Built over a period of years from 1898 - 1903, this massive brick structure was the brainchild of visionary architect H.P. Berlage. It is considered to be one of the first grand examples of Dutch modern architecture and both the local press and high society who preferred the ornate styles of the 19th century ridiculed its unorthodox design. Although the building was constructed to house the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, Berlage had a different concept in mind. He created a place that functioned as a centre of commerce and capitalism, but his true intention was to erect a building that would symbolise the tenets of socialism, hence the tile tableaux of labourers and the use of brick – each one representing a member of society. Alone a brick is nothing special, but together with thousands of other bricks it can become something beautiful, harmonious and strong. The monumental building would serve as inspiration for a whole new generation of architects whose style became known as the Amsterdam School. The Stock Exchange eventually moved and Berlage got his wish as the Beurs van Berlage is now home to events, conferences, lectures, concerts and a good café.