Fort Cortina by Karelse & den Besten

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Fort Cortina by Karelse and den Besten

Clay bricks infused with metal shavings make up the orthogonal exterior of an office and warehouse in Amsterdam designed by a graphic design agency.

Fort Cortina by Karelse and den Besten

Rotterdam studio Karelse & den Besten, who usually design brochures and logos, completed for the headquarters for gift retailer Cortina alongside a construction management team from TPAHG architecten.

Fort Cortina by Karelse and den Besten

The wharf building named Fort Cortina is located on the site of a former shipyard and was modelled on traditional Moroccan forts.

Fort Cortina by Karelse and den Besten

Behind the brick exterior, three floors of offices and stockrooms surround a cedar-lined courtyard at the building’s centre.

Fort Cortina by Karelse and den Besten

Staggered floor plates create balconies overlooking this courtyard, while additional terraces can be found on the building’s sedum room.

Fort Cortina by Karelse and den Besten

A few other large buildings with brick exteriors have recently been featured on Dezeen - see our earlier stories about a community centre in Hungary punctured by square windows and apartment blocks in Prague with herringbone patterned facades.

Fort Cortina by Karelse and den Besten

Photography is by Sjaak Henselmans, Marcel van der Burg and Jan Derwig.

Fort Cortina by Karelse and den Besten

The following details are from the architects:


Fort Cortina

As a graphic design agency we already had a long cooperation with Cortina, a wholesale in gift items, before they asked us to design their new headquarters. It was our first architectural assignment.

Fort Cortina by Karelse and den Besten

Fort Cortina is built on the premises of the NDSM-wharf, a former shipyard located on the banks of the river IJ in Amsterdam.

Fort Cortina by Karelse and den Besten

In this harsh environment we designed an office and warehouse building that looks like a Morrocan fort.

Fort Cortina by Karelse and den Besten

A monolithic structure, rough on the outside with metallized brick walls and smooth on the inside patios that are lined with cedar wood.

Fort Cortina by Karelse and den Besten

The dynamic lay-out of the facades is a reflection of the different rooms that vary in height and size. A result of our intention to make an exciting interior with small and big views over the river. Rooms to hide and rooms to expose.

Fort Cortina by Karelse and den Besten

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A commercial building that almost fits like a home. The patios at the hearth of the building are inspired on a monastery tour.

Fort Cortina by Karelse and den Besten

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A space for reflection and a way to give light to the interior and to create outdoor recreation areas with footpaths on the roof, which is planted with sedum for an optimal indoor climate control.

Fort Cortina by Karelse and den Besten

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Architects: Karelse & den Besten, Rotterdam
Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Project year: 2008
Project area: 1000 sqm

Fort Cortina by Karelse and den Besten

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Cliënt: Cortina, Amsterdam
Project management: TPAGH architecten, Hoorn
Contractor: Klies & Jozef Bouw, Volendam

  • http://twitter.com/architecturally @architecturally

    I'd call it architectural suprematism… Cool and quirky.

  • http://www.hogarismo.es hogarismo

    clay bricks for an exterior of an office?! To be honest I do not like it at all, I would never make my office like this

  • http://www.dailynewdeals.com/Kohls/Kohls_Coupons_Deals.html Edwardrich

    the designs is amazing just love it.Both interiors & exteriors are awesome

  • alex

    The interior detailing is horrible – ugly, dated and depressing; certainly not what you'd expect from that first photo. A great building to walk past on the street but a very poor one to work in.

  • henry ford

    a long time ago in britain there was a car named the ford cortina
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thu

  • http://www.zazous.co.uk/ nick austin

    I agree. Inside and out it says 'Young Offenders Institute' The light well/courtyard area is particularly grim.

  • Onelab

    @hogarismo:
    I'm curious as to why you would never use bricks to build the facade of on office building? In the Netherlands is pretty common to use this.
    @Alex:
    I agree, Exterior is nice but the interior is no way near as nice. It's very common and boring. Absoluty no reference to the facade. Especially the courtyards are very poor.
    The would have been better off working together with an interior designer and a good gardenarchitect.
    Looking at the plan, so much more could have been done with natural lighting and see throughs.
    It's to bad they didn't exaggerate the fort-theme more