Valley
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    Residential Tower of the Year
Marcel Steinbach

Valley

MVRDV as Architects

With its landscape of jagged stone terraces, bay-windows, and balconies, covered in dense planting designed by landscape architect Piet Oudolf, Valley brings much-needed greening to Amsterdam’s Zuidas business district. Designed for EDGE Technologies, the 75,000m2 mixed-use project contains apartments, shops, offices, cultural institutes, and a creative centre, highlighted by a publicly accessible "valley floor" located on the building's podium, at the 4th and 5th floors.

photo_credit Marcel Steinbach
Marcel Steinbach

In twenty years, the Zuidas area of Amsterdam has developed into the main international business centre, which resulted in a reduced focus on residential interests. The development of Valley is part of the city’s ambition to correct this by transforming the area into a more liveable and complete urban quarter, welcoming large amounts of residents and additional public facilities to the area over the next decade.

photo_credit Marcel Steinbach
Marcel Steinbach

Valley’s three peaks of varied heights reach up to a maximum of 100-meters at which the publicly accessible Sky-bar sits, spread out over the top two stories, offering panoramic views over Amsterdam. The building consists of 200 apartments, 7 storeys of offices, a three-storey underground parking with 375 parking spots and various retail and cultural facilities. From street level, a pedestrianised path, running along retails functions, terraces and roof gardens, leads up to the central valley-area spread across the 4th and 5th level and surrounds the central tower. Internationally renowned landscape architect Piet Oudolf designed all of Valley’s vegetation, focusing on a year-round green appearance. The project derives its name from the publicly accessible terraced valley that is spread out in-between its three mixed-use, towers.

photo_credit Marcel Steinbach
Marcel Steinbach

Valley’s location is defined by transition. It sits on the border between residential and commercial functions. It forms the connection between green sports fields and the dense urban setting of the business centre and it initiates the change from the smaller scaled buildings of the inner city to the large volumes that define the South-axis. The concept of the building is rooted in this idea of transition. 

photo_credit Marcel Steinbach
Marcel Steinbach

By placing the residential volumes on top of the multifunctional plinth and pushing them to the very edge of the envelope, the resulting volume reads as one single entity. In mirroring the corporate surroundings by way of its reflecting glass exterior façade, the design acknowledges its corporate heritage and visually connects to its immediate neighbours. In direct contrast to this, the inner façade is defined by a series of rugged, stone terraces with large planters, covering the building in vegetation and bringing a sense of human scale to the volume. Through this opposing treatment of the facades, the duality of the resulting volume, which is reminiscent of a carved out block, is expressed: The corporate vs the residential. The XL vs. the human scale.

photo_credit Marcel Steinbach
Marcel Steinbach

Publicly accessible from ground floor, through 2 large stairs, is the Grotto, a large interior space, fully clad in natural stone and lit by two great skylights that double as water filled ponds on the valley above. The Grotto serves as both a living room for the residents of Valley as well as a Grand Foyer for all other activities in the building, ensuring a lively atmosphere throughout the day.

MVRDV’s design for Valley emphasises the contrast between the corporate history and the more residential future of the Zuidas. Its offices boast high floor-to-ceiling windows, large, brightly lit floorplates and full-service amenities. The residential levels have large openable windows and sliding doors for outdoor spaces integrated within the stone facades. Outdoor ceilings and terraces are clad in natural stone as well, as are the fixed, automatically hydrated planters of varying heights that facilitate Valley’s distinct green appearance. Full glass railings protect residents against wind and sound without impeding on their panoramic views.

photo_credit Marcel Steinbach
Marcel Steinbach

The jagged, natural stone façade is defined by using a parametric tool developed in collaboration with Arup Amsterdam. This allowed for much-needed real-time control over quantities of daylight and sunlight, over structural limitations and required privacy, amongst other things. The resulting overall variation of Valley’s building volume means that no two apartments are alike, creating a wide variety of housing types with unique plans for its inhabitants.

The abundance of outdoor spaces and communal green area’s promotes health and well-being whilst at the same time, contributes to the buildings green ambitions. In addition to a -0.3 EPC rating and a GPR score of 8, Valley will aim for a BREEAM-NL Excellent rating.  

photo_credit Marcel Steinbach
Marcel Steinbach
photo_credit Marcel Steinbach
Marcel Steinbach
photo_credit MVRDV
MVRDV
photo_credit MVRDV
MVRDV
photo_credit MVRDV
MVRDV

An urban mountain landscape

Solarlux as Manufacturers

What will the city of the future look like? With the Valley building complex, MVRDV has answered this question. Using its trademark playful flair, the architects’ bureau has designed an urban landscape with dense greenery that blends together city living and work with a unique style. One of the key aspects of the design was ensuring that the 200 residential units felt as connected as possible to their surroundings – a requirement Solarlux and its bi-folding doors were happy to help with. A distinctive landmark whose geometric design evokes the lines of a rugged mountain landscape, the Valley is a 75,000 m² complex that offers space for 200 bespoke apartments, seven floors of offices, an underground car park, and all kinds of shops, restaurants and cultural facilities. 

photo_credit Bart van Hoek für Solarlux GmbH
Bart van Hoek für Solarlux GmbH

Individual design right down to the tiniest window detail

In order to ensure that even the flats that don’t have their own terrace or pergola still felt connected to the world around them, Solarlux’s Ecoline and Highline bi-folding door systems were installed in all three of the residential towers. These systems allow the window fronts to be opened across a huge width with quiet, easy action, so residents can let the outdoors into their homes. The external glass parapet elements provide the necessary safety to prevent falls. Due to the computer-aided “parametric” design of the building, no two flats in the Valley are the same – which meant all the bi-folding door systems needed to be made to measure by Solarlux. The end result is 23 customised designs, each of which comprises five to eight individual elements and “runs” around one or even two corners. The angles of each corner are as specific as the overall geometry of the facade, varying between 100, 110, 120, 130 and 140 degrees. The Highline product line was used for all the apartments that needed thicker glazing due to higher wind loads (1.65 kN/m² at 60 metres and above) and sound insulation requirements (up to 42 dB). 

photo_credit Bart van Hoek für Solarlux GmbH
Bart van Hoek für Solarlux GmbH

Unobstructed views of the mirrored facade

In contrast to the rugged interior facades of the residential towers, the outer shell of the building has a smooth, mirrored finish. In keeping with this design, the inward-facing balconies have been fitted with the noise and weather-insulating SL 25 slide-and-turn system from Solarlux. The non-insulated SL Modular facade module used as a glass parapet element combines with the moving SL 25 elements in the residential towers of the Valley to form a harmonious design aesthetic.

 

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