De Nederlandsche Bank


 
Frederiksplein
Weteringschans
Amsterdam
M.F. Duintjer
Ministerie van Financien
Tram 4-6-7-20
J.J. Vriend, 'De nieuwe Nederlandsche Bank - Vormgeving en situering', Bouw 1968-23, p.932-936; M.F. Duintjer, 'De Nederlandsche Bank N.V. te Amsterdam', Bouwkundig Weekblad 1968-25, p.418-28
1968
Kantoren
 

Bank building on Frederiksplein

In the sixties, De Nederlandsche Bank building was one of the most talked-about buildings in Amsterdam. This was largely due to the site on which it was built: the Paleis voor Volksvlijt, a symbol of openness and accessibility, used to stand in Frederiksplein. In 1929 the building was largely destroyed by fire and a last remnant was demolished in 1960.

In 1954, a limited competition had been organized for a new building for De Nederlandsche Bank, which was then situated on Nieuwe Turfmarkt. In the second stage of the competition, the design by Marinus Duintjer was chosen as the most suitable, but it was decided that the bank should relocate to Frederiksplein. This site had previously been allocated for a new town hall, combined with an opera house. Duintjer designed a 66-metre-high tower, surrounded by a 120-metre-wide and 100-metre-deep rectangular building. It stands on an air-raid shelter and three vaults containing the country’s gold reserves. The elevations of the low-rise structure consist of closed facade surfaces interspersed with large areas of glass. The facades of the tower have concrete spandrel panels clad with brown tiles. Although in those days a bank was no longer regarded as an impregnable fortress, like the Nederlandsche Middenstandsbank by De Bazel & Berghoef in Vijzelstraat, Duintjer’s design is not an entirely successful example of an open building. It is lifeless openness rather than lifeless enclosure. In 1991, a fourteen-storey circular cylinder, designed by J. Abma of Abma + Dirks + Partners, was added on to the building. On the building’s north facade is a sculpture by the artist Zadkine. (ARCAM/VK)