Stefan Glerum Spans Stained Glass Façade Across Amsterdam Housing Complex

Amsterdam's Oostpoort neighborhood has undergone a vast transformation in recent history. Since the closing of the old Oostergasfabriek — a 19th century gas factory and prominent feature of the site — the area was used for a variety of purposes including business, research and sport.

Local artist Stefan Glerum has translated the manifold history of the region onto a stained glass façade that spans 18 meters across a new residential complex. The two colossal compositions embedded into the housing project designed by Heren 5 Architecten illustrate the colorful journey of the site.

The stained glass window in the front of the building references the extraction of gas from coal, one of the old gas holders — which transforms into the Sportfondsenbad swimming pool — a former animal shelter, a maneuver by British fighter planes during WW2, the Don Bosco school, cobra artist Anton Rooskens and an old milk and paint factory.

The window at the rear tells personal stories associated with the location: public bathing for factory workers of the gas factory, garden allotments — used extensively after WW2 to grow fruits and vegetables — the musicians of the red fanfare who rehearsed there, the laboratory of professor Ernst Laqueur who did research on beef and discovered estrogen, a discovery of a hidden treasure in the former synagogue on the Linnaeusstraat and Korfball Club Victoria.


source:, photos by luuk kramer & niels gerson lohman