In an effort to address a lack of available office space for small- to mid-size commercial businesses in Amsterdam, Netherlands-based MVRDV has composed an unusual alternative. The design of the Alphabet Building in Rotterdam is a highly flexible, 3,200 sq m facility, arranged to enable a variety of businesses to resituate themselves on the site of this former port.
MVRDV explains: “The creative industry has seemingly unrealistic demands when it comes to office locations: an incubator of creative ideas which is spacious and inspiring with a differentiating design at a great location with car access. The Alphabet Building in the Amsterdam port refurbishment Minervahaven unites all these qualities.”
Internally the building’s finishes are to be left somewhat rough and ready, with harsh materials such as concrete, aluminium and steel creating the desired loft-like effect. The letters of the alphabet have been inserted into the building’s front facade, enabling the resident businesses to select either a single letter unit or a series, for example, the design studio Thonik has already requested to occupy the top floor of letters A to F.
Due to space constraints, the letters I and Q have been removed from the front facade and will be redistributed inside. The complex itself will sit on a 30m by 30m transparent plinth with circulation and external courtyards situated to the buildings rear. Construction is due to complete in 2012.