gaat veerder dan alleen een pand kraken. Dit is het begin van een
konkreet alternatief naar de hele jongeren beweging. Rode
Tribune 15 okt 1980.
On Friday night,
October 3. 1980, the Poortgebouw was squatted.
had been left abandoned like so many others in the city
unavailable for legal alternative uses with the exception of a publicly-rejected
plan for an Eroscentrum (1979). In Holland, it was (again) a time
of a desperate shortage of affordable housing.
As part of
a nation-wide protest day against the Leegstandwet,
various youth and squat groups assembled in Rotterdam under the
name Wij Jongeren Eisen to demonstrate for autonomous-run
youth spaces through marches, barricading bridges and squatting
empty buildings. The squatters of the Poortgebouw were members of
the Rotterdams Overleg Kraakgroepen (ROK) who, although
operating independently in the city for a longer time, timed the
squat during the context of this protest. The police were quick
to the scene but left within 20 minutes as the kraak was professional
letters spelling GEKRAAKT
(squatted) were placed in the windows proclaiming the new use of
the Poortgebouw. A press
release was available the next day stating their intentions
and asking for solidarity.
as an actie-kraak, the squatters for a number of reasons
chose to stay. They wanted to make the Poortgebouw liveable, transforming
it from abandoned office space into an autonomous zone, a youth
center (jongerencentrum) with housing and socio-cultural and political
activities such as a café and information point about squatting.
They believed in the benefits of more social/communal forms of people
living and working together as opposed to what was offered in the
city and world around them.
ons trok in het Poortgebouw is het idee om met een groep mensen
zowel een meer gemeenschappelijkleven te onkwikkelen, en tergelijkertijd
doelstelling naar buiten toe na te streven, hier is dat het idee
om jongerenactiviteiten in eigen beheer in het Poortgebouw te ontwikkelen
Tribune 15 okt 1980.
7, the owner, the City of Rotterdam, decided that the squatters
could be tolerated (gedoogd) as they had no immediate plans for
the Poortgebouw following the failed Eroscentrum concept. But a
key factor was that the City Government intended for the Poortgebouw
to be developed for youth-housing (jongerenhuisvesting).
the squatters-cum-living collective met with the city government
and proposed that they would like to renovate the building themselves.
Their objective was to adapt the building into Van Dam eenheden
but under their own management (eigen beheer) as this would cost
less and offer lower rent. The City was skeptical of the squatters
plan fearing that they could not get the necessary subsidies for
the renovation from the state in this situation. It was decided
to tolerate the squat of the Poortgebouw until the 31st of August
1981 at which point they should leave.
For the next
months, it was an uncertain stay for the new inhabitants. They protested
that the suggested rent of 86,300 Gulden was too high and stayed
true to their belief that their concept would be more efficient
although no concrete plans were received by the City. In this time,
the inhabitants also organized several public
1981, when the Gemeente publicly announced their subsidisable
plan to rennovate the Poortgebouw into 1 and 2 person apartments
(HVAT-eenheden), the squatters still remained steadfast to their
ideas and had not left the building. The City announced but did
not forcefully evict them from the Poortgebouw as they feared similar
violent scenarios between police and squatters as were happening
at that time in Amsterdam (Amsterdamse Toestanden).
by the management from the Projektburo Feyenoord resulted
in an Overleg Groep consisting of the inhabitants, Volkshuisvesting
Feyenoord, Volkshuisvesting Rotterdam, the Gemeente Rotterdam (with
the Acadameie voor Bouwkunst). From October 12, there were constant
meetings between the various parties with many difficulties, near-evictions
and cancelled appointments.
during this turbulent time, the National Secretary of Volkshuisvesting
Van Dam said at the opening of a HVAT-exhibition in Rotterdam that
squatters also have good ideas and strategies about housing and
self-management. This would lead to an adjustment of HVAT policy
to include self-management, a so-called HVAT-2 option, which could
better address the needs of homeless youth and those urgently searching
for a place to live.
By March 1982,
the document Wonen in Het Poortgebouw was completed
to the satisfaction of the involved parties with blueprints for
a renovation into 24 one-person and 4 two-person living units with
shared utilities. the inclusion of zelfwerksamheid (self
work) lead to a total cost calculation of the renovation which would
keep the rent to 100-150 Gulden per person, half the sum of the
government plan. The Vereniging
Poortgebouw was founded in September 1982 as the official organisation
for the living group to renovate and later rent the building from
the Rotterdam government.
On 28th of
October 1982, the City Council, although still skeptical of dealing
with squatters, legally approved this document as a one-time
experiment and agreed to go ahead with the renovation plan
as developed by the Overleg Groep. The first rent contract would
come into effect in 1984 when the renovation was completed according
to the mutual agreements.
heb ik mn echt thuis gevonden
Rotterdams Nieuwsblad 18 Dec. 1980.
Rotterdams Nieuwsblad 1980-1981
Rode Tribune 15 okt 1980
Huis in Eigen Hand aug 1983
Het Papieren Huis 2001