Cancer Center Amsterdam (CCA)

De Boelelaan 1117
Stefan de Koning, Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs, Nathalie de Vries, Stefan Witteman
De Meeuw Bouwsystemen
VU Medisch Centrum
Metro Amstelveenseweg
Kantoren, Voorziening

Cancer Centre Amsterdam

A prominent sight where Amsterdam’s A10 orbital motorway skirts the Zuidas development area is a large blue and red boxlike volume. Now that student housing in shipping containers is an accepted idea, the building might be mistaken at first glance for a modern student hall of residence. A closer look reveals that it does not consist of stacked containers. It is a temporary facility for Cancer Centre Amsterdam, designed by the architecture firm MVRDV.

The institute is a branch of the VU University Medical Centre and specializes in cancer research. The building houses a research institute, laboratories and offices. The adjacent hospital was due for refurbishment and enlargement, making it necessary to provide new accommodation during renovation. A narrow strip of land was available for this purpse between the existing VU facility and the A10 motorway. The constricted site necessitated a horizontal design. The resulting five storey volume is elevated on stilts, leaving the body of water over which the building is constructed visible. Fire escape stairways are contained within the volume.

The container-likd appearance is an outcome of the building system used by the construction company De Meeuw, in which practically ready-to-use modules were stacked on one another. The units were all painted in distinct colours to reinforce the visual effect. Besides providing easy access, the siting alongside the A10 motorway has the advantage that the building occupies a highly visible location. Making the most of this prominence, the abbreviated name of the institute CCA is painted in large letters on the facade.(ARCAM/LM)