Designed in 1960 as an office building, the Metropoolgebouw is a designated national monument. With the ambition of making of the Metropoolgebouw a place that adds great value to Amsterdam, AKKA Architects, commissioned by Breevast and Hotel Ahead, created an inspiring vision for the entire building, that will co-host a unique concept hotel along with the offices of handpicked organisations. The new Metropoolgebouw supports the personal and professional lifestyle of local and international thinkers, doers, collaborators, innovators, professionals and global citizens. Bringing together local and international residents and visitors, the Metropoolgebouw is a residence offering a unique balance of personal and common spaces for a full spectrum of functions: live, sleep, work, eat, meet, play, think, laugh, talk, walk… Located at the intersection of Amsterdam’s center, south and east districts, the Metropoolgebouw is a physical and mental gateway – a gateway to innovation, to collective intelligence and knowledge.
More information about this project Overview | The Living Document | Building Facts | Strategic Vision in details
Designed in 1960 as an office building, the Metropool has since housed a diverse mix of offices, institutions and retail businesses. Stretching over an impressive 140m along the Weesperstraat, the building is approximately 16.000m2 spread over seven levels. The Metropool is a complete ecosystem, a truly mixed building, housing commercial functions on its ground floor and mezzanine, a hotel and offices on its 1st to 5th floor and public areas on its roof level. The building has three entrances, the central one next to the underpass towards New Kerkstraat, is the main entrance.
Before engaging in any design activities, AKKA created for the Metropoolgebouw a strategic vision, an identity that helps clarify the vision and the position of the building. The result was a Living Document. If you would like to receive the pdf of the living document, please request it here.
Supporting new personal & professional lifestyles, by providing: > unique access to innovative people & place > flexible rental packages > private parking & direct public transport access > 16.235 m2
In addition of: + 4.833m2 Offices + 6.500m2 Hotel + 3.057m2 Shops and back offices + 1.845m2 Storage
1. Location, Location, Location
“A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body”. – Benjamin Franklin
The municipality of Amsterdam has recognized the importance of the Metropool’s location and have plans to make the Weesperstraat a destination street, with less traffic lanes and a wider sidewalk with more trees. In addition, the Metropool will be refurbished to become the key building at the heart of the Oustelijke Binnenstad area bounded by Mauritskade, Amstel, New Herengracht and Oostenburgergracht. The Metropool is stretched over 140m along the Weesperstraat. The Weesperstraat is a central street in Amsterdam, it is also an entrance street – a key archery into and out of the city – giving direct and easy access to the center, south and east districts of the city. It is the first of its kind – a professional residence for outstanding, cutting-edge, local and international professionals and organizations. Located on a high traffic street and over another street, with cars and cyclist passing under the building, it is truly a crossroads for many modes of transport: cars, trams, buses, metro, cyclists and pedestrians. The additional fact of the Metropool’s private parking makes it a key location in Amsterdam. Location. Location. Location. The Metropool’s location is at the very heart of diversity; The neighborhood is an incredibly diverse area, bringing together a number of residential, educational, governmental, commercial, business and health institutions. The Metropool’s location is at the very heart of emerging talents; Scheduled to open within walking distance, the University of Amsterdam will bring an estimated 30.000 students to the neighborhood
2. Relation, Relation, Relation
“A primary reason people collaborate is to innovate. And collaboration is grounded in human interactions and relationships”. – Forbes
In international relations, the Dutch have been forerunners since the 16th century. The Metropool continues this tradition and embraces the intellectual freedom, diversity and excellence in trade that are characteristic of the Dutch – all qualities which greatly stimulate the exchange of ideas and the promotion of wealth. With its close proximity to Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam is a true international gateway to the rest of the world. The Metropool’s access to the city is opened up into a wider access to the world. Amsterdam itself has always been a hub for culture, tolerance, collaboration, creativity, business and entrepreneurship. These are the same values needed for today’s cutting edge local and international professionals and organizations – lifestyles are changing, the boundaries between work and leisure are blurring and people are more mobile than ever. The fundamental ideas of business are being challenged, disrupted and reinvented daily. There is a new group of people at the core of reshaping our future. They have a social conscience, are people-focused, collaborative and are driving growth in an ever-changing world. In addition to this newly handpicked selection of companies, the Metropool houses a hotel for the international professionals: Zoku; an extended stay hotel for the international mobile professionals. It is the perfect combination for living and working, a “home-away-from-home” and an “Office-away-from-the-office”. The Metropool creates a unique atmosphere that redefines our working relations and living relations. Relation. Relation. Relation. The handpicked selection of companies for the Metropool have the following qualities: local & international, thinkers & doers, collaborators & innovators, professionals & global citizens, flexible & entrepreneurial, charismatic & opportunity seekers, adaptive & proactive. Like-minded organisations include: Unilever, ASML Holding, Schlumberger, eBuddy, Open projects, Grameen Bank, Zipcar, CityMart, Roots of Empathy, Dialogue in the Dark, Pinterest, Airbnb, Google, Twitter, Facebook, Nike, Amazon, Evernote, Alison, Microsoft, Tumblr, Booking, M-Pesa, Tata DOCOMO, CoderDojo, RED, Lego.
3. Innovation, Innovation, Innovation.
“It is tough when markets change and your people within the company don’t”. – Harvard Business Review
The Metropool is a working and living environment specifically conceived to offer individuals and organizations social and professional values to facilitate their development. By embodying five unique qualities, the Metropool offers its residents access to ideas, knowledge and experiences beyond their own, therefore triggering the interactions that will lead to growth and innovation.
Five Unique Qualities: a. Diversity b. Common Spaces c. Movement d. Encounters e. Access
a. Diversity for Innovation.
One of the unique qualities of the Metropool building is the diversity of the entities living, working and visiting, in it as well as around it – these are different entities yet united by shared interests & a shared goals. They are all embracing a growing trend of moving from independent entities to interdependent entities – contest to context. This unity-in-diversity becomes a source of innovation – as the name of our resident hotel Zoku suggests, it is a tribe, a clan, a family.
b. Common Spaces for Innovation.
Research shows that innovation emerges through the interaction of diverse people. However, we cannot design and prescribe interaction; instead we need to design the context for interaction. The Metropool is designed in such a way to offer a fertile context for interaction: the emphasis is on the spaces in between, the common spaces. The lobby, elevators, stairways, hallways – the spaces where people and things meet, cross, exchange – are the in-between spaces where unique added value is accessed and innovation sparked. In the Metropool, all people have access to both personal spaces (such as their own offices) and common spaces (such as cafes, lounge and library). This balance between individual spaces and public spaces creates a dynamic residence for individuals and companies, customers and visitors. The Metropool is designed to specifically facilitate movement, encounters and exchanges. Common spaces are designed to stimulate, provoke, inspire and trigger innovation. While independent entities placed in one space usually behave in a spirit of contest, the new Metropool provides common spaces for innovation where diverse entities are invited to shift from an independent structure to a family/tribe structure, from contest to context.
c. Movement for Innovation.
The Metropool building is positioned on one of Amsterdam’s major crossroads: metros, trams, cars, boats, bicycles and pedestrians all go by on a daily basis. This daily movement surrounding the building, flowing go along it, around it, even under it, all create the right dynamics for innovation. The Metropool is designed to stimulate movement around and through the building – triggering new flows of movement in and out of the building by enhancing the use of the common spaces available to all its residents. These spaces between are designed to facilitate new flows of movement – movement that leads to innovation. The movement facilitated by the new Metropool manifests in a number of ways: the building is positioned at the crossroads of many different modes of transport, there is a specifically designed flow inside the building, a welcoming bright passage under the building with seating as apublic space, and a café with outdoor seating creating pleasant dynamics on the street level.
d. Encounters for Innovation.
The diverse people moving within and through the Metropool’s common spaces create unique encounters, encounters that spark innovation. These encounters are an open invitation to individuals and companies sharing the space to connect effectively. The new Metropool building is designed to make people get out of their offices and mingle in the common spaces with people they might not otherwise meet. And it is these random encounters that research has shown are the source of unplanned collaborations and exchanges that lead to innovation.
e. Access to Innovation.
The above values of diversity moving through common spaces to produce unique encounters are accessible to any resident of the Metropool. Indeed, the new Metropool offers unique physical and mental access. Located at the intersection of Amsterdam’s center, south and east districts, the Metropool is a gateway giving local and international professionals access to collective intelligence and innovation. The Metropool is in fact a dual gateway, giving both physical access to different parts of the city as well as mental access to other professionals’ knowledge, ideas and experiences: the new Metropool offers access to innovation.
Physical access: To Amsterdam city centre To a dynamic neighbourhood To specifically designed common spaces To public spaces and facilities on the ground floor To a roof top collaborative space
Mental access: To knowledge To extended expertise To collective intelligence To the community’s local issues To innovation through collaboration