World Trade Center

Amsterdam, Netherlands ING Vastgoed/KfN Master Plan, Mixed-Use, Office, Repositioning + Transformation 968,000 ft2 / 90,000 m2 RIBA Award (2003), MIPIM Awards - Refurbished Offices Category, Winner (2003)

The redevelopment of the World Trade Centre in Amsterdam involved the complete renovation and modernization of four existing office buildings. KPF’s design, which included the new construction and reconfiguration of existing spaces, creates a dynamic mixed-use destination in a formerly isolated location.

The first half of the 20th century saw phenomenal growth in Amsterdam’s southern district, following the master plan of H. P. Berlage, which gave formal order to streets and plazas in the district. In response to this growth and the continually growing need for office space in the district, the expansion of the WTC involved the construction of 45,000 square meters (484,375 square feet) of new flexible space in a new 105-meter-tall (345-foot-tall) tower adjacent to the existing structures. The new tower is fitted with internal timber screens for solar control, producing a strongly textured appearance. Both the tower and the new flexible space were designed to meet contemporary environmental performance measures and were required to remain in operation throughout all phases of design and construction.

The complete remodeling of the space around the existing multi-tenant buildings was key to the diversifying the site use. Such remodeling was needed to provide public amenities for building users and local residents. To this end, KPF’s design strategy was to stretch a sweeping, “wave” form roof over the entire site to enclose a naturally-ventilated public atrium around the existing building. The new roof, which extends 300 meters (985 feet) across the site, allows for a spacious atrium accommodating shops, restaurants, and connections to mass transit.

The large roof permits a group of micro-climates to be created around a specific set of internal public spaces. Each micro-climate can change independently from the other depending upon seasons and use of the related space. The roof also collects rain water for re-use. Energy savings amount to 50% over that of a normal building of this size. Solar shading is installed within the cavity between the roof’s two skins to protect it from the elements. In the summer, natural ventilation in the cavity prevents any overheating caused by the sun’s rays reflecting off of the solar shading. In the winter, special vents can be closed to form what is, in effect, a third insulating skin.

Around the building and its new enclosure, a new square has been formed adjacent to the nearby railway station. The square is used by a high proportion of the WTC’s occupants and contains parking for 2,000 bicycles.

Image 1 / 12 | © H.G. Esch