De Hallen in Amsterdam is the outcome of a full redevelopment of a former tram depot into an urban mixed-use project including a hotel, a multi-media library, a cinema, a film studio, an administrative centre, and some retail. The project, located west of the city centre at a short distance from De Jordaen, is best known for its food hall, attracting large crowds. The project respected the monumental and authentic buildings of the tram depot.
The tram depot was built in several stages between 1901 and 1928. The depot was listed as monument in 1999. The GVB Amsterdam municipal public transport company stopped activities in the tram depot and handed the premises over to the local district in 1997.
Though there were many ideas for the redevelopment and several attempts to have temporary functions in the buildings, the buildings went into a deplorable state and squatters took over part of the building.
Local residents, future users, architect Andre Van Stigt and others involved established the TROM Tram Depot Development Corporation in 2010. Aim of the corporation was to 1: redevelop the tram depot into a functioning quality urban mixed-use environment, 2: have functions which connect to the needs in the neighbourhood but also have a higher level attractiveness, 3: feasible and profitable development and operation.
Today, De Hallen is a 16,000 sq.m complex with a mix of local and commercial facilities. The passageway provides a new walking route through the premises connecting the Bellamystraat with the Bilderdijkkade. The walkway connects all the facilities inside the premises. Eventually De Hallen was delivered in phases, after only 14 to 21 months.
Originally, the redevelopment plans for De Hallen included a significant amount of residential as well. However, to speed up the process, the area for redevelopment and the areas for new development were split and developed separately. Currently a good number of housing projects are underway in the area.
De Hallen have been a success since the opening in 2014. The food hall, the restaurant, and the hotel in particular are popular among Amsterdam residents and also to visitors. The success of De Hallen is emphasised by the fact that the surrounding neighbourhood has been branded ‘Hallenkwartier.’ (Hallen Quarter)
The food hall and next-door restaurants, Halte 3 Brasserie and Meat West Restaurant, were the brainchild of four college friends, Chong Chu, Tsibo Lin, Zing-Kyn Cheung and Rakish Gangapersad. The focus is on diversity and on originality. The food hall consists of 20 food stalls and 3 bars.