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A former office building on Prinses Irenestraat, built in the 1970s, is to undergo renovation. It was one of the first buildings to be built in Zuidas. The current occupant, the Amsterdam International Community School (AICS), will be relocating to new premises.

The redevelopment project will be carried out on behalf of G&S Vastgoed and Nuveen Real Estate. V8 Architects has been contracted to restore the building to its original function: that of an office. The AICS has been looking for a new location for some time, because it has outgrown the building. This has now been found in A.J. Ernststraat, where a new building for the school is being created.

A long history

Standing right on the corner with the Parnassusweg, the building on the Prinses Irenestraat has a long history by Zuidas standards. Together with the nearby Atrium building and the old law courts (the Parnassus complex), it was one of the first developments in this area (before that, only the Free University had been built in the area). The complex has been in use since the 1970s, first by the law firm Klynveld Kraayenhof & Co (which became part of KPMG), then the illustrious trading house Ceteco (which no longer exists) and later NautaDutilh (now located on Beethovenstraat). Since 2003, it has been home to the AICS.

Photo taken from Parnassusweg in 1976
J.M. Arsath-Rois

Brutalist style

The current building has 14,000 square metres of gross floor area, and measures 110 metres by 40 meters. It is seen as a response to the colossal concrete office blocks which characterized the 1960s, such as the building of the Nederlandsche Bank on Frederiksplein, built in 1968. The architects firm which designed the building on the Prinses Irenestraat, Le Grand & Selle, adopted the ‘brutalist’ style of architecture, with some sections of the building being set in or jutting out, lending it a playful character.

A 'brutalist' style of architecture
Marcel Steinbach

Contemporary twist

V8 Architects will build on this idea, but also give the building a contemporary twist, emphasizing transparency and sustainability. The basic structure of the building will be retained, and the renovation work will mainly involve the facade and the internal spaces. The building will be made more elegant, with plenty of space for greenery. At this particular location, the mid-rise building functions as a transition between the high-rise buildings of Zuidas (the Atrium, 2Amsterdam) and the low-rise buildings further to the north. The height of the new-look building will therefore not exceed 16.5 metres, which is only 20 centimetres higher than the current height of the building. The gross floor area will also remain virtually unchanged.

The building seen from the air, September 2019
YourCaptain Luchtfotografie

More greenery

V8 Architects have come up with a number of options for greening the roof of the building. One option would be to add a roof garden of up to 1,500 square metres. Greenery will also be added at street level, which will be in keeping with the greening strategy for the whole of Prinses Irenestraat, including the green strip, which will be extended, and Prinses Amaliaplein.

Parking

There are currently 113 parking spaces at the AICS (which are not being used at the moment). In order to make the building more sustainable and green, there are plans to reduce this number. The relevant parties are currently still in talks, and the exact number is not yet known. All being well, the new office will be completed in 2023.

Give your opinion

Anne Cooper

As a long standing resident who lives in the immediate vicinity I full support this proposal. It is within the agreed height limits for this part of Zuidas and reuses an existing building for a suitable use. It also adds much needed greenery to the neighbourhood. It is therefore in all respects sustainable and entirely acceptable.

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