Architects: Karelse & den Besten
Location: Amsterdam, 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
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.