In the heart of Amsterdam’s business district, a lush green valley emerges from the rocky canyon walls of a new office building.
The dramatic, geology-inspired, plant-covered “Valley” stands out in Amsterdam’s Zuidas neighborhood with its three towers of 219, 265, add 328 feet tall (67, 81, and 100 meters), and its spectacular cantilevered apartments.
Named the best new skyscraper in the world in the 2021 Emporis Skyscraper Awards, the building distinguishes itself in several ways: firstly, it combines offices, shops, catering, cultural facilities, and apartments in one building; secondly, unlike the closed-off buildings elsewhere in the Zuidas, the green valley that winds between the towers on the fourth and fifth floors is accessible to everyone via two external stone staircases.
The architecture firm MVRDV, who specialize in dream-inspired projects, describe the design and construction of Valley as “utterly bespoke,” requiring the sustained commitment of hundreds of designers, engineers, builders, consultants and the client.
The enormously complex shape required a special commitment to fine detailing that further enhances the design concept. MVRDV’s technology experts created a series of custom digital tools to perfect the building, from a tool that ensured every apartment had adequate light and views, to a program that made possible the apparently random pattern of over 40,000 stone tiles of varying sizes that adorn the building’s façades.
Each of the 198 apartments has a unique floorplan, made possible by the interior designs by Heyligers Architects. And the outlandish cantilevers of the towers are possible thanks to innovative engineering, including eleven steel “specials” bolted to the concrete building that take the overall appearance to the next level.
A huge green element is present in the structure, not least of which is a watercourse right down the middle.
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