© Fosbury & Sons / Photography: Francisco Nogueira

The digital age has had a tremendous effect on the economy of many a nation, an the Netherlands are no exception. Mobility, niche products and independence have become key, and given the country’s transparency and connectivity on many levels, it now ranks in the top ten of E.U. member states with the highest percentage of freelancing professionals. Catering specifically to players in the most advanced segment of today’s economy is Fosbury & Sons, an Antwerp-based chain of co-working spaces which has shaken up the market with striking design-led locations. Following the opening of much-publicised venues on home turf – mind you, there are currently three offices in Brussels and one in Antwerp – founders Stijn Geeraets and Maarten Van Gool have taken their niche co-working concept abroad. The Belgian duo secured a 19th century landmark building in Amsterdam‘s historic Canal District through a collaboration with local partners Millten, a boutique real estate developer, and investor Million Monkeys.

Previously known to locals as Prinsengrachtziekenhuis, or Prinsengracht Hospital in English, it sits stately alongside the eponymous canal and is a beloved landmark of many Amsterdammers. At 6,000 sqm. (64,584 sq.ft.), spread across four floors and, in fact, several buildings, Fosbury & Sons Prinsengracht is one of the chain’s biggest properties. The listed building, in use as an outpatient clinic until 1996, has been fully revamped, but with great respect for its original architecture and history. The transformation has been executed under supervision of architect Roberto Meyer of Dutch practice MVSA Architects and Belgian interior architecture practice Going East. The latter has breathed new life into the premises, using its history and architectural elements as a starting point, while also aiming to accentuate its grand features and lofty spaces, and create a ‘palazzo feel’. As a result, parquet flooring has been installed throughout and specific sections of vaulted ceiling have retained their dilapidated state, albeit fixated with a specific substance. Furnishings comprise of both carefully sourced vintage items and commissioned pieces, resulting in a series of stylish and inviting settings. The communal many spaces are adorned by art works, all selected by The Ravenstijn Gallery and Grimm Gallery.

The Fosbury & Sons Café, situated on the ground floor and the venue’s ultimate social space, epitomises its stylish yet laid-back and homey atmosphere best. Connecting the two wings of Fosbury & Sons Prinsengracht, it’s housed in a newly built pavilion-like structure. Large floor-to-ceiling windows allow in floods of daylight and provide unobstructed views of a tranquil inner courtyard. That said, the venue has quite a few alluring social spaces and event spaces up its sleeve, notably a lounge and bar, and two former operating rooms up in the attic. Lofty and fitted out with large windows, they’ve now been converted to venues where to stage style-infused meetings, presentations and other events. As said, Fosbury & Sons Prinsengracht is a co-working space, and as such, freelancers and companies can choose from a variety of work spaces and both shared and private office spaces. The Fosbury & Sons co-working concept is clearly on a roll as a second Amsterdam location and additional outposts in both Antwerp and Valencia are scheduled to open later this year.

Fosbury & Sons Prinsengracht
Prinsengracht 769 (Centrum)
1017JZ Amsterdam

© Fosbury & Sons / Photography: Francisco Nogueira