Fort Cortina / Karelse & den Besten

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Architects: Karelse & den Besten
Location: , The Netherlands
Client: Cortina, Amsterdam
Project management: TPAGH architecten, Hoorn
Contractor: Klies & Jozef Bouw, Volendam
Project area: 1000 sqm
Project year: 2008
Photographs: Sjaak Henselmans, Marcel van der Burg, Jan Derwig

Courtesy of Karelse & den Besten

As a graphic design agency we already had a long cooperation with Cortina, a wholesale in gift items, before they asked us to design their new headquarters. It was our first architectural assignment. Fort Cortina is built on the premises of the NDSM-wharf, a former shipyard located on the banks of the river IJ in Amsterdam. In this harsh environment we designed an office and warehouse building that looks like a Morrocan fort. A monolithic structure, rough on the outside with metallized brick walls and smooth on the inside patios that are lined with cedar wood.
The dynamic lay-out of the facades is a reflection of the different rooms that vary in height and size. A result of our intention to make an exciting interior with small and big views over the river. Rooms to hide and rooms to expose.
A commercial building that almost fits like a home. The patios at the hearth of the building are inspired on a monastery tour. A space for reflection and a way to give light to the interior and to create outdoor recreation areas with footpaths on the roof, which is planted with sedum for an optimal indoor climate control.


Courtesy of Karelse & den Besten
Courtesy of Karelse & den Besten
Courtesy of Karelse & den Besten
Courtesy of Karelse & den Besten

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Cite: "Fort Cortina / Karelse & den Besten" 20 Sep 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 26 May 2015. <>