Matchbox / Allard Architecture

Matchbox / Allard Architecture

Allard Architects shared with us Matchbox, their latest building in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, that just got approved by the Amsterdam Aesthetics Committee. Completion expected for December 2010.

Architect’s description and more images after the break.

The Matchbox is an blend of artistic, creative and commercial spaces. The building is shaped specifically as a result of the accommodation of companies and zoning regulations. It houses 22 corporate units, a rooftop restaurant and semi-underground parking in the artistic hub of Amsterdam North. The building lends its playful façade that sticks out cantilevers up to 5 meters, to each unit being individually angled and stacked on top of another to give every company its own space and identity. Bridges constructed above a central atrium garden act as catalyst for the networking between companies while distributing sunlight through the building.

Especially well-suited to start-up businesses, themed rent is an ideal way of promoting networks and building strong links within a wider industry. Originating in the arts sector, themed rent is now spreading to meet demand from elsewhere. The rotated nature of the units of the Matchbox merge with its simple large windows framed in black borders recalling a strip of film negatives.

The Matchbox building will be made of prefabricated concrete. The bent faces of the cantilevering boxes are constructed in prefabricated concrete walls. The hang not on a structural core but on the structural shear walls. This effect completes shape of the stacked boxes. Use of steel in this building structure is minimised. Except the internal light non-structural walls have a galvanized steel finish. In their interior this enabling tenants to use the wall to pin up their work using magnets. The black frames around the boxes are constructed in folded aluminium elements glued on stiff insulation. Frames are shoved over the edges of the concrete floor. All the other grey coloured exterior surfaces are sealed with a seamless Poly-Urethane finish, spray on.


The project got slightly slowed down by the financial issues last autumn. But at this moment, due to private investors’ faith, the process is fully ongoing. This positive faith was created by good control concerning the building costs, lowering the costs for future rent. City councillors and the local project office ‘Noordwaarts’ for the neighbourhood showed many positive responses, wanting the Matchbox to boost up the energy in the area. All to keep supporting the creative industries in this trendy neighbourhood. Remarkable is the fact that the Amsterdam committee for building aesthetics recently approved the whole plan for the Matchbox building, including its cantilevers. Building completion is expected on December 2010.


Everything in this process is kept within its limits also the advisors’ team, all to keep on going and realize this extraordinary project in Amsterdam. Dutch companies as Van Rossum is on structural engineering, DGMR and LaRotonda are responsible for building regulations. The Allard Architecture office is based in Amsterdam. Allard’s co-workers in the architectural team are Jurriën Boon, Daniël Bakker and Cruz Garcia Santiago.

Gross Floor Area: 6,400 sqm Bldg. Scale: 22 business units between 80 sqm and 250 sqm Rooftop restaurant with rooftop terrace. Building Cost Estimate: €7.040.000 Design Team : Allard Meine Jansen- bna- architect director, Jurriën Boon-project Architect, Daniël Baker-technical manager, Cruz Garcia Santiago, Jennifer Gauthier, Roderick van der Weiden, Jeroen Linnenbank, Jan Nauta Design Office: Allard Architecture b.v. Structure: Van Rosssum Raadgevende Ingenieurs Max.Height: 24m parking lots: Parking garage 1,150 m² (40 parking spaces) Exterior Finish: Seamless Sprayed Polyurethane Completion period: December 2010

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Cite: Nico Saieh. "Matchbox / Allard Architecture" 15 Apr 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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