Garage Notweg is a so-called Creative Hotspot in Amsterdam Nieuw West. The elegant former car repair shop by architect H.A.M. van den Berg is transformed into a ‘beehive’ for creative businesses.
The project was initiated by housing corporation Ymere and organized by Peik Suyling. The idea is to create some sort of ‘fashion ecology’. Young people from the area can find out here if they like working in the business, they can get an education and be part of the Industry. The World Fashion Center is not far from here. One of the hypothesis is that fashion designers can produce economically by working together with local seamstresses.
The project consists of two levels. The ground level features a multitude of studio spaces that are encircled by a ‘street’. By opening a ‘fence’ the studios can expose their content and invite people on their ‘porch’. The public route serves as catalyst for interaction and exchange of ideas. It hopes to spark the emergence of new networks.
But the real magic of Notweg is the ‘plaza’ on the second floor: an extensive space that is left open – and that could hardly be created in any NEW building. It is an indoor square. It can be used for anything: presentations, exhibitions, markets, fashion shows.
It was heartwarming to see so many people and such a mixed crowd at the opening: many nationalities, young people, senior citizens (maybe even some pioneers from this early days of this neighborhood), fashion people and designers from outside the area. Will it become a Hotspot Melting Pot?