OMA completes industrial headquarters
for G-Star RAW in Amsterdam


Rem Koolhaas' OMA has completed the new Amsterdam headquarters of Dutch denim brand G-Star RAW, which features a concrete shell, a glass core and a hangar-like facade that slides open (+ slideshow).

G-Star RAW Amsterdam Headquarters by OMA

Located beside the A10 motorway in Amsterdam's industrial Zuidoost district, the G-Star RAW HQ was designed by OMA to embody the rough-and-ready aesthetic of the brand's military-inspired clothing, using stark materials and bulky volumes.

G-Star RAW Amsterdam Headquarters by OMA

The 140-metre-long building sits over a large plinth that raises it up to the level of the road. It is wrapped by a dark concrete frame that houses the supporting facilities, while the central section is a row of glass boxes that contain the company's creative departments.

G-Star RAW Amsterdam Headquarters by OMA

Described by the architects as a "creative nucleus", this section comprises a number of staggered floor plates and double-height spaces.

G-Star RAW Amsterdam Headquarters by OMA

It also includes a flexible multi-purpose zone that the brand can use for large-scale production, fashion shows or parties.

G-Star RAW Amsterdam Headquarters by OMA

This 20-metre-high space is fronted by sliding glass doors - sourced from an aircraft hangar manufacturer - that allow it to be either fully contained or exposed to the outside.

G-Star RAW Amsterdam Headquarters by OMA

"The shifting facade and changing uses of the RAW Space, together with the various possible uses of the plinth, will create a constantly varying appearance reflecting the inner dynamism of G-Star RAW," said OMA in a statement.

G-Star RAW Amsterdam Headquarters by OMA

One glass box projects out from the facade to cantilever over the building's entrance, creating a series of showrooms. This is surrounded by visitor facilities that offer framed views into the creative areas beyond.

G-Star RAW Amsterdam Headquarters by OMA

The building is completed by a large G-Star RAW logo that stretches across the facade as if it were a billboard.

G-Star RAW Amsterdam Headquarters by OMA

Photography is courtesy of OMA.

Here's the project description from the architects:


Situated next to the A10 in the industrial Zuidoost area of Amsterdam, the new HQ for G-Star RAW will consolidate G-Star RAW's disparate facilities into a single building that aims to stimulate interaction between various departments.

G-Star RAW Amsterdam Headquarters by OMA

The 27,500m2 horizontal building – 140 metres long – consists of a creative nucleus containing the core departments of G-Star RAW, which are enveloped by a ring of offices, parking and support facilities. The distinction between the support activities and the creative core is heightened through contrasting materials – a monolithic solidity rendered in black concrete for the ring, while the creative core is visible through the glass facade. The lower part of the ring forms a plinth for parking and drop off; the plinth also provides a location for installations and events.

G-Star RAW Amsterdam Headquarters by OMA

The main entrance is situated at the level of the plinth and is underneath a cantilevered glass box that houses G-Star's showrooms. This end of the building, distinct from the inner workings of G-Star, is dedicated to visitors; however there is still exposure of these inner workings through controlled views and access.

G-Star RAW Amsterdam Headquarters by OMA

Inside the creative core of the building, staggered floor plates and double-height spaces promote a dynamic exchange between the different creative departments allowing for cross communication. The RAW-space, a flexible multi-use zone, either open to the outside or concealed behind sliding hangar-type doors, provides a space for work and production, parties, and fashion shows. Oriented towards the A10, the shifting facade and changing uses of the RAW-space, together with the various possible uses of the plinth, will create a constantly varying appearance reflecting the inner dynamism of G-Star RAW.

G-Star RAW Amsterdam Headquarters by OMA

Project: headquarters for Dutch international fashion brand G-Star
Status: Completed
Clients: G-Star RAW C.V.
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Site: industrial regeneration area in southeast Amsterdam next to A10 ring road
Program: offices and creative spaces (19,000m2) and parking (8,500m2)
Partners-in-charge: Rem Koolhaas, Reinier de Graaf, Ellen van Loon

G-Star RAW Amsterdam Headquarters by OMA

Team (construction + interior): Katrien van Dijk (project leader), Michel van de Kar (associate), Tjeerd van de Sandt, Saskia Simon, Mario Rodriguez, Marina Cogliani, Jung-Won Yoon
Team (interior): Saskia Simon (project leader), Marlies Boterman, Marina Cogliani, Karolina Czeczek, Green van Gogh, Sarah Moylan, Mafalda Rangel, Tjeerd van de Sandt

G-Star RAW Amsterdam Headquarters by OMA

Team (SD/CD/TD): Richard Hollington III (associate in charge), Tjeerd van de Sandt (project leader), Fred Awty, Philippe Braun, Kaveh Dabiri, Katrien van Dijk, Hans Hammink, Mariano Sagasta, Koen Stockbroekx
Team (competition): Richard Hollington III (associate in charge), Fred Awty, Philippe Braun, Rob Daurio, David Gianotten, Shabnam Hosseini, Andreas Kofler, Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli, Lawrence Siu

G-Star RAW Amsterdam Headquarters by OMA

Tender documents: ABT
Structure consultant: ABT
MEP consultant: ABT
Building physics: DGMR
Contractor: Pleijsierbouw

  • sor perdida

    This is one of OMA’s projects that lacks any virtue, regardless its utilitarian purpose. Interior spaces show no definition and character – might be that an ordinary Ikea warehouse grafted into an airplane hangar was its source of inspiration.

    Originally the G-Star HQ competition was won by Wiel Arets, with a much more mature and elegant scheme. It would be interesting for Dezeen to rummage through its archive and post that one, too.

    • Onelab

      I have no idea why G-Star chose to ignore WAA competition winning design. It can’t be just the big name because Wiel Arets is a pretty big name too.

      I looked up the design and it feels pretty much similar on the inside. Why do you feel it is so much better then OMA’s design? Do you think that the vertical solution of WAA is better than the horizontal solution of OMA for instance?

      I would like to hear your thoughts on that.

      • sor perdida

        It appears to me that horizontality was not the main concern in OMA’s layout, although the concept of horizontality may have come across as a democratic workspace bait (i.e. a space where execs rub their shoulders with the janitors – that wondrous cafeteria, maybe?!).

        To me it looks like a cluttered collage of old OMA’s ideas rather that a thoroughly thought out project (the hovering showroom box or the huge sliding glass walls).

        The usual collective output of client/architect design meetings, where the parties brainstorm, strategise, envision and think outside the box a bland space whose mediocrity cannot be disguised by the Jean Prouve furniture or Marc Newson’s reception desk (the latter carefully edited out in the OMA-released shots). As it reached its stale corporate chrysalis, looks like Koolhaas has grown into a Donald Trump rather than a Steve Jobs.

        As far as I remember, Wiel Arets’ scheme was introducing a soft volumetric shift, thus addressing the highway dynamic context, yet with a strong, lofty circulation reminiscent of his MoMa extension proposal. It had a powerful intrinsic presence that today may have looked much fresher than OMA’s ruminations of its own glorious catalogue.

  • Popo

    Wow didn’t realise G-Star had that much money to build such an expensive building and pay the hefty fee that comes with hiring OMA.

    • suqsid

      I always thought G-Star was some kind of odd store brand that middle aged men buy to look “younger”. Probably have to reconsider my image of them.

      • Jan

        This building made you reconsider something?

  • Corpho

    Does the cafeteria serve protein sludge on metal trays? What a dreary environment. I doubt even a sunny day could cut through the gloom.

  • dadda

    The shopping mall style of this building goes together quite well with the image this brand has.

  • Onelab

    As someone who has actually worked on the project, saw the brief from G-Star and visited the building and has eaten the food served by the “cafeteria” (you wish you had one as G-Star has) I could say you are all dead wrong. But regardless off what I would say, you would still hate the building just because you want to.

    So I refrain from doing so. You are what we in Holland call azijnpissers. Look it up.

    • davvid

      I don’t doubt that it’s a very luxurious and well-designed building. Why does it lack the playful character of OMA’s better projects? Who set the tone? It seems extremely corporate… like Rothschild.

    • GMD

      Completely agree Onelab. Architects and the design profession at large are very quick to judge based on a few images on a website. It is almost impossible to know what that office feels like spatially from a few well taken photo’s.

      I believe very few architects / designers bothers to actually go out and experience buildings anymore, its far easier to tear them down from thousands of kilometres away on the internet. I could be totally wrong, but judging by the vitriolic nonsense that accompanies almost every posting, I fear we are all vanishing up our own backsides as the ultimate armchair critics. Much easier to criticise the work of others than try to accomplish anything ourselves. Sad times.

  • CongoChicago

    The content in this case being slate-grey pre-distressed jeans for that faux-edgy look.

  • lap it up

    That’s quite a chip on your shoulder, just add some salt and azijn.

    • They don’t have salt and vinegar flavour in Holland.

      • lap it up 2

        Ja toch – ga naar de Albert Heijn – daar hebben ze Kettle Salt en Vinegar :)

  • Jean Prouvé new chair?

    Anybody noticed the new Jean Prouvé swivel chairs and tables (in the 3rd pictures from the bottom)?

  • steve

    G-Star produces rather masculine, rugged clothing. Aimed at men who love to tinker with old motorcycles, chop wood and enjoy doing “manly” things (or so the marketing guys think).

    And then I see this building – engineering firm, insurance, train station? I don’t hate it, but I am as surprised as other commenters.

  • mimi

    Properly generic, finally.