Alaska Building / KOW

Architects: KOW
Location: Lange Kleiweg, Rijswijk,
Project Team: Hans Kuiper, John Chan, Kasper Hauschultz Hansen
Client: Visser & Smit Bouw, Modulus Projectontwikkeling
Contractor: Visser & Smit Bouw
User: Shell International
Project Area: 41,210 sqm
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Courtesy of

The design includes 30,000 sqm office spaces and 11,000 sqm underground parking. User of this building will be Shell International SIEP.

elevation 01

The glass volume is a logical translation of the large program within the requirements of the masterplan and historic boundaries of a relatively small plot of land. The urban planning context and the in-depth plans ask for a large degree of transparency in the facades. In combination with demanding climate control requirements, the application of climate facades is a justified choice. The fire security of this entirely glazed building has been solved in an ingenious manner, whereby sprinkler systems are not necessary.

The use of high-tech climate facades and the very compact building shape are sustainable features of this building.

Cite: "Alaska Building / KOW" 15 Jan 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 23 May 2015. <>
  • cl

    nice building, great interior.
    and very cute, how they added some trees in the voids with photoshop later…;)

  • WM

    nice gold coloured lines in the facade, great atrium

  • Alexander Jack

    Congrats! Looks great!

  • Mr. Cheap

    Programatically very boring, and as a structural answer to the programme, also very boring.

    The images show no situations where one could imagine a story. Only dead, efficient spaces.

    Theese type of office buildings, are “optimal” structures, and probably very well performing buildings, but they are so empty in terms of architectural qualities. Everything often goes into one gesture, like here, the atrium.

  • David

    So what’s the ingenious way they addressed fire rating requirements, eliminating the need for sprinklers? I’d be curious to know what the code is like in the Netherlands. What is the relationship between allowable area vs. height and how the implementation of an automatic sprinkler system affects both of those aspects? I can understand that the guts to a sprinkler system would be an eyesore on such an open, transparent building, and difficult to conceal and coordinate.