Construction starts on the interior of the new AkzoNobel Center
The exterior of the new AkzoNobel Center was completed in early August, and Soons Interieurbouw immediately began construction on the interior of the building. GROUP A – involved since 2007 in the newest eye-catcher on the Amsterdam Zuidas – is not only responsible for the design of the exterior and interior, but also for the adjacent plaza and the underground parking garage. The interior will be completed by the end of this year, and in January 2016 the employees will be able to move into their new office. The work environment, with approximately 700 work stations, was designed to optimally facilitate what is known as ‘New Working’.
The 10-story AkzoNobel Center is characterised by transparency and a richly layered façade, which combines a glass climate wall with finished wood structural elements. The use of durable high-quality coatings in subtly blended colours is a direct reference to AkzoNobel’s core business: coatings, paints and lacquers. The public platform on the ground floor provides a natural transition from the adjacent plaza and gives the Zuidas a lively public area.
GROUP A’s partner and architect, Folkert van Hagen: “It is an elaborate building with a technically complicated façade, but the construction progressed smoothly, in part due to the excellent cooperation between AkzoNobel, the contractor Dura Vermeer and GROUP A.”
Two intertwined atrium spaces form the backbone of the interior. The first stretches out over the public ‘AkzoNobel Experience’ on the ground floor. This atrium consists of an entrance, reception desk, restaurant and Art Gallery, as well as the semi-public ‘Meeting AkzoNobel’ on the first floor. This floor forms the ‘epicentre’ for employees and business partners, and is connected to a second atrium by the ‘Working at AkzoNobel’ section of the building, which consists of the upper office floors. Aspects such as intensive and efficient use of space and an energy-efficient and healthy work environment are guiding principles in this project.
“The interior design, with furnishings characterised by, for example, rounded corners, reflects the dynamic appearance of the exterior,” explains Folkert. “We paid a lot of attention to the acoustics of the open spaces.” Folkert concludes with pride: “This building will be the Rolls Royce of New Working.”