Lola Lik is a cultural hub situated in the former main building of the Bijlmerbajes prison and neighbour to the refugee centre Wenckebachweg which is home to up to 1,000 refugees.

By pioneering with a cultural hub next to the refugee centre in a time of fear and division, Amsterdam offers a space for inspiration and connection.
Creative, enterprising and intrepid Amsterdam is invited to create a place that inspires development, encourages work and education, supports dreams and stimulates innovation. Talent is at the centre of this place. Lola Lik is a creative incubator for new and old Amsterdammers.

“Lik” doesn’t only refer to the Amsterdam slang for prison, but also to “a lick of paint”. Everyone in Lola Lik is encouraged to add their own “lik” and to add their craft, ideas or network to the hub.

The 9000m² of available space will be used by creative professionals, social enterprises, craftspeople and program developers. Many of them will co-create with the inhabitants of the refugee centre or offer vocational training. Others will contribute to the hub by offering programs or organising events. Lola Lik will be a place where refugees and Amsterdammers, entrepreneurs and start-ups, job-seekers and employers, talents and driving forces will meet. People will be offered support to achieve their dreams and ambitions.

Lola Lik is a public space, which means that the doors are open and all the inhabitants of Amsterdam are welcome for a cup of coffee in the restaurant.

The Amsterdam Approach

Lola Lik fits within the framework of de “Amsterdamse aanpak” (the “Amsterdam approach”), which is the City of Amsterdam’s policy to encourage activities aimed at the accelerated integration of refugees. Together with 40 professional partners, Gemeente Amsterdam has signed the “Amsterdam werkt voor iedereen” (“Amsterdam works for everyone”) agreement, which is a pledge to help guide refugees towards work, education and entrepreneurship.

about Lola

LOLA (leegstandoplossers Amsterdam) has been commissioned by Gemeente Amsterdam to create this hub. LOLA provides a framework where energy can nestle and bloom and where development is flexible and organic with a focus on the process and not the result. It is about facilitating energy, making connections en reserving space for spontaneous developments and new opportunities.

The Lola Lik identity, design and website implementation have been realised by The Visual Theatre.