Inntel hotel by WAM Architecten


Delft studio WAM Architecten have completed a hotel that looks like a pile of houses in Zaandam, the Netherlands. Update: this project is included in Dezeen Book of Ideas, which is on sale now for £12.

Called Inntel hotel, the building features overlapping green wooden facades typical of traditional houses in the region.

The 11-storey building is forty metres tall and includes 160 rooms.

A conference centre is due for completion later this year.

Photographs are by Roel Backaert.

Here's some more information from the architects:

Striking hotel of stacked Zaandam houses

Design: Molenaar & Van Winden architecten/ WAM architecten

The new Inntel hotel in Zaandam is without a shadow of a doubt already the main eye-stopper in the revamped town centre and a building that has set many tongues wagging in the Netherlands. The iconic green wooden houses of the Zaan region were the fount of inspiration for the hotel’s designer, Wilfried van Winden (WAM architecten, Delft). The structure is a lively stacking of various examples of these traditional houses, ranging from a notary’s residence to a worker’s cottage. The hotel opens its doors to guests from 18 March.

A stack of traditional Zaandam houses

Wilfried van Winden envisages the hotel as a temporary home, alluding to that transience with the stack of houses. Visually speaking the structure is built up from a varied stacking of almost seventy individual little houses, executed in four shades of the traditional green of the Zaan region. The hotel is unique, familiar yet original and idiosyncratic. It is a design that could be realised only in Zaandam but at the same time transcends and reinvigorates local tradition. It was, moreover, specifically tailored to this site. ‘The Blue House’, inspired by the work Claude Monet painted at Zaandam in 1871, is the ultimate attention-grabber. The overall result is striking, the building exemplary for the Fusion Architecture that Wilfried van Winden champions. Fusion represents an inventive way of linking present and past, tradition and innovation, high culture and low. This generates a novel expressiveness that corresponds to specific local practices but is at the same time universal. ‘But architecture naturally makes a direct appeal to the emotions as well,’ notes Van Winden. ‘An acquaintance recently commented, “When I drive into Zaandam and see the building standing there a smile inevitably spreads across my face.” You could hardly ask for a more wonderful compliment.’

A new urban plan with an elegant new hotel

The town centre and station area of Zaandam, hub of the Zaanstad municipality in the province of North Holland, are currently being radically restructured. The ‘Inverdan’ urban redevelopment scheme was devised by Soeters Van Eldonk architecten, a plan that reinstates the historical street layout, reopens a canal and restores an atmosphere of congeniality to Zaandam’s heart. The development’s continuation above the provincial road and railway means that it also interconnects the urban districts on either side of this infrastructure.

The new hotel is an important building block, the first structure to be completed within the Inverdan plan. Providing 160 guest rooms, the hotel also offers a bar-restaurant, a swimming pool, and a wellness centre with a Finnish sauna and a Turkish bath. The conference accommodation is being built above the provincial road and is set for completion in autumn 2010. The hotel tower, with a footprint that is well-nigh square, is almost forty metres tall and has eleven floors. Constructed of timber and Eternit fibre cement cladding, the edifice is expressive, with varied fenestration, wide protruding sections, and elegant white eaves and barge-boards.

See also:


VitraHaus by
Herzog & de Meuron
Happy Street at
Shanghai 2010
Dezeen's top ten:

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Posted on Monday May 17th 2010 at 8:01 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy


    Houston, we have a problem … literature is possession of the architecture now… we don’t see anything… there are some nebulae

  • whoooo

    This is fantastic. The best thing I’ve seeen on Dezeen in a while.

  • pedro

    so… what material should we use in our bulding exterior this time?
    “House Texture.mat” then add some bump and displacement.

  • Therese Senac

    Courtesy of someone I know: “Well if there are Flats built on top of each other, why not build houses on top of each other”

  • Dare to be different. It is pleasant and interesting in appearance. We trust that it is as well built, as it is pretty.

  • Rich

    this is not an original idea at all.
    go look at 1920’s work of Circa call townhouse n the sky.

    I like the effect of it, but may be the designer should say a bit
    honest statement about what and where the idea come from??
    keep it real, dude.

  • I like their difference! ;)
    Hup Holland Hup!

    François Beydoun

  • Johan van Helden

    To build it is okay. Once. Like a joke it isn’t funny anymore when you repeat it. I’ll have a look at it when I’m in the area. Funny!

    This isn’t Architecture for sure but just Marketing for a Hotel. In Breukelen there is for years a hotel whitch look like a Chinese Palace, see
    All people know the building because its a Landmark and that’s it. It’s a Marketing-tool.

  • Annie

    This is what I used to do with my building blocks when I was 3 years old. How is there any ounce of creativity in literally stacking up old prototypes? Surely we are not regressing that far!!!

    Vitrahaus has a similar concept but much better executed. Better aesthetics too. Even Howl’s-moving-castle designed a better ‘stacked house’.

    This is a nightmare and a joke.

  • Jetwax

    Total Fun! Certain to remain an iconic building in Zaandam until somebody comes out with something even more outrageous. Visions of multiple Dorothys running from tornadoes and somehow the dwellings ended up in Zaandam d;-)

  • Gsus

    is this the work ofarchitects or was it the work of 5 year old dutch toddlers….
    the past should be respected its true, but not repeated… and never like that!!

  • None

    I am sick of ugly buildings made in the name of experiment and for the intelectual orgasm of their authors.

  • None

    Unfortunately, what I wrote is very true…

  • Queen

    Zaandam had a very dull and a bit depressing city centre. It really needed some humour, and this just put a smile on your face when you see it. I think it’s great and yes, not only the inhabitants like it, the tourists like it too. (I live not far from Zaandam and the city centre is now much better. )

  • esraa

    This was amazing with perfect ideas. I need this inspiration. Thanks a lot.