Acanthus, Amsterdam Zuidoost (South East)
Set between the new Bijlmer Station and the Hogeschool voor Economie, HES (School of Economics) in Amsterdam Zuidoost, the Acanthus office complex stands out as a floating golden ring with high-rise towers against the urban background. The horizontal stratification of the entrance level, the ring level, the tower and two flatter segments creates an urban profile with a half-open character. This reinforces the relationship with the adjoining offices, houses, and schools. The glass façades and open corners of the entrance level allow urban public space and private inner areas to converge smoothly. The ring encompasses the inner garden and gives the Acanthus complex coherence, while the three blocks emphasize the distinct identity of the building. Acanthus combines the good features of the closed complex, such as the clear division between public and private domain, with the attribute of an 'open structure' in the spirit of Van Eesteren (light, air, and greenery). This forms the genesis of a new urban typology within which the elevated ring renders the interior-exterior relationship an ambiguous quality.
Acanthus integrates the difference in height between the railway embankment to the rear of the building and the public area at the front by incorporating a sloping inner garden into the design. This also forms the green deck above the terraced storeys of the semi-public car park. The open, column-free corners, protruding as far as 36 metres at some points, offer pedestrians an unobstructed view of the green inner garden, while simultaneously marking the positions of the entrances.
Each of the three entrances offers access to a part of the ring and to one of the top-level elements. This ensures a flexible building that can be divided into separate offices or - via the connecting ring - can be used as a whole. It is possible to introduce a flexible layout of larger and smaller units on each storey so that various office concepts, including the office garden, the classical cell office, or combi-offices can be realized.
The façade consists of aluminium panels equipped with an acanthus relief. The three-dimensional effect of the relief is reinforced by a dual colour specially developed for Acanthus. Depending on the angle of perception, it gives a different colour impression varying from copper red to golden yellow. The transparent design of the entrance floor strengthens the decorative effect of the garden and the acanthus façade.