Amsterdam’s Alphabet Building is probably the most curious piece of architecture in the city. Its strikingly original façade is made of up the letters of the alphabet, that is, every letter except I and Q. It is still under construction, but when it’s finished it promises to be truly incredible.
Designed by MVRDV, the building is intended to provide much-needed office space for small and medium-sized companies. The philosophy behind the building is the increasingly ubiquitous concept of co-working. It offers a shared work space to a number of small businesses, who thereby save on costs and gain in synergies.
The completed building will have a floor space of 3200 m2 and meet the highest energy efficiency standards. Each letter on the façade represents a different business. That’s a lot of occupants, but what the building lacks in space it makes up for in flexibility, as it’s fully open-plan inside.
Aesthetically, the Alphabet Building is industrial in style, with extensive use of exposed concrete, aluminium and steel. The finished building will also have a large open-air area at the back.
Another peculiar feature of the building is its street number. In keeping with the general aesthetic, it takes the form of two giant perforated digits on the side of the building, which also let light through.
MVRDV was founded in Rotterdam in 1993 by Winy Mass, Jacob Van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries. The firm works to provide solutions to the challenges facing architecture and planning around the world.
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