Soho Secret Histories: Five years of Soho House Amsterdam
In his latest column, founder Nick Jones celebrates half a decade of our club in the Dutch capital with memories of how it came to be
Tuesday 11 July 2023 By Soho House Illustration by Jack Richardson
Amsterdam is one of the great cities in Europe. It really stands out: all the canals, the architecture and the spirit of the place is incredible. Our local team and members have built a great community at Soho House Amsterdam from the ground up, and in the past five years they have truly made the House their own.
Thinking back to when we first tried to bring Soho House to the city, getting approval to open was a bit of a challenge. As our local members will know, there is a moratorium in place, which means that no more hotels can be opened in the core areas of the city. It’s because it’s so popular and the streets are busy all year around, particularly with tourism. So initially, we were unsure about how to get around that.
Luckily, it just so happened that the Mayor of Amsterdam wrote to us as we were considering the idea showing his support. So, with his help, we were able to get all the various permissions we needed to open a House; we were very lucky.
As always, the first thing we had to do was find the right building, and eventually we came across the Bungehuis, which is where Soho House Amsterdam is situated today. It’s a beautiful piece of architecture, originally built in 1934 as a department store and designed by J.B. Ingwersen – a prominent architect known for his Art Deco style. When we first went to see the building, it had been a university, so it still had classrooms and lecture halls when it was put up for sale. We had to reimagine and redesign it to create the House, turning each of those former classrooms into bedrooms, and transform it into what it is today.
I’ve always loved the city of Amsterdam, so I was very proud to finally open the doors to Soho House five years ago. It’s always a buzzy and fun environment, packed full of our members who I enjoy meeting whenever I’m in town. We’ve had countless incredible events and moments over the last five years, and I look forward to many more good times there.
Book the 'Amsterdam Five Years' rate until the end of August and enjoy a complimentary bottle of Lady A when you arrive