The project consists of repurposing a houseboat barge located in Amsterdam into a non-profit platform for art and sustainable culture under the name Petra Ark Space (PAS).

The ark is one of the oldest houseboats in the centre of Amsterdam. Archival records show it was a functioning industrial crane during WWI and in 1942, the crane was removed and converted into a houseboat. Although the ark represents an industrial heritage site, its existence is currently at risk, followed by real estate developments and gentrification.



The project wishes to preserve the historical importance of the ark and to sustainably repurpose the industrial heritage and turn it into a space for contemporary art and community/culture centre. Currently the ark is ambiguously constituted, no longer officially recognised as a houseboat or industrial landmark, an ambivalence that is a point of departure in imagining a new kind of nomadic space for art inside Amsterdam’s canal system. The aim is to transform the ark into a usable space, replace its devastated existing platform and remodel the cabin’s exterior walls that over the years have suffered serious damages.

The re-modelling takes inspiration from recently introduced Dutch policy initiatives to restore Amsterdam’s polluted canals with eco-friendly, sustainable architecture initiatives, envisioning a 3D printed platform created entirely from hemp – a modular structure anticipating the addition of adjacent platforms that will possibly host a new generation of floating gardens. The renovation project is planned to be realised in collaboration with Amsterdam-based DUS architects, who have an expertise in sustainable architecture and urban strategies, as well as botanical experts working with floating gardens and agriculture.

PAS © 2016