Amstel Design District | Ouder-Amstel

AMSTEL Design District

A Working Building for the Creative Industry  |  Ouder-Amstel  |  the Netherlands

‘Design an iconic building for the creative industry on the plot behind Zuidpark on the A10,’ read the wish of Madefor Projects. In our experience, creative businesses desire freedom and room to act rather than corporate tailor-mades: they want a progressive atmosphere that supports their innovative work and like their accommodations to be in industrial heritage, in large industrial spaces, with room for creative self-management. And we didn’t have any.

However, we could apply the appealing sculptural quality of industrial heritage to the design of Amstel Design District. Stacking recognizably industrial volumes, we created a collage of individual buildings that together manifest as an idiosyncratic sculpture. Our design language made the building distinctly different from the others along the A10 and the Spaklerweg. It is alienating, defies gravity and has overtones of industrial heritage.

The urban space between the buildings is designed as a ‘Discovery City’. This piece of city consists of streets, alleys, a square, courtyard gardens, gates and street corners. New sights are always available in this setting of alternating atmospheres, this composition of urban space versus building mass.

In addition to a lively square, streets and a quay, the buildings also offer space for peace and quiet. The construction includes eight different botanical gardens in which users can find stillness, play sports and recover from stressful meetings. Each garden has its own atmosphere, size, layout and type of planting: there is a butterfly garden, a pick-your-own garden, a rose garden and a meditation garden. All gardens are linked to double-high multifunctional spaces such as a refectory, a library or an auditorium. Some are public and others are employees-only, but they are always visible to everyone and all contribute to a better climate for the whole neighbourhood.

Project A Working Building for the Creative Industry, Ouder-Amstel, the Netherlands
Client Madefor Projects BV
Design practice KettingHuls in collaboration with Quadrant4
Architect Daniëlle Huls, Monica Ketting
Period 2015-present
Status Preliminary design (masterplan) finished
Team Prisca Arosio, Gara Beukman, Robert Bijl, Alex Garcia Estelles, Annemarie Haarink, Daniëlle Huls, Luïsa Jacobse, Monica Ketting, Freddy Koelemeijer, Enrique Orts Costa, Basia van Rijt, Annebel Schijf, Elisa Zampogna
Programma 80.000 m2 (gross floor area) working space, 30.600 m2 (gross floor area) underground parking garage
Renderings Vero Visuals