Creative city spotlight – Amsterdam

19 October 2017 Kingspan Group
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Originally a small fishing village, Amsterdam has grown to become an innovative city. Today it is undergoing significant regeneration. Considered to be an alpha world city by leading academic think tank, Globalisation and World Cities Research Network, inventive and energy efficient construction has become a feature of the Dutch capital.
 
Throughout the city, creative construction has helped revitalise areas that were previously dilapidated. While innovative construction methods promoting sustainability mean these structures will be a feature of the city’s skyline for a long time into the future.
 
Here are a few of the intriguing projects that have shaped the city:

EYE Film Institute – A blockbuster building

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Sitting on the waterfront in Amsterdam’s Noord quarter, the EYE Film Institute has swiftly become a landmark synonymous with the area. As part of the Buiksloterham regeneration project, what was once a barren area with little development now serves as a prominent focal point in the city’s creative evolution.
 
This former industrial estate has transformed into a mixed-use urban area and the EYE Film Institute preserves and presents both Dutch and foreign films.
 
The museum houses four cinemas and 1,180m² of exhibition space underneath. It was designed to give the illusion of movement from the outside while maintaining functionality and sustainability inside. 
 
Designed by the Viennese firm Delugan Meissl Associated Architects, which specialises in buildings that appear to move, the building adopts a different look from every angle, and looks like a spaceship from more than one of them. This optical illusion is created as movement and light alter the perception of the crystalline surface.
 
The design was implemented to overlay the creative disciplines of reality and fiction, suiting its use as a film museum.  
 
The structure forms a constantly shifting atmospheric relationship with the neighbouring Overhoeks Tower, which is one of the few architectural relics in this rapidly developing area. It provides a striking contrast next to the EYE Film Institute’s modern aesthetic.
 

The Van Gogh Museum – Artistic architecture

Van Gogh Museum
The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam’s south borough is a perfect example of the injection of modernity into Amsterdam. Built in 1973, the museum exhibits works by one of the The Netherland’s most famous sons, Vincent van Gogh.
 
The museum has housed Van Gogh’s works since the 1970s, but unlike the art inside, the building has undergone drastic changes.
 
A renovation beginning in 2013 saw the structure become the first museum in the world to be awarded the internationally recognised sustainability certificate, BREEAM-NL.
 
During renovation, GGH Architects faced the challenge of promoting sustainability and meeting increased fire safety requirements. To achieve this, the entire roof of the structure was replaced and 1,500m² of new insulation and roofing was installed, as were 199 new skylight domes. 
 
A new, all-glass entrance hall was also designed to create a spacious and well-lit foyer to welcome visitors.
 
The Van Gogh Museum may champion respect for works of the 1800s, but its structure also exemplifies Amsterdam’s increased modernity and cutting edge architecture.

Palace of Justice – Judicial modernity

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The Palace of Justice serves as the final piece in the redevelopment of the southern IJ waterfront, a process that was 20 years in the making. Situated on the bend of the IJ, directly facing the EYE Film Institute, the Palace of Justice is also a testament to the architectural creativity and commitment to the modernisation of Amsterdam.
 
Split into two buildings covering 34,000m²,  with a height of 43.5 metres spanning 11 floors, Claus en Kaan architects managed to create a sleek design for this colossal structure.
 
The two buildings are connected by an elevated walkway. Small windows along the length of the structures allude to the cruise ships that pass by when the water is at its highest.
 
A somewhat abstract façade is achieved with the white and grey combinations of natural stone, concrete, powdered steel and glazed brick. One material transitions seamlessly into the other and all are insulated with Kingspan Kooltherm K8 insulation, which achieves a high insulation value with minimal thickness. The building achieved a GOOD rating on the BREEAM-NL standard.
 
The building has changed hands and will re-open as a five-star hotel next year, but its modern exterior will remain a focal point of Amsterdam’s creative evolution.

Product information

  • Eye Film Institute - The impressive roof of the EYE Film Institute is optimally isolated with Kingspan Insulation's high-quality isolation insulation. It features the Therma TT40 Afschot Roof plate and the Therma TT46 FM Afschot Roof plate processed. 
 
  • Van Gogh Museum - To achieve its BREEAM-NL certification, the entire roof of the structure was replaced and 1,500 m² of new insulation and roofing was installed as well as 199 new skylight domes. The roof was equipped with the Therma TR26 FM Plate Roof Plate and the Therma TT46 FM Plate Roof Plate. The excellent insulation value combined with the FM approval made this the perfect choice for such a large-scale renovation.  
Kingspan products were used in the construction or renovation of all these innovative and creative projects, helping them to achieve high levels of energy efficiency.

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