The Eastern Docklands along Amsterdam’s IJ River used to be an industrial shipping site, but in 1975, the Dutch government began transforming it into a residential area. In the process, all but one of the site’s giant cranes were demolished.
Fast forward 42 years, and the single remaining crane has been converted into an apartment–a wild example of adaptive reuse in a neighborhood that’s now home to art galleries and startups. Designed by Dutch designer Edward van Vliet, the crane’s interiors are a cozy nest where visitors to Amsterdam can soak up the former harbor’s ambience and gorgeous views in one of its former workhorses.
The apartment isn’t too far off the ground and is reachable by stair, with the whole thing fitting within the former cabin of the crane. There are three stories, including a small kitchen, dining room, living room, bathroom, and two bedrooms. Van Vliet’s design is modern, with touches that reference the harbor and the water: industrial faucets in the bathroom, cut-out lamps and screens that reflect the crane’s exterior structure, and a predominantly blue and white color palette.
The project is a partnership between the boutique tourism company Yays, which rents out apartments for luxury tourists, the city government, and the local historic conservation society. It opened for business in late 2017. But spending your vacation in Amsterdam’s last 20th-century crane ain’t cheap: one night will cost you nearly $800.