BPD Burgerweeshuis Amsterdam
After a year and a half of transformation and restoration, approximately 225 employees of residential developer BPD moved to the former Burgerweeshuis on the IJsbaanpad in Amsterdam at the end of January 2018. The employees of the former head office, located in Hoevelaken since 1963 and those from the North-West regional office in Haarlem now working together in Amsterdam. The office is more than 5,000 m2.
The national monument, a design by Aldo van Eyck, has recently been transformed into a new office located at IJsbaanpad 1-5 near the Olympic Stadium. The building is one of the earliest examples of structuralist construction and counts as one of the most important post-war national monuments.
Architect Aldo van Eijck had especially designed playgrounds – more than 700 in Amsterdam alone – when he received the assignment for the Burgerweeshuis. It became a kind of spatial manifesto, a mirror of his ideas. Van Eijck’s architecture focuses on people and their perception of space. The Burgerweeshuis is a concatenation of square units with many vistas and squares, the building is a safe shell around an intimate interior space.
The one-and-a-half-year renovation that preceded BPD’s relocation can partly be seen as a reconstruction. In order to make the building meet the requirements of today’s requirements, renovation architect Wessel de Jong applied floor heating, an air-freshening system and a quantity of cables that would have been unthinkable in 1960. However, they are so cleverly hidden that nothing can be seen. In order to prevent the 328 concave domes in the roof of the building from functioning as a sound box, a thin layer of insulation material was applied and moody colored wall panels were placed.
All just as unobtrusive as the gray office furniture from Lensvelt, which is aptly named after the design of Space Encounters Boring, a design with a conscious RAL color gray which has received international awards and attention from 2016 onwards. So the original details are extra: kitchen corners with poffertjes stove, a concrete playground with diving racks and smile mirrors, and wooden storage cabinets.
Following AkzoNobel, which opened its Essential Art Space in 2016, and ABN Amro, which followed last year, BPD is the third company to have a publicly accessible exhibition space on the Zuidas. Two even. One is dedicated to the history of the building and has been renamed ‘treasure room’. The other is a relatively modest space, but the exhibitions that are made here – three per year – can fan out over other parts of the building. They also always have a link with architecture.
Lensvelt Contract collaborated intensively and productively with the architects of Ex Interiors and project manager Maarten Bosch from BDGM to deliver this project. The furniture supplied was from the Boring Collection, as well as other pieces such as the AVL Presidential Chair, CHTH coat racks and the AVL Office Chair, all in the same shade of grey to match the Boring items. This was supplemented with products from various international brands including Norr11 , Moduplus, Vitra, Artek, Arco, Carl Hansen, Nestor & Rocks, Danskina and Kinnasand carpets. Subsequently, in this building all the materials and colors are coordinated accurately and surprisingly.
Architects: Ex Interiors, www.ex-interiors.nl
Project management: bosch sustainable building management, www.BDGM.nl
Photography: interior Roos Aldershoff, exterior Corné Bastiaansen