AkzoNobel Center and Art Space, Amsterdam, NL

Client Exterior:   DuraVermeer Amsterdam Bouw
Client Interior:   AkzoNobel Amsterdam
Building type:   Offices
Area:   16,000 sqm
Tasks:   Architectural design, interior, landscape
Completion:   December 2016
Photos:   Frank Hanswijk

The transparent and stratified AkzoNobel Center in Amsterdam’s Zuidas projects a contemporary vision, in which detailing, dimensions, colour and light produce a coordinated balance. GROUP A designed both the exterior and interior as well as the underground car park. A work environment, which has over 700 workplaces, that embodies AkzoNobel’s core principles; a harmonious open building that radiates a natural and sustainable style.

The exterior consists of a combination of a glass multi-skinned façade and timber structural elements. The use of different types of glass creates a dynamic interplay of light and reflection. The timber façade elements are finished with durable coatings in a spectrum of shades and colours. Two linked atrium spaces form the backbone of the interior. The first atrium is devoted to the ‘AkzoNobel Experience’ on the ground floor, it contains the entrance, reception, restaurant and Art Space. The semi-public ‘Meeting AkzoNobel’ is on the first floor. This floor is connected via a second atrium with ‘Working at AkzoNobel’, comprising the offices on the higher floors. The use of colour in floor covering and table tops is concentrated around the atrium. Every floor has its own colour theme. In this way reflections on the ceilings create a vertical colour spectrum, which makes more prominent as evening approaches. This bright colour palette, which can be seen from the motorway, is a reference to the client AkzoNobel.

In order to enhance the liveability of the office environment in Zuidas, the ground floor has a public function; the AkzoNobel Essential Art Space, where the AkzoNobel Art Foundation international collection will be shown. This Art Space was created through intensive cooperation between Hester Alberdingk Thijm, Director AkzoNobel Art Foundation, Tom Postma Design and Folkert van Hagen of GROUP A. Artist Steven Aalders designed a work as the roof of the car park kiosk at the entrance to the car park in the adjacent square.

AkzoNobel is a leader in sustainability. The ambition of AkzoNobel and DuraVermeer for the new Center is to attain the BREEAM ‘excellent’ rating, based on obtaining a 4-Star BREEAM-NL New Build Design Certificate. Important features contributing to this include solar panels on the roof, photovoltaic cells in the atrium glazing, a ground source heat pump system, the double multi-skinned façade and the proximity of the railway station.

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