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Construction started on MVRDV’s "crazy" Valley in Amsterdam

Netherlands - Sep 12, 2017 - 17:02   4196 views

Construction work has started on MVRDV's "crazy" mixed-use tower in Amsterdam - the mountain-like building, encompassing a total of 75,000-square-metre space, is located on the Amsterdam’s Central Business District Zuidas. Called Valley, MVRDV’s competition-winning design for OVG Real Estate was selected by the Municipality of Amsterdam in 2015 - the mountainous complex will include apartments, offices, an underground parking, a sky bar and various retail and cultural facilities. 

The design and programme try to find a balance between human scale, nature and the atmosphere of the business district. The project is expected to be completed in 2021, if everything goes on a plan.

Image © Vero Visuals

"In twenty years, the Zuidas area of Amsterdam has developed into the Netherlands main international business centre, which resulted in a reduced focus on residential interests," said MVRDV. 

Based on this, this massive Valley will be a part of the city’s ambition to revitalise this business district 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. 

MVRDV's Valley features three peaks composed of varied heights - and their 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 196 apartments, 7 stories of offices, a three-story 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. Piet Oudolf, internationally renowned landscape architect, will design all of Valley’s vegetation, focusing on a year-round green appearance. The project takes its name from this publicly accessible valley.

Image © Vero Visuals

The Valley is located in a transitive plot, which means it sits on the border between residential and commercial functions. The building creates a 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 overall form of the building is derived from the idea of transition. 

The studio places the residential volumes on top of the multifunctional plinth and pushes them to the very edge of the envelope, which causes the building to be read as one single entity. 

Image © MVRDV 

"In mirroring the corporate surroundings through of its reflecting glass exterior façade, the design acknowledges its corporate heritage and visually connects to its immediate neighbours," added MVRDV. 

"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."

Image © MVRDV 

"Valley combines residential apartments with a green environment that offers panoramic views of Amsterdam", said Winy Maas, MVRDV co-founder. 

"A lively plinth offering a range of commercial activities has some offices above and is topped finally with residences. The carving out of the resulting block ensures that it becomes less introverted than existing buildings in the Zuidas. There will be many terraces, both private and public, filled with people, flowers, plants and outdoor seating."

Image © MVRDV 

The ground floor of the Valley - called Grotto - will be publicly accessible to the public, and a large interior space will fully be covered with natural stone and lightened by two great skylights that double as water filled ponds on the valley above. The Grotto will function 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 forms a 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. 

Image © MVRDV 

The residential levels have large openable windows and sliding doors for outdoor spaces integrated within the stone facades. The studio will use natural stone in outdoor ceilings and terraces - and they will use fixed or automatically hydrated planters featuring various heights that facilitate Valley’s distinct green appearance. Full glass railings will help to protect residents against wind and sound without impeding on their panoramic views.

Image © MVRDV 

MVRDV is working closely with Arup to design a series of jagged, natural stone façade by using a parametric tool. This specifically-developed tool allows for much needed real-time control over quantities of daylight and sunlight, over structural limitations and required privacy, amongst other things. 

The outcome of design creates overall variation of Valley’s building volume - which means that no two apartments are alike, creating a wide variety of housing types with unique plans for its inhabitants.

Image © MVRDV 

"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," explained the studio.

MVRDV is working together with Deltavormgroep & Piet Oudolf on landscape design, Van Rossum for structural engineering, Deerns for Installations (HVAC), DGMR on building physics and energy efficiency strategy and Inbo for construction engineering. The investor is the RJB Group of Companies and contractors G&S Bouw and Boele & van Eesteren. 

Ground floor plan. Image © MVRDV 

1st floor plan. Image © MVRDV 

4th floor plan. Image © MVRDV 

5th floor plan. Image © MVRDV 

15th floor plan. Image © MVRDV

Top image © Vero Visuals

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