Text description provided by the architects. What can be done with a 18.000 m2 empty office building situated at the outskirts of the city and that has been deemed unsuited for redevelopment for the last 11 years? This is the big challenge faced with B.Amsterdam at the Johan Huizingalaan in Amsterdam. From the start, NEXT architects was closely involved in the transformation of this static cube-shaped building into a lively hotspot for startups, freelancers and creative entrepreneurs. Strategic interventions are used to strengthen the quality, experience and identity of the building.
B.Amsterdam is a new working space concept in the former IMB headquarters building in the Rieker Business Park in Amsterdam’s Nieuw-West district. Usually, this is the place to find monofunctional office buildings, lack of occupancy, and, outside office hours, a chronic absence of entertainment. It is exactly here that B.Amsterdam’s 5 stores building is re-thought as a lively and dynamic city. Just as with any city, different functions are present that grow and develop organically. People can go to B.Amsterdam for work, sports, dining, events, and, most recently, to enjoy lunch or dinner on the rooftop restaurant Bureau.
NEXT was involved in developing the vision of the building as a city, with a recognisable, industrial appeal and re-use of materials. An important intervention is the new entrance situation, which now focuses on the experience and the quality of the entrance space for dwelling and encounters. Likewise, the raising the external fire staircase with the characteristic orange top makes the building highly recognizable from the road.
The crowning glory on the building is without a doubt the recently inaugurated restaurant Bureau. The restaurant is situated on the rooftop of B.Amsterdam in IBM’s former installation space. Bureau is surrounded by a green roof park with a rich vegetable garden, daily providing the restaurant with fresh seasonal products, vegetables and herbs. For the roof’s transformation, NEXT used existing elements to preserve the place’s raw and dynamic character. The most eye-catching amongst these elements are the large industrial sliding doors to create continuity between in- and outdoor spaces, the use of shipping containers and the remarkable bathtubs to serve as flowerpots. The result is a successful transformation project where innovation and creativity are put centre stage.