Restaurant - Speisehaus der Nationen
The elliptical Speisehaus der Nationen ( dining room of the nations) lived up to its name. There were 40 dining rooms in which the different countries could eat their meals. Previous games had shown that each country is used to its own kitchen. A Thai athlete was not waiting for Bratwursten, and a German not on spiced Thai dishes. There were 200 chefs from the shipping company Norddeutschen Lloyd (NDL) who were able to provide each country with dishes that matched what they were used to. Furthermore, the crews could also bring their own cook. There were two large dining rooms with room for 150 people each on the ground floor and smaller dining rooms on the two floors above. This also meant that some larger countries had to eat divided into smaller groups. The smaller countries were combined in certain halls.
The NDL took care of the whole, also in terms of purchasing and issuing food. Of course they already had extensive experience with this, with their ships with a mixed staff and passengers. 300 stewards were active in serving the guest.
Alcohol was not served freely during meals Only the teams of Belgium, France, Italy and the Netherlands were able to get wine or beer because this was customary in their food culture. No alcohol was served in the other countries. You may wonder if alcohol is not customary as well in other countries, but that was the opinion at the time. But where there is a will, there is a way of course! Beer and wine were available in the restaurant in the reception building, also for athletes.
Storage rooms, cold stores, laundry rooms and a hairdressing salon were housed in the basement of the building. Furthermore, there were the fire brigade, offices and living quarters and technical areas in the building.
Almost exactly a year after the end of the games, the Speisehaus was opened again, but this time as Olympialazarett, the Olympic hospital. Here were the usual spaces such as operating rooms but also something special; on the terrace it was possible to drive bedridden patients with their beds outside. Light, air and sun for an swift cure! It accommodated 150 patients, another 150 and the nursing staff found a place in the cottages.
Today, the Speisehaus is the first large building to mark the resurrection of the Olympic village, but now as a residential area for citizens. It creates luxury apartments with respect for the monumental status. The delivery will be around 2021.