MVRDV has unveiled designs for a BREEAM Excellent-certified office building in Amsterdam as part of a redevelopment plan for the Tripolis office complex, a project created by celebrated Dutch architect Aldo van Eyck and long considered a commercial failure. In addition to the renovation of the old buildings and the addition of a park, the Tripolis Park project will feature a new 11-story “groundscraper” office block that will stretch along the site’s south boundary to unite the campus while protecting the complex from the noise of the adjacent A10 highway.
Ever since its completion in 1994, the Tripolis complex has struggled to attract tenants despite its eye-catching wood-and-granite facades and colorful window frames. In 2019, the complex was granted Municipal Monument status and grouped with the nearby Amsterdam Orphanage, a 1960 masterwork also by Van Eyck, and has since attracted new attention. Tapped to make the complex commercially viable, MVRDV was invited to sensitively renovate the Van Eyck structures while injecting new life onto the grounds with a mixed-use program and new construction.
At the heart of the redevelopment project is the new 31,500-square-meter, solar-powered office block that will sit along the southern boundary and feature an indented facade informed by the complex geometry of two of the existing Tripolis buildings. An interior public route will be created between the new and old structures and enclosed by glass walls, bridges, and stairs to join the buildings into a unified whole. In addition to updating the office spaces inside the old buildings, the architects will green the project with new roof gardens and a new park. The third Tripolis building, located on the north side of the site and physically separated from the others, will be transformed into affordable rental apartments.
“The new building guards and shelters the existing Tripolis complex as it were, thanks to the protective layer we create,” Winy Maas, MVRDV Founding Partner, explained. “We literally echo Tripolis, as if it was imprinting its neighbour. The space between will be given a public dimension and will be accessible to passers-by. As a visionary in his time, Aldo already saw office spaces as meeting places. I want to continue that idea by promoting interaction between the two buildings in various ways.”
Images by Proloog and MVRDV