Liander Westpoort

Amsterdam, NL

How to make new industrial architecture?

Amsterdam

Liander Westpoort

Photo: Gemeente Amsterdam

The City of Amsterdam has a serious space shortage and is looking for business locations that can be redeveloped into housing. One such is the location on Spaklerweg in Amsterdam Amstel, where Liander has been housed for more than 100 years.

After a joint search, the city and network operator have found a suitable plot for a new building in the Sloterdijk 3 port area. Liander Westpoort, as the location will be called, will offer space for offices, training facilities, workshops, storage and test areas.

De Zwarte Hond has translated the functional requirements and aspirations for the new location into an extremely resilient design, which takes account of Liander’s possibly changing future needs.

The design consists of a rhythmic alternation of buildings with spaces in between, which are positioned on the plot like a barcode. At the top, the office forms a height accent and is therefore visible from the A5 motorway. Its wooden construction helps to create a healthy working environment.

Liander Westpoort also stands out for its equal attention to all parts of the programme. Workshops and storage areas have been designed with the same care as the office building and are welded together into a robust and impressive whole. The plan thus evokes memories of the heyday of industrial architecture, but with an underlying sustainability ambition that is entirely focused on the future. At the same time, the building is cost-efficient, by building compactly, limiting the façade surface and focusing on the reuse of materials.

Green and nature inclusive

Sustainable energy and gas-free

Emission-free mobility and clean air

Circular construction

Waste

Rainwater collection

Inside the office building, its interior with a large atrium and wooden central staircases creates an environment that encourages meetings and interactions. A unique ‘wandering staircase’ connects each floor in a different place and provides an exciting route through the office.

The building is an example of sustainability. This building stored 1195 tons of CO2 and avoided 1434 tons of CO2 by not building with concrete and steel. Added up, this is equivalent to the energy consumption of 5,600 households in a year or 33 million km of an average car. In addition, much attention was paid to cost reduction and the reuse of materials, contributing to a circular economy.

A rhythmic alternation of buildings and interspaces

A biodiverse landscape plan is inviting to people and animals. Rich planting around and on the buildings (30% of the facade is green) provides a habitat for insects, birds, amphibians and small mammals. Rainwater is stored locally on-site and used for watering plants.

Alliander consciously opted for sustainability and transparency and, with this regional office, is contributing to a circular, climate-adaptive and nature-inclusive environment. Three Alliander companies will be located here from the end of May 2023: grid operator Liander, technical specialist Qirion and provider of integrated energy solutions Kenter.

Liander, kantoor en werkplaats, Amsterdam, de Zwarte Hond architecten © 2023 ScagliolaBrakkee

Liander Westpoort

Commissioned by energy network company Alliander, De Zwarte Hond designed the new regional offices 'Liander Westpoort', located in the port area of Amsterdam and consisting of an office building, workshops, warehouses, test facilities, an educational- and parking building.

Together with client Alliander, IMd, Copper8 and DGMR, De Zwarte Hond formulated the sustainability ambitions resulting in high flexibility, scalability and modularity. The office building and training facilities have an all-timber construction, designed to be flexible and create a healthy working environment. Thanks to its detachable structural set-up the parking building can grow or shrink. The facades are made of weather-resistant Corten steel. This makes the regional office resilient for the future.

The buildings are positioned with rhythmic alternations on the plot like a barcode, with the office building as a height accent, visible from the A5. All parts of the programme got equal attention. Work buildings and storage areas have been designed with the same care as the office building and together they form a robust ensemble. It evokes memories of industrial architecture’s peak moments.

The large atrium with its wooden central staircases creates an environment that encourages meetings and interactions. An example of sustainability, the building is gas-free and energy-neutral, contributing to a circular economy. A biodiverse landscape plan is inviting to people and animals. Rich planting around and on the buildings provides a habitat for insects, birds, amphibians and small mammals.

details

Project
Liander Westpoort
Location
Amsterdam, NL
Size
Period
2020
Client
Alliander
Discipline
Architecture
Program
Work
Status
Completed
Photography
ScagliolaBrakkee,
Partners
DGMR, COAREinterieur, IMd Raadgevende Ingenieurs, De Urbanisten, Copper8
Awards
  • Nationale Houtbouwprijs (National Wood Construction Award)
    The Best Wooden Building in the Netherlands
  • Architectenweb Award
    Office building of the year
More info
bd@dezwartehond.nl