apartment blocks in Amsterdam School architecture


Amsterdam School architecture in Holendrechtstraat, Rivierenbuurt / photo by Janericloebe

Rivierenbuurt - along with Oud-Zuid, De Pijp and Buitenveldert - is part of the borough of Amsterdam Zuid. It is bordering the Amstel River and features many fine examples of Amsterdam School architecture. At the Europaplein you can find the RAI Building and RAI Congress Centre.

The Rivierenbuurt is more expensive than De Pijp neighbourhood. It was built in the 1920s as a primarily middle-class residential area, part of the Plan Zuid (Plan South) urban expansion programme designed by famous Dutch architect Berlage. The area mainly consists of fully enclosed apartment blocks, many of which were designed in the style of the Amsterdam School, characterized by its curvy facades and wealth of fantasy ornaments.

De Wolkenkrabber

The most striking building in the Rivierenbuurt is 'De Wolkenkrabber' ('The Skyscraper') at Victorieplein square. The building, which is officially named Twaalf Verdiepingenhuis (Twelve Storey House), was built in 1930-1932 and designed by architect Staal. It was the city's first high residential tower (over 40m high).

The persecution of the Jews

During the German occupation (1940-1945) the Jewish population of Amsterdam became victims of persecution and other measures targeted against them. At the beginning of the Second World War the Rivierenbuurt had 17,000 Jewish residents.

13,000 of them - including Anne Frank and her family, which lived from 1933 to 1942 at Merwedeplein square in the Rivierenbuurt until they went into hiding - were killed in extermination camps or died in concentration camps.

Some of the 4,000 remaining Jews still live in the neighbourhood. At the Lekstraat is an Orthodox Jewish synagogue  located, including a kollel.


On the east side of the Rivierenbuurt the Berlagebrug (built in 1934) over the Amstel River forms the connection with the eastern suburb of Amsterdam Oost and the Amstel Railway Station. The Canadian liberators entered Amsterdam across this bridge on May 7, 1945.

Stalin Avenue

In 1946, the 3 main avenues of the neighborhood were renamed after the leaders of the allies: Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt. After the invasion of Hungary in 1956 the Stalinlaan was renamed to Vrijheidslaan.

Martin Luther King Park

Martin Luther King Park (initially called Amstel Park) is located at the Amstel River in the south of the Rivierenbuurt. It was established in the 1930s, as an employment project for people who lost their jobs during the crisis, and opened for public in 1936. It was renamed in 1968 to honor Martin Luther King after his assassination.

nearby accommodation and restaurants
more impressions

Map of Rivierenbuurt neighbourhood

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Twaalfverdiepingenhuis ('Twelve Story House') completed in 1932 and nicknamed the Wolkenkrabber ('Skycraper') is an unusually tall building in the neighbourhood


View of the Rivierenbuurt from the staircase of the 'Skyscraper'


Berlagebrug over the Amstel river 1928-1932

Rent a Bike and Visit the Beautiful Buildings of the Amsterdam School

new hotel

Huge new hotel on Zuidas near RAI

Martin Luther Kingpark

In 2018 a little statue of Martin Luther King was placed in the Martin Luther King Park in the south of the Rivierenbuurt

anne frank statue

Statue of Anne Frank at Merwedeplein

Martin Luther Kingpark

Every year in August, travelling theatre festival The Parade  takes place in the Martin Luther King with over 80 different theatre, music, and dance performances for all ages.