The Gilde van Werkgebouwen aan het IJ (the Guild of Industrial Buildings along the river IJ) was founded in 1993 in reaction to the project Manhattan aan het IJ: the large-scale redevelopment of the banks of the IJ by the city of Amsterdam and a consortium of property developers and banks (now the Zuidas). The founders of the Werkgebouwengilde (abbreviation Industrial Buildings Guild) are the former residents and artists from twelve previously squatted buildings on the IJ. Their goal was and is to counteract the cultural depletion of Amsterdam in a constructive way.
The Werkgebouwengilde researched the redevelopment of derelict industrial real estate, and developed the ultimate new model for city development, which was presented in the manifesto De Stad als Casco (The City as a Shell) in 1996 and further in the book Het Kerend Tij (The Turning Tide), which appeared a year later. Together, the manifesto and the book form the blueprint of modern city development: a bottom-up approach to city renovation by and for residents and users.
The Werkgebouwengilde has furthermore supported several resident initiatives and cultural organizations in the realization of their incubator and/or shelter. Successful initiatives which have been established in cooperation with the Werkgebouwengilde are Plantage Dok, Het Veem, Pakhuis Wilhelmina, OT301, and perhaps the most famous: the NDSM Shipyard, where the Kunststad (art City) has been designed according to the model De Stad als Casco.
Since 1997, Eva has been closely involved with the Werkgebouwengilde, both as user of two Guild buildings and as an advocate of the philosophy. She has been managing the representation and coordinating hearings, demonstrations and cultural manifestations since 1997, and has been responsible for the lobby at the city council, which has resulted in the municipal Bureau Broedplaatsen (Incubator Policy). She became chairperson of the Werkgebouwengilde in 2006.
In its twenty years of existence, the Gilde van Werkgebouwen aan het IJ has heavily influenced the cultural policies of the city. The efforts of the Werkgebouwengilde have helped create the municipal Incubator Policy with an appropriate budget, and have attributed to a normal, professional understanding between cultural buildings, autonomous artists, the city and housing corporations.