Architecture MondayNovember 23, 2015
You have a wharf. You have an old gantry, upon which a crane used to run. Used to run – now it is but a giant chunk of concrete, two parallel beams of immense size riding above the water. What do you do?
How about placing a delicate 3-story tall glass box atop that muscular form, connecting all with passageways and platforms? Yes, please. Thus was born the Kraanspoor on the former NDSM shipyard in Amsterdam. 135k square feet of office and amenities. A luminous extrusion that amazingly does not sit on the concrete, but instead floats ten feet above it. Brise soeils create a rhythm on the outside. From within, the space opens explosively outward.
Wonderfully done. A reinvigorating of a disused waterfront, the ingenious use of already-created foundation (avoiding the waste of demolition), and a simple elegant building. A triple shot of excellence.