Just 200 meters from Centraal Station and built on a peninsula on the IJ, this spectacular building's design (compliments of Danish architects 3XN) was based on the shape of a ship. Since opening in 2005, it has become a main concert hall for both classical and jazz fans: the black box jutting out is the legendary jazz venue, Bimhuis. The glass building is architecturally stunning with its ship's ramp entrance and the Zen-like simplicity of its three natural colors (concrete,
black, and light maple wood). The floor-to-roof glass walls provide angular transparency and spectacular views into the building and out onto the IJ. Weather variations—clouds, rain, sunshine, and light— organically change the atmosphere inside. Its multifunctional main auditorium seats 725; a smaller auditorium seats 120 people, and foyers and extensive conference and catering facilities lure in business visitors who are not strictly here for the music. There are regular exhibitions, and workshops for kids (ages 7+) in the educational Klankspeeltuin (sound garden). Pay a lunchtime visit to chill out in café-restaurant Zouthaven and enjoy the waterfront terrace.