Hilton Amsterdam

Apollolaan 138
Stadsdeel Zuid
H.A. Maaskant
F.W. de Vlaming en H. Salm
Tram 16 (halte Lairessestraat/Emmastraat)
Marlies Buurman & Flora van Gaalen, Room Service, Amsterdam 2007, p.50-51.

A modern crown of Minervalaan

The Hilton Amsterdam, the first international hotel in the Netherlands, was opened in 1962 by Prince Bernhard and Conrad Hilton. With its American ambience, it was immediately a focus of attention. It forms the northern crown of Minervalaan; one of the monumental axes in the famous Plan Zuid by H.P. Berlage (1917).

It was intended as a promenade between two prominent sites, namely the State Academy for the Visual Arts and Zuider Station (now Zuid/WTC). Following the decision in 1922 to realize the academy elsewhere in the city, the area at the junction Apollolaan-Minervalaan lay vacant for forty years. The Hilton Hotel now stands on this site; a modern presence amid the mainly Amsterdam School architecture of this district. The main structure of the hotel consists of a low base with facilities, with the hotel bedrooms in the building above. On the axis of Minervalaan, the building is angled and this is where the hotel entrance is situated. Internally, the hotel was organized in accordance with the Hilton philosophy: maximum use was made of standardized elements, such as identical rooms, functional workspaces and efficient circulation routes. These were combined with the unique features of the site. Hotel guests were, as far as possible, not confronted with the organization behind the scenes and they were able to relax undisturbed. In 1998, the hotel was given a radical makeover. The exterior and the lobby were refurbished by Skidmore, Owings & Merril (SOM). The rooms were redesigned by ZZ&P Architecten and furnished by Wilhelmine van Aerssen with fabrics, wallpaper and furniture by Nobilis of Paris. In 1998, the hotel was awarded the prestigious Hotel Design Excellence Award for this redevelopment. (ARCAM/BU/FG)