At the heart of Amsterdam nightlife, the bustling Leidseplein is due to undergo a pedestrianised makeover, including a new Grand CafĂ© Heineken Hoek, one of Â Amsterdamâs top cafĂ©s, to replace the old, outdated building on the corner of the square.
Together with Heineken Nederland, our client Caransa Groep aimed to radically transform the existing building in order to reposition the Heineken Hoek in a qualitative sense via striking and high-quality architecture. The existing building does not fit in well with the surrounding structures, and this landmark location in the middle of the Leidseplein also deserves a state of the art and prestigious building.
We won the design competition for this prestigious project in 2011, which is expected to be completed in 2021.
Caransa Groep B.V.
Heineken Nederland B.V.
The building dates from around 1900. A taller section was built on the side facing the Leidseplein, and a lower section was built on the side facing the Kleine-Gartmanplantsoen. At a later stage, the adjoining building on the Kleine -Gartmanplantsoen was added to the Heinekenhoek. This is reflected in the faĂ§ade sections. The three large dormers were added to the lower middle section in a later phase. The existing plinth and storeys do not reflect the design of the original corner building. However, an attempt was made to create a consistent overall image via the use of colour.
The building is not a listed monument on a national or municipal level. The building has a very limited historical value. Heineken Hoekâs new plans form an integral part of the urban renewal plans currently being implemented in and around Leidseplein. Heineken Hoekâs new design was carefully created to blend in with its new setting, in close consultation with Amsterdamâs spatial planning department. The new design adds a certain calm and coherency to the squareâs look and feel, thanks to its transparency, the use of high-grade durable materials and harmonization with neighbouring buildings.
Heineken Hoek’s new design was carefully created to blend in with its new setting, in close consultation with Amsterdam’s spatial planning department. The design also conformed with the city council’s urban-planning framework for Leidseplein, as well as other criteria for the city centre as a whole, as formulated in its policy document.
In 2011, a competition was organised for the design of a new building at the Heineken Hoek site. In collaboration between Caransa Groep and Heineken Nederland and in close consultation with the Municipality of Amsterdam, our design was selected.
The new building will have six storeys and a basement. The construction height of the new building will match the construction heights of the connecting buildings. The roof structure will be set back in a similar fashion to the surrounding buildings, forming the desired end structure for the premises.
At the city councilâs request, the existing conservatory will make way for a transparent awning covering a terrace and entrance ways. The entire ground-floor faĂ§ade has outward-opening doors.
The vertical window layout blends seamlessly with the city centreâs streetscape and the choice of a double faĂ§ade gives the building a particularly light and airy feel. The new interior splits the bar and cafĂ© across basement, ground-floor and first-floor levels. Upper floors will be converted into a new four-star hotel. This new combination of activities in conjunction with the Heineken Hoekâs new architectural design will enhance numerous aspects of the surrounding area.
The new building will have a double faĂ§ade, which means there will be an inner faĂ§ade and a glass outer faĂ§ade.
The inner faĂ§ade will be made from white cladding with subtle, triangular, triple-relief patterning. This material, colour and the three different depths will continue into the roof, with the same elements determining the look.
The outer faĂ§ade is made up of triangular pieces of glass mounted at varying angles to create a diamond effect.
The new designâs glass, diamond-shaped faĂ§ade makes a reference to the famous Koh I Noor diamond â Persian for âMountain of Lightâ. This diamond was cut for the British Royal Family by one of Amsterdamâs leading diamond cutters, Levie Voorzanger, in 1852.
In the evening, the interior surface of the faĂ§ade is lit up by energy-efficient LED lighting.
âThe transparent diamond-shaped faĂ§ade will give the Leidseplein a fresh and spectacular look.â
The new plan for the Heineken Hoek is an integral part of the urban renovation of the Leidseplein and its surroundings.
Via the choice for a transparent and consistent image, the use of sustainable materials, and a construction height in line with the neighbouring buildings, the new design will inject a measure of calm and quiet into the look and feel of the Leidseplein and its perception by neighbours and visitors. A provisional design for the new building was prepared in consultation with the Spatial Planning Department of the Municipality of Amsterdam.
The design is in line with the building envelope set out by the municipality and the points of departure for the city centre, as formulated in the policy document âthe Beauty of Amsterdamâ. The plan was submitted to and evaluated by the Aesthetics and Listed Buildings Committee. The feedback received was then used in working out the further details of the plan, leading to the definitive and approved design.
From the outset, all parties involved in the design process have been working towards making the building as sustainable and energy-efficient as possible, in compliance with the rating of BREEAM, the benchmark in sustainable design and development for buildings in the Netherlands, aiming for an âExcellentâ rating.
Relevant measures include:
Reuse of materials
High-quality insulation materials
Sustainable materials (e.g. FSC wood)
Lighting system with motion sensors and daylight regulation
Water-saving toilet settings
Ventilation system with COâ regulator
Taking the existing flora and fauna into consideration
Monitoring installations in order to raise awareness of energy consumption
Responsible management of waste: separation and minimisation
Making use only of BREEAM-NL certified companies to carry out the project
In 2015, the design team collaborated with BREEAM-NL expert DGMR Bouw B.V to formulate the BREEAM-NL Excellent sustainability ambition. The investment involved in realising this lofty ambition will partly be funded by investment credit and operational savings. In addition, it will ensure a better building: healthier, greener and cleaner.
It is prudent to ensure the BREEAM objectives and corresponding responsibilities (both sole and joint) are clearly communicated to all participating parties. For this purpose, a credit matrix is an extremely useful instrument in order to provide clarity: the intuitive and convenient presentation of the credits that must be earned gives instant insight into who bears final responsibility for the credits in question, but also which parties must provide information for this purpose.
It is therefore also important that all parties look beyond just their own credit-related responsibilities: the focus must be on achieving the collective objectives rather than oneâs own objectives.