The Conservatorium’s History
Originally founded in 1275, present-day Amsterdam is redolent with history. With its numerous museums and galleries, the city is now undergoing an arts-led renaissance that is feeding a resurgent appetite for travel to Amsterdam, both locally and from abroad. The Conservatorium – with its rich history - is part of this renewal.
The building was originally designed by the Dutch architect Daniel Knuttel as the Rijkspostspaarbank and sparked the regeneration of the Museum Quarter at the end of the 19th century.
In 1897, the building was purchased for 120,310 florins (€54.600,-), and was soon transformed into a defining icon of the city’s architecture,
whose development was further aided by the horse trams that began connecting the centre of Amsterdam with the Van Baerlestraat.
When the Rijkspostspaarbank had to move offices following a series of merges, the building was abandoned in 1978. After lying empty for five years, it became the home of the newly formed Sweelinck Conservatorium, consisting of three musical institutes.
Some remodelling was required to modernise Daniel Knuttel’s architecture into functional acoustic classrooms.
In April 2008 the Conservatorium of Amsterdam outgrew its home and departed to its current location at Oosterdokseiland. In 2008, The Set Hotels purchased this wonderful building, attracted by its glorious past. In a vision to restore its former beauty, award winning Milan-based designer Piero Lissoni guided the creation of the hotel, whose rich historical narrative is woven with utmost care into its very fabric. The Conservatorium's history has ensured it is once again on the pulse of the city’s cultural and architectural heartbeat.