Hello, I am A’DAM

I’m the big tower behind Amsterdam’s Central Station. Yes, the one beside the spaceship-like EYE Film Institute. I’m a building of 22 stories, with many more to tell.

I can see everything: from Amsterdam’s historic centre, to the harbour and the vast flat polder landscape. I can even spot your house from here. By the end of 2015, I’ll be able to share this breathtaking 360° view from my observation deck.I’ll be a fabulous party host and create things that thrill the senses. I’ll be open day and night, 25 hours a day, 8 days a week.

A’dam Toren is the new name for ‘Toren Overhoeks’. The 80m tower was designed by the architect Arthur Staal as a commission by Royal Dutch Shell. In fact, the tower is also affectionately known as the ‘Shell-toren’ by many Amsterdammers. It was officially opened in 1971, and was home to the multinational oil company until 2009.

A’dam is proud of its roots – as it boldly claims the well- known abbreviation of Amsterdam. The brand name A’dam is also an acronym for ‘Amsterdam Dance and Music’, which reflects the core business of three of the four partners and anchor tenants: AIR, ID&T and MassiveMusic.

Staal designed the office tower at 45° to the IJ waterfront. This diagonal position (‘overhoeks’ in Dutch) gave the building its first name – and, in fact, defines much of A’dam’s edgy, innovative and surprising personality.
From June 2014, A’dam will be redeveloped into a mix of offices, entertainment venues, a hotel and an observation point with a revolving restaurant. A’dam will be a multifunctional, or mixed-use development, with three main aspects:

– a destination attraction (observation deck/hotel/restaurants/bar/nightclub)
– an incubator/catalyst for progressive music
–  a beacon and hub for the local creative community

Watch this rather tall space. I’ll be a tower of many talents. A place where one can work & play, eat & sleep. I’ll house a spectacular observation deck, a hotel, a daring nightclub and several top-notch restaurants and bars. In case I forget, my upper floors will spin right round (like a record baby).Sandwiched between the attractions will be stylish offices. I’ll be the new home for ID&T, MassiveMusic and a medley of young creative companies. I’ll be a creative hub that breeds interaction and collaboration. An environment where creativity can flourish, and where nobody is in a hurry to go home.

A’dam Lookout
The crown and top layers of A’dam will be central to an iconic observation point. In less than two years, visitors will be able to overlook Amsterdam from an indoor and outdoor panorama deck. A unique experience that will take in the city’s historic centre, the harbour and the vast flat polder landscape.

Heaven will be the spacious new bar situated on the top floor, right under the crown. It will be open for beer(s), cocktails and fine food. At the weekend, Heaven will transform into Amsterdam’s highest dance floor.

Panorama Restaurant
The Panorama Restaurant on the 19th floor rotates 360 degrees Amsterdam and its surroundings. This light-filled restaurant will turn lunch & dinner into a memorable event.

Floor 16
The 16th floor is an exclusive space where the Music & Dance industry will welcome international guests. It will also be available for rent to host product launches, presentations, weddings, fashion shows, meetings, seminars, etc. The south side of this extraordinary space is twice as high as the rest of the tower, and will have vertigo-inducing floor-to-ceiling windows.

A’dam & Co.
On the 18th floor, A’dam will offer creative business people and cultural entrepreneurs the opportunity to meet, greet and share ideas as part of ‘A’dam & Co.’ members club. Registration will open soon.

Creative Offices
The head-quarters of international music companies ID&T and MassiveMusic will relocate to A’dam sometime in 2015. Under their wings, Nachtlab will assume a prominent role as an incubator for new creative talent in Amsterdam, including event organisers, musicians, audio engineers, bookers, designers, content producers, etc.
In addition, other established creative companies and start-ups will join A’dam’s creative forces.

A’dam will house a hotel over five floors with 120 rooms. The hotel will attract discerning travellers, recording artists or visitors of the night club who want to spend the night in a stylish and captivating environment. The hotel offers affordable luxury, personalised service and, of course, breathtaking views of Amsterdam.

Living Lobby
The hotel will have an unconventional ‘living lobby’. An open ground floor area comprising of a café and terrace where visitors, hotel guests, office employees and locals can enjoy light snacks or sumptuous cuisine 24/7, whilst savouring the ever-changing view of the river IJ.

In between the hotel and Living Lobby a transparent gym will arise in the midst of the legs of the building for hotel guests, office employees and locals.

In Nachtlab’s professional recording, mixing and rehearsal studio’s international DJs, producers and musicians will work on new music together with local talent. As a result, music will literally be running through A’dam 24/7.

As Heaven is perched on top of the tower, Hell is in the basement. Housed in a newly constructed underground bunker – with thick concrete walls to isolate and sound proof – Hell nightclub will provide a unique party and dance experience in Amsterdam. The subterranean space will also be available for exhibitions, shows and presentations. And, to think that the city’s gallows (or ‘galgenveld’) were situated here?

I’ll undergo a 21st century makeover from June 2014. The outdated, drab and cramped spaces of my 1970s interior will make way for a more contemporary, stylish and sustainable design. It’s more reinvention than regeneration. Bowie rather than botox. And don’t worry, my celebrated modernist complexion (as created by Arthur Staal) will survive the facelift.

I can’t wait to raise the roof. However, I must warn you that the soundtrack of swinging wrecking balls and pneumatic drills will be pretty loud, during reconstruction. So, before you get mad: I’m sorry.

Building philosophy
The (re)development of A’dam is a unique transformation project and the perfect example of the rezoning of empty office space. Originally a mono-functional office tower for 400 employees, A’dam will be transformed into a multi- functional building visited by 2,500 people on a daily basis.

The redevelopment respects the original vision and architecture of Arthur Staal. The characteristic trichotomy of the dark hull on white legs and the twisted white crown will remain integral features of the tower. The design by Claus & Kaan Architects adds the following features:

  • Replacement of the existing shed by a diagonal accessible panorama deck
  • Addition of a transparent round volume under the shed with a rotating restaurant amongst others
  • Replacement of the existing façade with a similar concrete look & feel but with larger and transparent windows
  • Addition of a transparent space under the legs (in between the tower and the plinth building) for a fitness and gym
  • Reconstruction of the existing plinth building in the original architecture with two lobbies for all users and visitors
  • Addition of an extra underground room for event, clubbing, symposia and exposition purposes
  • Addition of a public underground parking area or approx. 200 cars under the square between the tower and ‘Grootlab’.
  • Making the building sustainable by isolating the façades and roofs, the usage of warmth and cold from the soil and the application of energy efficient installations.
  • All (building) partners consider sustainability of great importance.

In addition, A’dam is the textbook example of ‘the new redevelopment’ with the four partners not only investing in the tower, but also being closely involved as tenants/users once it’s finished. As future owners of the building, they see their role not simply as property developers but creative place makers.

The iconic tower that many Amsterdammers immediately recognise as part of their city will be given back to them. It will be a catalyst for the regeneration of the Overhoeks area – and, once again, Amsterdam North will become a definitive part of the city. Not long ago, the New York Times called the region the “red-hot art neighborhood” and Amsterdam’s new creative centre.