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The Edge, Amsterdam
Sustainable office building by PLP architecture

Hotdesking and hotel lobby - ""The Edge"" in Amsterdam by PLP Architecture is currently considered the most sustainable office building in the world. The employees move through new working worlds with an in-house app and look for a new desk every day.

Even if the big hype about Superdutch has died down a bit: Dutch urban developers are still thinking big. ""Zuidas"" (South Axis) is a new business district in the south of Amsterdam's old town, which is to grow to 270 hectares by 2035. Schiphol Airport is only a taxi ride away. Banks are moving into their headquarters there, high-rise residential buildings and large office complexes are under construction. An interesting new addition to Zuidas is the office building ""The Edge"" by London-based PLP Architecture: 40,000 square metres of office space organised around a building-high atrium. The main tenant is Deloitte, a globally active auditing and consulting firm, which had a decisive influence on the architects' design. ""Even at the first meeting with Deloitte, the main topic was how the employees and clients would feel in the building, what we wanted to achieve for the working atmosphere with the building,"" reports Ron Bakker, partner at PLP Architecture.

In a company where the employees pursue very different activities, the architecture should strengthen the awareness of being part of the whole: The atrium with cafés and restaurant, where all paths cross, became the heart of the building. Ron Bakker sums up the new working world: ""You only have to look at the offices of Google and Microsoft: They look like hotel lobbies"". With a view to the future of work, the architects, together with Deloitte, took a close look at work processes and in the end decided on ""hotdesking"": There are only 1000 desks for 2500 employees. An in-house app helps employees choose their desk every day, depending on whether they need quiet or company. ""Employees spend only 30-40 per cent of their working time at their desks, the rest of the time they are in meetings or on the road. There is nothing more sustainable than not building something you don't need,"" sums up Ron Bakker.

However, sustainability is not only evident in the renunciation. ""The Edge"" was rated ""outstanding"" with 98.36 per cent according to the British BREEAM certification system and is currently considered the most sustainable building in the world: it thus wrestled first place from ""One Embankment Place"" in London, a 1990s office building by TP Bennett. ""In the Netherlands,"" says Ron Bakker, ""sustainability is becoming an important criterion when choosing a place to work.""

To obtain the coveted certificate, every tiny aspect of the building was checked for sustainability: from electricity consumption to the heating and cooling system to the plastic sheathing of the cables. ""The Edge"" uses geothermal energy for heating and cooling, and a 65,000 square metre photovoltaic system was installed on the roof together with the University of Amsterdam. As a result, the new building consumes 30 per cent less electricity than a conventional office building. The architecture has contributed to the utilisation of sunlight and daylight with the orientation of the structure and the glass façades.

  • Products: GROHE Blue & GROHE Red
  • Country: Netherlands
  • Location: Amsterdam
  • Area Size: 40,000 m²
  • Developer: PLP Architecture


Filtered, chilled and sparkling drinking water is available to all employees to reduce the use of plastic bottles. In the office of project developer OVG Real Estate on the 13th floor, the water also comes from GROHE Blue and Red faucets, which were specially developed for drinking water in style. Customers are greeted in the kitchen rather than at the reception desk and can quench their thirst themselves. "We have always used GROHE products," says Ron Bakker, "they are very high quality and look good. But these water systems were new to me. I would love to have one at home in my kitchen." The interweaving of work and leisure - in Amsterdam you can already catch a glimpse of the future.


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