- Landscape Architect:Michael R. van Gessel
- Country:The Netherlands
Text description provided by the architects. The ING Group’s head office stands on a long, narrow site beside the southern section of Amsterdam’s A10 ring road. Bounded on one side by the South Axis business district and on the other by the green zone around the Nieuwe Meer (New Lake), the building maintains a low profile on the side facing the greenery, with a cantilevered section occupied by the auditorium, and rises up on the city side.
The office building stands on V-shaped columns ranging from nine to twelve metres in height, allowing motorway users to see the green zone behind the building while also ensuring that no employee is condemned to a view of the motorway embankment.
Raising the building in this way also allowed room at ground level for a spacious entrance zone. The glazed entrance lobby is surrounded by green lawns. Running underneath the building is an approach road for taxis, coaches and board members’ chauffeurs. A car park and bicycle garage are located below grade. The auditorium and its foyer can be used by the entire ING group and has its own entrance with lifts.
The building responds to its surroundings with an ‘intelligent’ facade design. The long south elevation has to contend with a high solar heat load and the north elevation with noise and air pollution from the A10 motorway. A double-skin facade ensures a pleasant indoor climate for all, with the possibility of natural ventilation. On the south side, solar shading hangs in the facade cavity; a natural chimney effect extracts solar heat. The glazed skin on the motorway side is closed and the cavity is supplied with fresh air drawn from the south side.
The spaces in the building are naturally air-conditioned with the help of a metal climatic ceiling. The hot and cold water needed for this is provided by an underground thermal energy storage system; at either end of the site wells were dug to groundwater levels at 150 and 200 metres below grade. Thanks to these and other measures, the building has a very favourable energy consumption.
The atmosphere inside the building is richly varied, with an alternation of open and screened spaces. Atriums, loggias, courtyard gardens and patios distributed over the various levels of the building create the sense of a single, continuous space with numerous vistas back and forth. There are areas with a panoramic view, like the restaurant, the large conference room and the auditorium, as well as more introverted working environments.
Unlike ordinary office buildings, ING House has a large number of reception and conference spaces. It is home the ING Group’s board and a large staff, but it is also above all the flagship of the entire organization.