The Matchbox

The Matchbox

Architect
Allard Architecture
Location
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Project Year
2012
Category
Housing

The Matchbox

Allard Architecture as Architects

The Matchbox is a blend of artistic, creative and commercial spaces. The building is shaped specifically as a result of the accommodation of companies and zoning regulations. It houses 22 corporate units, a rooftop restaurant and semi-underground parking in the artistic hub of Amsterdam North. Especially well-suited to start-up businesses, themed rent is an ideal way of promoting networks and building strong links within a wider industry. Originating in the arts sector, themed rent is now spreading to meet demand from elsewhere.


The building lends its playful façade with cantilevers protruding out up to 5 meters, each unit being individually angled and stacked on top of another to give every company its own space and identity. Bridges constructed above a central atrium garden act as catalyst for the networking between offices while distributing sunlight through the building. The rotated nature of the units of the Matchbox merge with its simple large windows framed in black borders recalling a strip of film negatives.


The Matchbox building will be mainly made of prefabricated concrete with structural shear walls supporting the cantilevering boxes. During the design process, it was noted as an objective to minimise the use of steel in this building.


The one exception can be found with the internal non-structural walls which have a galvanised steel finish, which allows the people to use their walls as a magnetic pin-up space. The black frames around the units are made of folded aluminium elements, which are glued on stiff insulation, and run over the edges of the concrete floor. The remaining exterior surfaces are sprayed and sealed with a seamless Poly-Urethane finish.

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