into quaint hotel suites.
Dubbed Sweets Hotel, the accommodation offers stays in cabins perched atop a bridges right across the city, all with fine views of the waterways from the double beds inside. Giving the tight confines of the space, there's not much in the way of living and kitchen areas, although they do contain a mini-fridge and tea and coffee facilities.
The historic buildings each have a unique story, with the oldest bridge house constructed in 1673 and the most modern built in 2009. In giving them a makeover, there are touches of the tiny house movement in the way the architects have made clever use of the tight spaces.
Eleven of the stations are available to book now, with work continuing on the rest of the conversions. Guests must be 21 or older, with prices starting at €160 (US$186) a night.
You can have a poke around some of the guesthouses in the gallery.
Source: Sweets Hotel
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