Powerful integrated work-of-art along the Zuidas

by Lolke Ket on March 30, 2015

GROUP A, responsible for the design of both the AkzoNobel Center as well as the underground parking garage, was also commissioned by Dura Vermeer in 2008 to design the public entrance to this facility.

model1 zonder bestaande bomen

Centered between AkzoNobel and the Stibbe Tower and surrounded by rich soft landscaping, the goal was to create a clearly visible carpark entrance which would be publically appealing whilst shedding daylight onto the underground parking facilities.

groupa architects_parking garage AkzoNobel_daylightIn response to the surrounding sculptured buildings, the design envisaged an entrance-sculpture with a strong identity.

groupa architects_parking garage AkzoNobel_sketch design

Inspired by the supposed strength of this potential modest jewel, Folkert van Hagen of GROUP A decided to take the commission to another level by involving artist Steven Aalders. In the subsequent dialogue between architect and artist, the design became profoundly more intricate, leading up to a real Gesamtkunstwerk. A collective achievement further enhanced by the commitment and dedication of manufacturer Fox Industries, who opted with conviction for a monolithic polyester structure.

groupa architects_parking garage AkzoNobel_in progress Manufacturing the monolithic polyester structure groupa architects_parking garage AkzoNobel_model The model by Steven Aalders for the Gesamtkunstwerk groupa architects_parking garage AkzoNobel_art in progress Preparing the entrance-sculpture before being painted by Steven Aalders

groupa architects_parking garage AkzoNobel_Steven Aalders at work

Steven Aalders has approached the structure as being his folded canvas on which he applied a pattern of stripes and colours, thereby providing a sense of place and direction to a very dynamic environment. Deceptively simple but very thoughtful. With the rhythmically dancing coloured patches on the entrance roof, reminding of the powerful geometrical abstract paintings for which the artist is best known. His work can be found in several collections including the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, AkzoNobel Art Foundation, the Caldic Collection and Museum Kurhaus Kleve.

groupa architects_parking garage AkzoNobel_construction

During the night of Wednesday to Thursday last week, the entrance-sculpture was moved from Dedemsvaart to Amsterdam by special transportation, where it was lowered with a crane on a prepared concrete plinth and subsequently secured in the course of the morning. As a ‘David among the Goliaths’, the sculpture is now awaiting the surrounding landscape to mature.

groupa architects_parking garage AkzoNobel_team

A proud team now looks back on a successful process which has led to a powerful integrated work-of-art along the Zuidas, and has met the challenge to design an attractive and welcoming public car park entrance.

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