Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Fletcher Hotel in Amsterdam, The Netherlands by Benthem Crouwel Architects
April 11th, 2013 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Benthem Crouwel Architects
In development area of Amstel III, situated on Amsterdam’s southeast side, Meibergdreef lane is currently being re-developed into an urban axis. This re-development constituted the catalyst for the construction of a four-star hotel, just across a present food strip. The hotel is located as closely as possible to the flanking highway A2. On approach from the south, the volume recognisably marks the entrance to Amsterdam.
The 60 meter high hotel has a compact floor plan with a diameter of merely 24 meters, resulting in a characteristic slim silhouette alongside the highway. The objective to create an omnidirectional structure, with an expressive façade and a compact footprint, has resulted in a circular plan with a central core for elevators, stairs and service shafts. The limited space is used as efficiently as possible. The technical stem is girded by the main functions on every floor. Service areas and technical spaces are situated in the basement, in the pedestal or on the roof.
The lobby and coffee shop are situated on ground floor. 120 rooms encircle the staircase and lifts in the heart of the hotel. On floor sixteen, five board rooms have been arrange in a manner that allows them to be linked together. The so-called ‘Skyrestaurant Pi’, on the top and eighteenth floor, just as well as ‘Skylounge Pi’ on the floor below, offer guests impressive 360° panoramic views over Amsterdam.
Parking spaces at ground level are integrated in the landscape under a vegetation-covered roof, well blending in with the surroundings. Additional underground parking for 60 cars is offered. The hotel will soon receive the highest hallmark for sustainability and corporate responsibility for organisations in the recreation sector, the Green Key Gold. Among others, building-related aspects as the application of a subterranean thermal storage system and top level façade insulation have led to this distinction.
The fully glazed façade with its bend screens and round windows yields a distinctive, autonomous and yet restrained transparent appearance of the building, in its surroundings. The architecture of the neighbouring food strip is reflected in the circular motif in the hotel’s façade pattern. Blue colourings and shaded frittings provide a prominent outer shell to the building. Concurrently, by using this colour palette, the façade interacts powerfully with the sky.
The outer shell of printed glass screens is mounted approximately 90cm off a solid lightweight inner façade with integrated fixed windows. The transparent shell has a noise reduction function. The cavity between the façades is used for accent lighting. The circular motif is applied on both shells of the building. The blue tinted patterns re-appear as frittings on the laminated glass, and create depth in the façade.
On the façade of the pedestal, where the entrance and coffee shop are situated, curved clear glass is mounted. The building is illuminated at night by the hotel room’s windows and by light fixtures applied between the façade shells. Hence, the Fletcher Hotel is distinctly visible and identifiable in its surroundings, even after sunset.
Construction: The main structure of the hotel is a combination of in-situ concrete and a steel construction. The concrete core provides the stability. To this, the steel construction is hung, at the location of the partition walls of the hotel rooms and on all floor levels linked with the intermediate precast concrete floors. The roof of the top floor, a technical room, is made out of steel. The supporting structure of the car park consists of concrete retaining walls and steel columns; the roof of hollow core floor slabs.
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