Living heart Bovenkerk reopened | Amstelveen Blog

Noorddam Center (NDC) has become bigger, more beautiful and lighter. Bovenkerk’s busy heart was reopened on Friday (June 17) after a major renovation by Mayor Tjapko Poppens, by symbolically offering the manager couple Hans and Brenda Pappot the key, which Hans in turn received from his father decades ago.

With the help of countless volunteers, the goal is to make the building even more of a meeting center, where passers-by can also go outside the regular times for associations, such as a cafe. But more volunteers are needed.


Spontaneously, there is now cozy dining once a month, mainly attended by the elderly. That dinner is attended by according to the organizers of about a hundred guests. There has been some disagreement between the municipality and the village, which likes to see themselves as a gem on Poel, according to words from chairman Rob van den Helder of the Bovenkerk Foundation. At first, B&W wanted to make it an assembly hall like any other. According to her, the different status in Bovenkerk was that it is completely controlled by a commercial couple. Just a kind of private center, the municipality decided.


There was a revolt against this in Bovenkerk. The name Pappot belongs to Bovenkerk and Noorddamcentrum as milk for a cow, they assessed there. “But fortunately the talks with the municipality have become much better in the last two years, and today we have a fantastic result: A beautiful new NDC for Bovenkerk,” said Rob van den Helder. “This new NDC is ready for the future, we are pleased that it has also become a much more sustainable building.”


In a few months, solar panels will be installed on the roof. The couple pots also plan step by step to make utilization more sustainable. “We will also make it a smoke-free environment around NDC in the coming weeks. With Silversant on the corner and the reconstruction and opening of the Urbanus Church later this year, together with this new Noorddam Center, we believe that not only Bovenkerk, but the whole of Amstelveen has received a gem on Poel. ”


The renovation lasted ten months after a design by architect Arjan Hoogeveen, who at the opening explained why he chose a house color in off-white (‘residents must give it color themselves’) and explained how he could achieve a total image with a limited magnification creatively created it new center, while his design was carried out by, among others, Heemraad. To outsiders, it is striking that people now from the center look out onto Noorddammerlaan because of the glass walls of a meeting room. There is also an entrance to the theater from Noorddammerlaan, half a meter longer than the old wall (which has partly remained standing). Pastor Emile Jongerden said masses were held there as it was not possible in Urbanuskerk destroyed by fire.

Patronage building

Noorddamcentrum was once a protection building, which was handed over by the church to the municipality in 1961 on the condition that the parish could rent it for its activities for one golden a year. Eighteen years later, a foundation (now known as Stichting Bovenkerk) was established for the use of the association building, which incidentally – like the church opposite later – burned down in 1982 and was rebuilt by the municipality after two years. Until 38 years later, a completely renovated center was built, where all sorts of associations – such as harmony, theater company TOBO, the percussion group Bovenkerk and many others – can go. “The Noorddam Center served as the home base for many associations long before the fire and still houses the rich Bovenkerk and Amstelveen association life to this day,” Van den Helder said.

Social function

“Once upper churches, always upper churches,” said Poppens, who himself lives in the village. The truth of his statement is evident from the fact that ex-upper classmen from home and abroad still regularly come to their old village. The mayor believed NBC’s social function could grow even more. “This building meets the requirements for this.”

In the new meeting room with the central bar (one has also been added to the theater) are two mega-images that Chris van den Helder (Rob’s brother and best known for Urbanus Chokolade) presented to the couple Pappot. They hang in front of the bar and carvings show the former schools, which will soon be reunited. “All volunteers ensure that Bovenkerk remains a real village,” Van den Helder said. Although he missed the schools where almost all Bovenkerkers received their first education, he did. But the pub (Silversant) and the church are there … That’s how it should be in a village, the pastor reported.

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