Powerhouse Company designs new IBM office in Think District Amsterdam

In the new Think District, in the Amsterdam Schinkelkwartier, RED Company is developing a new office building of 35,000 m.2† Sustainability and user health play a key role in the development and design of the building of which IBM is the initiating tenant. Powerhouse Company designs the building.

The future Thinking Quarter is located in the Riekerpolder and is part of the Schinkelkwartier, which the municipality of Amsterdam wants to transform from an isolated office area into a lively and green urban district. The Think district is being developed by RED Company and will have approximately 1,100 homes and two office buildings in a park-like environment.

One of the office buildings will be the multi-storey building, which will house, among other things, the Benelux headquarters for IBM. The building will be an eye-catcher on the A10 and the railway. In addition, the office is “completely focused on sustainability and the health of its users,” according to the RED Company.

Social and healthy
Powerhouse Company’s design is based on the idea that the office increasingly functions as a meeting place, where the exchange of knowledge and ideas is central. This has been spatially converted into a large atrium as the lively heart of the building, richly provided with green areas.

In and around the atrium, people’s togetherness and co-creation of different facilities and collective spaces are stimulated. To some extent, these facilities also encourage working with health. Here you will find, for example, a board meeting center, coffee bar, restaurant and lecture hall, as well as a fitness center, yoga and meditation rooms and other social functions.

The central health theme is also reflected in the greenery in and around the building, explains Red Company. For this purpose, Powerhouse Company collaborates with Delva Landscape Architecture | urbanism; in the common design, the surrounding city park flows into and over the building, so people should feel a strong connection to nature.

For example, the park continues on terraces on different floors, and the atrium becomes “a complete green inner world”. Generous windows allow a large amount of daylight to enter the building. According to the developer, a state-of-the-art installation concept ensures optimal ventilation and air quality.

Certification ambitions
The combination of daylight, air quality, greenery and facilities such as gyms and meditation rooms make this new office a healthy work environment where people want to meet and at the same time stimulate productivity, according to RED Company. In addition to being healthy, the building must also be particularly sustainable.

These ambitions of developers and architects fit seamlessly into the pursuit of WELL Platinum and BREEAM Outstanding certification. With the high sustainability ambitions, the office building will also be ‘Paris proof’ according to RED Company, and it will score high on the various ESG criteria (environmental, social and management criteria for a company’s activities, which may have consequences for society or the environment).

Smart systems
According to the RED Company, the office building will be one of a new generation; this is reflected, among other things, in the fact that the building will proactively predict the use, the number of users and the needs of these users through technology aimed at comfort. For this purpose, the building will have a digital infrastructure that connects everything via one platform.

The system uses machine learning algorithms in combination with artificial intelligence to analyze data so that users are assigned the right workplace based on their needs, meeting rooms are planned automatically and facilities can be reserved. In combination with an advanced lighting system and air conditioning, this contributes to the health and comfort of the building’s users. At the same time, the systems save energy.

Like the other office building to be developed, the office will be WiredScore certified and therefore able to meet all users’ technological and connectivity requirements, the RED Company states.

This, of course, fits perfectly with the property’s initiator and important tenant: IBM. The company is a global leader in artificial intelligence and hybrid cloud computing, the developer explains. IBM acts as an important stimulator in the area, but has been based in Amsterdam’s Riekerpolder since 1952.

IBM’s current headquarters are being built under the Think District project. Office Winhov makes the design for this.

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