Innovative, low-energy and totally unprecedented, our leggy head office for ING Group was the project that put us on the map in 2002, in our earlier incarnation as Meyer and Van Schooten Architects. Fourteen years later, we’re still going strong, and so is our iconic ‘dustbuster’ or ‘skate’, as our building is affectionately known. We developed the interior of the ING building together with OTH architecture office. The inner gardens where designed in collaboration with Michael van Gessel.
We developed the interior of the ING building together with OTH architecture office. Throughout the eight office floors are a variety of open and enclosed spaces, and the construction of the building is almost always visible – an industrial touch that adds to the feeling of transparency. Scattered throughout it on different floors are central meeting places, archways, courtyards and terraces – making a varied and stimulating environment with many different sightlines. The large cut-outs in the building enhance spatial quality and encourage communication. We framed panoramic city views in the larger, more public spaces, such as the restaurant, the large meeting room and the auditorium.
Highly unusual for the time, the interior of the ING building is characterised by a variety of interior gardens. These feature different planting schemes and so add a variety of landscapes to the building. Together with the various atria, loggias and patios, the gardens have a strong presence, due to the transparency of the building. Michael van Gessel designed the gardens and they provide visual enjoyment as well as helping people to find their way.
An unusual variety of plants brings the building to life. A ground level, visitors immediately see a bamboo garden, connecting directly with the entrance lobby. On the third floor is a garden with ferns and fig trees, while the fourth floor features a subtropical, jungle style garden with large tree ferns. Palms benefit from the sunny conditions on the south side of the building, while the roof has a patio with pine trees.
In 2015, ING Group moved its head office to a new location, and developer CBRE Global Investors took over the building. Under the new name Infinity, it is now business complex housing several different companies. As the architects, we were asked to support the redevelopment to ensure that the building’s distinct look and feel and functionality are preserved.