Rivierenbuurt / RAI
The Rivierenbuurt that is now part of the urban district Zuideramstel lies in the southeast of Amsterdam. The neighborhood derives its name from the many streets that are named after Dutch rivers, such as the Maas, Waal, Schelde and Rhine.
The Rivierenbuurt was built in the 1920s and ’30s as part of Plan South of architect H.P. Berlage. Many architectural accomplishments of the Amsterdam School can be admired here. Well-known architects such as Michel de Klerk and Piet Kramer built here. Characteristic of the Amsterdam School is the frequent application of brick and the employment of decorations on the facades; in brick or sculptured natural stone. The generally flowing facades are often filled with ladder windows and crowned with steep roofs and even sometimes with miniature towers. The most striking building in the Rivierenbuurt is the so-called ‘Skyscraper’ of J.F. Staal, the 12-storey house. This was the first high-rise apartment of Amsterdam and stands at the square (Victorieplein) that marks the confluence of the three main streets that trisect the neighborhood in a Y-form.
Many people visit the Rivierenbuurt for its congress center RAI. The RAI regularly hosts major international trade fairs such as for example the IBC (international broadcasting event). The RAI also accommodates a theatre in which a variety of performances are given throughout the year. Close to the RAI, in Scheldestraat there are many restaurants and an Italian ice cream parlor.
If you fancy a trip to the beach you can up to the end of September go to ‘Strand Zuid’ located at the harbor end of the RAI and adjacent to the Beatrix Park. It will evoke for you a Mediterranean atmosphere in Amsterdam South. There are extensive facilities on the beach, a restaurant and a large outside café where an ingenious parasol system allows you to remain seated if it starts to rain! In the summer you can visit the Parade in the Martin Luther King Park. This traveling show descends at the end of its tour on Amsterdam for two weeks (the first two weeks of August) and Amsterdam hastens ‘en tout’ to drink with friends, to enjoy a meal and to watch a show (cabaret, music, comedy, drama). Admission is EUR 10.00 and for children there are special activities and performances every afternoon.
Rivierenbuurt is easy to reach; surface and subway trains stop at station RAI. There are also tramlines through the neighborhood, specifically trams 4, 12 and 25.