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.
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.
Article via Benthem Crouwel Architects
About the design, engineering and installation of the structurally glazed curtain, and the curved glass fiber reinforced (GFRP) façade
The double skin façade plays an important role in the building. The total image of the glass façade with the screen print, the structural inner façade and the glass entrance and restaurant fronts give a spectacular view of different overlapping blue dots, visible from the highway at both day and night.
Octatube was involved in this project from an early stage onwards. Initially, Octatube would only realize the cylindrical glass skin, to be fixed to a traditional timber frame construction inner façade. By seizing the challenge of an integrated façade system, Octatube was able to include the engineering and realization of the inner façade. The structural and physical challenges that were lying ahead had been solved immediately by replacing the wooden structure with composite GRP elements (Glass Reinforced Plastic). In earlier projects (such as the Yitzhak Rabin Center) Octatube has gained experience with this material, and this time the step was made to structurally deploy it.
The technical composition of the double façade is as follows: steel brackets are fixed to the main concrete structure of the building, to which the prefab GRP elements are installed. To the GRP elements, steel swords are connected with Duo nodes at the ends. The laminated glass is point fixed to these nodes. The round windows integrated in the GRP elements are engineered in a double curved surface and consist of circular double glass units. By looking through these ‘portholes’ guests have a wide view. This new principle of the double skin façade has been tested with a mock-up prior to the production and installation.
Both the 130 GRP elements and the glass screens are prefabricated. The bent glass outer façade consists of 10 screens each floor, printed with a blue boll pattern. The screens are produced in China, and consist of 4 glass panels of 1,8×3 meters each. The outer skin is completely transparent.
The boll pattern has been optimized in such a way that a diverse image could emerge while upholding a certain repetition. Furthermore, the dot pattern has been adjusted to make the printing technically feasible and to be able to look from inside outwards.
The glass skin has a surface of more than 4000 square meters and has different features. From the architectural point of view, the transparent skin of the building is supposed to mystify the number of floors behind the skin. As part of the double skin façade, the glass contributes to thermal management of the building. In addition it has an acoustic function, because the Fletcher Hotel is situated on a noise congested location next to the highway. The distance between the two facades is approximately 800 millimeters, which is sufficient for a window cleaning system and maintenance.
Text via Octatube
Architects: Benthem Crouwel Architects
Design and build facade contractor: Octatube
Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Project Team: Jan Benthem, Peter Kropp, Okke van den Broek, Pieter Rijpstra, Volker Krenz
Project Management: M. Caransa b.v
Printed Glass: dip-tech
Area: 7000.0 sqm
Project Year: 2013
Photographs: Jannes Linders