The renovated World Trade Center project is a case study showing how a 1960s structure, anti-urban in its form, can be reconceived as a project which initiates the regeneration of a whole quarter of the city. The WTC Amsterdam is located in the most attractive area of South Amsterdam adjacent to WTC/Zuid, the main railway station. It forms the gateway to the city’s ambitious new masterplans devised by the city authorities to turn Zuidas into a dense business and residential quarter reinforced by new cultural, educational and recreational facilities. However, the existing buildings of the World Trade Centre – four 1960s office slabs connected by lower structures and open courtyards – were dark and unwelcoming.
The new design unites the buildings and spaces with a grand roof, stretched 300 metres across the site above a new urban passageway that culminates in Zuidplein – a new civic plaza along the original 19th century axis designed by H.P. Berlage. The sweeping roof is a free standing structure that wraps around the office slabs but is structurally independent of them. This roof structure forms a unifying podium under which a mixture of uses/activities – including retail, restaurants, conference centre, offices and a series of linked public spaces – occur. It is formed of structural blades spanning up to 21 metres and integrating the functions of weather protection, solar control, lighting, acoustic control and fire protection. It is an integral part of the project’s broader environmental concept that permits a variety of climate/temperature zones to occur under different parts of the roof simultaneously. These spaces are naturally ventilated and energy efficient, utilizing passive solar gain in winter and bore hole cooling in the summer.
A project of
Kohn Pedersen Fox (International) PA
in which the following people at PLP Architecture were involved: Lee Polisano was partner-in-charge; Ron Bakker, project architect; Neil Merryweather, head model maker.
City of Amsterdam
Trimp & van Tartwijk
Van den Oever, Zaaijer & Partners; M/V Architecten; Ruwan Aluvihare (Zuidplein – Landscape)
Mixed Use: Offices, retail, services, Public Square & 2500 underground cycle storage spaces
7,000sqm Ziud Plein
2003 RIBA Award
2003 MIPIM Award/Refurbished Office Buildings