The new headquarters of PVH Europe is located in Amsterdam’s Houthaven, a former dock and business park currently undergoing a transformation. Houthaven was built in the nineteenth century as an import and export dock for the international timber trade. After the Second World War, timber was increasingly transported by road, as a result of which Houthaven lost its function and became a business park. Since 2010, Amsterdam City Council has been developing the area into a climate-neutral residential neighbourhood. To this end, seven new islands are being constructed in the IJ. In addition, there are to be buildings with public functions, such as Theater Amsterdam, for example, and the school ‘4e Gymnasium’, both of which were completed in 2014.
A building like a ship
As an eyecatcher, Porcellis marks the furtherst tip of Danzigerkade. The exterior of this office building alludes to the cruise ships and yachts that sail past on the IJ. White aluminium and glass are the dominant materials used. The building cantilevers slightly over the water like the prow of a ship. The canopy, which projects some seven metres towards the water, reinforces this effect. With a height of fifty metres, Porcellis is twice as high as the other buildings on Danzigerkade. The offices and the roof terrace afford a spectacular view over Amsterdam and the dock area.
The building contains, among other things, 13,000 m2 of office space, a café/restaurant, a parking garage and, as PVH Europe is a fashion company with brands such as Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger in its portfolio, a number of showrooms. The interior is transparent and flexible with open floor plans and glass walls. Thanks to the warm wooden accents on the ceilings and walls the interior has a warm ambience, which contrasts with the building’s cool exterior. Because the café/restaurant on the ground floor is open to the public, the building connects with the neighbourhood.