This isn’t quite how Platje had imagined work on the final stages of this project. The intended team of 250 men has been reduced to 225. ‘Some of our foreign builders have returned home, which is understandable.’ Having said this, there is still a sizable workforce on site, and they all keep the required 1.5 metre distance from each other.
‘Our work goes on. We recently completed the office space for the main tenant Loyens & Loeff’, explains Platje. Hurks was commissioned by SAX Vastgoed to help build the first 11 floors and the top floors (the 17th and 18th) for Loyens & Loeff. ‘We were responsible for delivering the shell; they are finishing the building work and doing the interior themselves.’ The other tenant, the hotel, had different requirements. ‘SAX Vastgoed commissioned us to deliver not only the shell, but to complete the entire building project for the Irish hotel chain PREM Group.’
So the office space being built for Loyens & Loeff had to be completed before the hotel part. Platje: ‘To keep the momentum going, in October 2019 we started delivering floors in phases, so that Loyens & Loeff’s contractor could start work on finishing the building work and the interior.’ During the past few months, the only work that Hurks has been carrying out for Loyens & Loeff is on the ground floor and the top floors. ‘This is logical. Most of the materials were delivered via the ground floor and the structural work on the top floor was obviously the last to be completed.’
Hurks has a longer deadline for completing the five floors for PREM Group. Platje: ‘At the moment, it looks as if we’ll be able to hand over ‘the keys’ in late April as planned.’ The hotel will add its own finishing touches to the long-stay apartments. ‘This doesn’t mean floors, sanitary fittings and kitchens, but the decors to create their own feel. I’m expecting Premier Suites Amsterdam to open its doors in the summer of 2020.’ This means that Hurks will have to be gone by this date. ‘We’ll probably start dismantling everything in May.’
This is the first time that Platje has worked on a large-scale building that has two different ‘tenants’. ‘It makes the project quite special. You can’t compare the wishes and requirements of Loyens & Loeff with those of PREM Group. They really are two separate parties, each with its own access and floors, and each with its own needs.’ This made the logistics particularly challenging. ‘Especially at the end; Loyens & Loeff’s contractors were working there too and we didn’t want to get in each other’s way. Luckily, good communication made all the difference.’
Tastes differ, and the answer to whether Hourglass is the most beautiful building in Zuidas is definitely in the eye of the beholder. The interior, however, is both impressive and a masterpiece: there has been no skimping on quality. It could best be compared with the interior of a spaceship. Platje: ‘As a builder, your job is to construct whatever the developers and architects have thought up. But of course, it’s very satisfying to work with such carefully selected materials and with such a good eye for detail. I would imagine that people will be queueing up to work here or stay in one of the apartments.’
Hourglass was developed by Maarsen Groep and Zadelhoff, united to form SAX Vastgoed. Architects Dam & Partners produced the designs. The building was bought by Bouwinvest.