Delft studio WAM Architecten have completed a hotel that looks like a pile of houses in Zaandam, the Netherlands.
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.
Herzog & de Meuron
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