|Function / usage:||
Shopping center / Mall
Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands
|Coordinates:||52° 18' 43.48" N 4° 56' 18.30" E|
|building volume||180 000 m³|
|gross floor area||75 000 m²|
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Beginning of design phase.
Above Amsterdam's new "Marketplace for Furnishings" floats an object clad in green TECU®-Patina pre-patinated copper - a design from London-based Virgile & Stone. The body of the building, used as a restaurant, is almost like an aircraft chassis and is accessed from the galleries on the second floor via footbridges that are reminiscent of airplane gangways. From the restaurant, one has a very impressive view of the six-storey central hall - the "Villa ArenA" - of the new "somewhat different furniture store", implemented by Benthem-Crouwel-Architekten. Since its opening in April 2001, many large Dutch furniture stores have made use of the 72,000 square meter display area to exhibit their comprehensive range of furniture and design objects.
Amsterdam architects Benthem-Crouwel-Architekten had already gained fame among other things for their award winning competition entry to the planned "Media City Port Complex" for the Hamburg Hafencity in Germany. The architects had already cooperated with the London design team Virgile & Stone in designing the "Centraal Lounge" of the Amsterdam airport "Schiphol" in 2000. In designing the interior of the "Villa ArenA", the London designers have managed to create warmth and human dimensions in this gigantic environment of steel, glass and concrete.
Amsterdam's latest furniture centre forms one more building block in the new suburb of "Zuidoost", close to the "Arena Boulevard" that was implemented after the urban master plan developed by architect Pi de Bruijn, and which was inspired to a great extent by the "Champs Elysées".
The 3,890 square meter hall, spanned by 105 transparent air cushions, with a boomerang shaped ground plan is framed by the selectively twisting, interestingly structured layouts of the different floors. Visitors arriving by car are directed across a ramp on the eastern façade - where interesting views into the building's interior already begin to arouse their curiosity - to the two parking levels located above the four-storey display area. From the northwest, the visitors then descend 25 meters to the light-flooded central hall via an escalator system. Bridges, glass lift shafts and other escalators connect the residential and design worlds to a great extent. The interior landscape designed by the London design team gives the hall the appearance of a large open space in which shopping becomes an experience.
The most striking feature of this landscape is the restaurant, perched on top of six thin concrete supports with its sculptural, tube-like shape and snugly fitting cloak of silky, shimmering TECU®-Patina copper plates. The lively, pale green hue of the pre-patinated material underlines the open-air character and corresponds impressively with the greenish hue of the glass elements and the curving pattern of the ever-changing grey-green stone floor.
The patina green restaurant is connected with the galleries on the second floor via two walkways. When the restaurant is closed, finely detailed wing doors that sit flush with the facade seal its two entrances. Vertical, band-formed slits allow accentuated daylight to enter the interior through frameless glass elements. Large, picture frame-like glass elements on the front sides serve as "shop windows" for the guests as they are seated, so that they can enjoy a moment of calm within the hustle and bustle.
The high demands of the designers in regard to the visual and technical quality of the façade especially suited the TECU® material with its outstanding mould ability and the highest strain at break of all construction metals.
The design options offered by using copper in modern architecture have been considerably extended by TECU®-Patina. This material manufactured by KME allows the desired aesthetic effect of green patina to be achieved immediately without having to wait for the otherwise long-term atmospheric influences to take effect. Because of this, TECU®-Patina also enables design solutions with green patinated copper for interior applications which are not subject to weathering - as in the case of Virgile & Stone's "Restaurant Object".
The design office of Virgile & Stone is extremely pleased with the cooperation with the Dutch architects and their extraordinarily high design demands. Both partners would like to work on a large number of mutually planned shopping centre projects such as this in the future.
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