With its curved cubic structure, diamond-shaped windows and spacious atrium featuring a 42-metre high glazed roof, the new Hilton Amsterdam Airport Schiphol hotel is an impressive landmark. Located at the main access roads to the airport, the hotel acts as the final chord of the staccato rhythm of the buildings along Schiphol boulevard. From its plinth, the hotel is rotated by 45 degrees. This gives the building not only momentum, but also creates a visual connection to Schiphol Boulevard, the Ceintuurbaan and the adjoining office strip. A covered walkway, the Traverse, connects the hotel to the airport terminals. The connection brings travellers directly from the terminals to the meeting centre, and further into the atrium. By gradually descending to ground level at the hotel entrance, the Traverse also creates a physical link between the plinth and upper level while improving the connection to the new development The Base and the office park along the Evert van der Beekstraat.
The distinctive diagonal pattern of the hotel exterior serves to emphasise the iconic appearance of the building. The combination of glass and composite panels in white and grey creates a large scale diamond pattern with subtle shine and relief, making the building recognisable from a substantial distance. At the same time, the facade pattern strengthens the unity of the three building volumes – the plinth, the guest room tower and the Traverse – while blurring the boundaries between the individual rooms and floors.
A welcoming atrium with a 42-metre high glazed roof is the main meeting area and forms the heart of the hotel. Mecanoo designed the atrium to have a strong identity. Its size, the indoor gardens and the light horizontal lines of the white balustrades that reflect daylight deep into the building provide an air of grandeur. Wooden slats, frames and lining create refinement and a natural, luxurious appearance. From the smoothly winding galleries, guests have spectacular views of the atrium. The advanced LED lighting system incorporated into the atrium ceiling allows for the creation of a variety of atmospheres. The atrium also provides a role in the energy saving climate concept. Outside air is filtered before it is introduced into the atrium where the air is preconditioned for the rooms. This results in a reduction of energy consumption. State-of-the-art acoustic measures bring a comfortable human scale to the impressive space.
The hotel with 433 rooms and 1,700 square metres of meeting and event space will be the airport’s leading conference venue. The ballroom and a total of 23 board room and meeting rooms are located over the first and second floor, surrounded by areas to welcome guests, to meet and to convene. The elongated restaurant is located on the ground floor along the facade, drawing passers-by at Schiphol Boulevard inside. The three top floors of the hotel form the executive area, with a large centrally located a large Executive Lounge on the 10th level offering panoramic views on the airport and the city of Amsterdam beyond. London-based The Gallery HBA designed the interiors with a Dutch touch, giving travellers a ‘home away from home’ in a location that is all about moving on.
Mecanoo architecten, founded in 1984 in Delft, The Netherlands, focusses on process, consultation, context, urban scale and integrated sustainable design strategies to create culturally significant buildings with a human touch. Over thirty years, Mecanoo has become an internationally renowned architecture practice that continues to thrive, developing projects that seek identity in a globalised world.
Francine Houben is the creative director of a team that has grown to include over one hundred and sixty people with Aart Fransen as technical director, Peter Haasbroek as executive director and partners Ellen van der Wal, Paul Ketelaars, Francesco Veenstra, and Dick van Gameren. Houben sees the office as a symphony orchestra, bringing together urbanism, landscape, architecture, restoration and interior design in a coherent way, with a unique sensitivity for light and beauty. The Architects’ Journal named Francine Houben as the 2014 Woman Architect of the Year.