MVSA create new landmark office building for Amsterdam

29 April 2024
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49 North development takes shape in Buiksloterham

Tenderstream member MVSA have designed a gleaming copper-coloured office building, 49 North, which adds a playful landmark to an up-and-coming waterfront location in Amsterdam. Once an industrial centre, the Buiksloterham is now poised to transform into an urban district with a mix of residential areas, leisure facilities, and work space. MVSA set the tone for this ongoing metamorphosis with a new building that combines a public plinth – including a restaurant with a waterfront terrace, accessible by boat – with office space above.

The 49 North site is surrounded by water on two sides, which called for a transparent building to make the most of the natural light and views of the surrounding cityscape. The design features glass, a striking grid, dramatic fins, and the copper colour that references a maritime material and channels the area’s shipbuilding tradition.

The fins provide solar shading, while also framing the views from the interior and helping to define the grid with its projecting corner bay windows. As they move towards the plinth, the fins morph into tapering six-sided pillars, transforming the ground floor and allowing for it to be placed further back, creating space for a walkway. The restaurant is housed in a long, horizontal volume, with an overhang above creating a sheltered space where visitors will be able to enjoy dining outdoors even if it rains.

Behind the restaurant, the partly underground parking garage is hidden from sight by climbing plants and topped by a green roof, with a landscape design by Buro Lubbers. On top of the plinth, seven storeys of offices are located in a cubic block shifted towards the harbour side, creating a larger green roof. The flexible interiors feature wide open spaces able to accommodate anything from a single tenant for the whole building to a total of 14 (two per floor). This adaptability is intended to suit a variety of tenants and uses, giving the building a long and versatile life.  

Lucy Nordberg
Tenderstream Head of Research

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