De Oliphant

Amstel III/Bullewijk
Hans van Egmond
G&S Vastgoed BV
Egbert Koster en Theo van Oeffelt (red.), Hoogbouw in Nederland 1990-2000, Rotterdam/Den Haag, NAi Publishers/Stichting Hoogbouw, 1997.

Office tower in post-modern guise

One of the first shamelessly postmodern office buildings in the business park Amstel III, which was developed around the Amsterdam ArenA stadium, was the office building De Oliphant (the elephant). This 65 metre high tower has a star-shaped footprint. The building’s core contains the lifts, stairwell and sanitary facilities. New towers have since been built in the vicinity, which as regards scale and height far surpass De Oliphant.

Because of the materials used – red granite and green glass – the building is reminiscent of American office buildings, and the style in which it is built, postmodernism, was particular popular in the United States. Using modern materials, postmodern architecture alludes to classical architecture. The architectural composition exhibits the classical division of base, middle section and crown. The base contains the entrance, which is located between office wings. The middle section has oddly staggered vertical bands of granite between the windows. The top of the building comprises a slightly setback office storey, above which is a projecting v-shaped roof. This mode of termination alludes to the classical cornice.

The programme – offices and parking – is no different from most of the other buildings in the area, or from American examples. The only aspect in which no attempt has been made to emulate the American example is the rather neglected landscaping around the building.