Wednesday 10 August 2022

Amsterdam’s Paradiso concert hall finally buys the derelict land next door

Paradiso from the water. Photo: M.M.Minderhoud via Wikimedia Commons

The Paradiso concert hall in Amsterdam has bought the piece of derelict land which has been empty next to it since 1880 to build a five-storey extension.

Dozens of plans, from park to hotel and school extension, have been submitted for the land over the years, but none have ever materialized. ‘This is a unique opportunity for us,’ Paradiso director Geert van Itallie told the Parool.

Paradiso, which opened its doors as a concert hall 54 years ago, no longer meets current standards for noise, public safety and the environment and needs work on its roof and foundations, as well as other renovations.

The aim is to transform the ‘pop concert hall’ into a cultural centre, complete with exhibition space, new offices and services for ‘artists in residence’ – if the project gets official backing.

Paradiso is also expanding on the right hand side, now that the underground bike park has been moved to the other side of the Leidseplein. That is to become the new entrance and exit to the complex, which will help to reduce the noise nuisance to locals who have been campaigning to have the concert hall’s night permit withdrawn.

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Paradiso has bought the land with a mortgage but hopes to raise the financing for the rest of the work from the local authority, funds and private donations.

The cost of the land was put at €3.5 million by the NRC, while the extension itself will add some €30 million to the bill.

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