Alphabet Building / MVRDV

© Courtesy of

based project development corporation NIC started sale of the MVRDV designed Alphabet building. In Amsterdam small and mid-size creative companies have trouble finding suitable office space. The Alphabet building communicates through a clear exterior design which reveals on the East façade the house number and at the main façade the extension for each company, a letter of the alphabet. The interior is highly flexible and completed with a rough and pure finishing. The 3200m2 creative industry building will be completed in 2012 according to high energy efficiency standards.

The creative industry has seemingly unrealistic demands when it comes to office locations: a incubator of creative ideas which is spacious and inspiring with a differentiating design at a great location with car access. The Alphabet building, in the Amsterdam port refurbishment Minervahaven, unites all these qualities. The former port is currently being refurbished to become a creative hub.

© Courtesy of MVRDV

The building is on a relatively small site of 30 x 30 meters and consists of a transparent plinth with a compact office block on top. Behind each letter of the façade the building offers a flexible unit of 128m2, the units can be sold independently or as a series of letters. Design studio Thonik will occupy the top floor or the letters A to F. As it was impossible to put the entire alphabet on the façade the letters I and Q are missing: the IQ is inside the building.

© Courtesy of MVRDV

The interior finishing follows the demand of creative companies, large loft like spaces with a rough finishing: no double ceilings, exposed materials such as concrete, aluminium and steel. A number of sustainable technologies give the building an excellent energy profile. Parking is located inside the plinth, circulation and spacious outside areas at the back of the building.

© Courtesy of MVRDV

Architects: MVRDV
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Project Year: 2012
Project Area: 3200 sqm
Renderings: Courtesy of MVRDV

Cite: Jett, Megan. "Alphabet Building / MVRDV" 25 May 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 29 May 2015. <>
  • robledo duarte

    Imagine, if it were a sexshop?

  • NØRD

    I wonder how long MVRDV spend discussing which letter to leave out …and they didn’t even agree on one but two :)

  • K

    OMG, they really ran out of ideas

  • Fudge

    By the looks of the first render, the “IZ” was inside the building. So cheesy.

  • hj

    Why is there no Z in the night version but no Q in the day version?

  • Jake

    Seeing work like this in the professional world makes me feel a lot better about my failed studio projects.

  • maarten

    This is a joke right?? I don’t know if I have to laugh or feel ashamed for being Dutch…