MIPIM Green Building Award for Kraanspoor office building with ArcelorMittal steel

Kraanspoor is a three-storey office building erected on an existing concrete structure: a crane track in an old industrial estate on the north bank of the River IJ near Amsterdam's city centre. The building's light steel structure was made of IPE and HE beams supplied by ArcelorMittal.

Detailed information

The project

Up until the mid 1970s the NDSM Naval Yard was still fully operational on the site. Abandoned since then, this rich industrial asset comprising docks, hangars, and port infrastructures provided opportunities for creating new urban activities. A town plan developed by the city provided for the establishment on the site of offices, business premises, cultural amenities, shops and, in the long term, also 7000 apartments.

The new project is built on an imposing concrete structure which also serves as a crane rail with two loading cranes. This structure is 270 m long, 8.7 m wide and 13.5 m high. Based on the alternative OTH office proposal, the town plan has been modified to prevent the destruction of this work and therefore to allow its redevelopment.

The concept behind the project is quite simple. It comprises a large transparent rectangular box 12.6 m wide and 10.6 m high, separated from the concrete structure and resting on steel posts within the structural frame. The architectural project favours moderate volumes and treatments in order to preserve the industrial character of the structure.

The re-use of an existing structure also imposed a major constraint on the project. A maximum floor area had to be created without having to radically reinforce the support work. Following a feasibility study, the load carrying capacity of these foundations was determined. A light structure, consisting of a steel framework and prefabricated mixed floors, enabled three levels to be created.  A total of approximately 10 000 m2 of office and common spaces have been constructed.

Structure and floors

The main framework consists of steel profiles with an HEB 300 section for the HEB 240 posts or the main beam. The stability of the building is achieved perpendicular to the hubs by tubular sections. The structural frame is based on 23-m modules which are divided into three fields of 7.67 m. In the transversal cross-section the structure is asymmetrical. On the port side, the cantilever extends 3.25 m from the axis of the posts. 

The floors are formed by prefabricated elements of the 'slimline' type. These floors consist of three IPE 270 profiles and a concrete slab enveloping the lower wing of the steel sections. The standard modules are 7225 mm long and 2400 mm wide, and are arranged in the longitudinal direction of the building. Supporting plywood panels between the steel profiles finish the floor. The steel beams of the slimline floors are flash-butt welded to the main beams.

The total structural height of the floor is only 398 mm: 70 mm of concrete, 3 mm of which overlaps the steel profile, 270 mm for the steel beam, 15 mm of acoustic sheet and 2 x 40 mm for the wooden floor. The fan coils, extraction networks, piping, wiring, etc. are incorporated within the floor. The maximum weight of this floor system does not exceed 250 kg/m2. A total of 660 tonnes of steel was used for the project.

The project began around June 2006 and was completed in November 2007.

The facade

The entire volume is enveloped by a double glazed facade. The interior facade consists of a wooden curtain wall with double glazed fillings throughout the free height of the plates. At each floor level there is a maintenance duckboard protected by a second glazed skin. This consists of directional glass air intake vents mounted on an aluminium structure. The air intake vents are driven by one electric motor for each floor.

The facade provides optimum natural lighting, good heating performance, and also gives an unrestricted view of the outside environment.

An environmental response

The project meets three environmental objectives:

Thanks to the preservation and redevelopment of the existing structure and the careful use of materials and resources, the Kraanspoor project demonstrates that a sound environmental approach is compatible with good integration of the site and architectural quality.

Different strategies were implemented for this project, including a lightweight structure, a double skin facade with directional air intake vents, cooling ceilings, the use of the heat inertia of the concrete floors, and natural ventilation.

The lightweight steel framework and the use of a mixed prefabricated floor undoubtedly contribute to the success of this project.

Additional information

Kraanspoor won the Green Buildings and Special Jury Award at the 18th international MIPIM awards in 2008 and the National Steel Construction Award 2008 in the category Office Buildings.

Supplementary technical information
Architecture: OTH

Project adviser: INBO Building Consultants, Woudenberg

Project information

  • Amsterdam
  • The Netherlands
  • Architect:
    OTH Project team: Trude Hooykaas, Julian Wolse/Steven Reisinger, Gerald Lindner
    initiative + design: Trude Hooykaas
  • 2006-2007
  • Client:
    ING Real Estate Development Netherlands, Den Haag
  • Engineering Firm:
    Aronsohn Raadgevende Ingenieurs, Rotterdam
  • Contractors:
    M.J. de Nijs en Zn., Warmenhuizen/Bot Bouw (Contractor)
    Wijnker van Lint (Structure)
    Huygen Installatie adviseurs (Fluides)
    Lichtveld, Buis & Partners BV (Building physics)
    Grontmij / Kats & Waalwijk (Project management)
    Slimline buildings B.V (Project management)
  • Photographer:
    © Christiaan de Bruijne, Rob Hoekstra, Fotostudio FdW - Fedde de Weert and Slimline