ABN bank office building

Marius Duintjer
Algemene Bank Nederland
Tram 16-24-25
P.K.A. Pennink, Marius Duintjer Architect, Amsterdam Architectengroep Duintjer BV, 1986.
Bedrijven, Kantoren

Former head office with stock exchange

In the twenties, an office building was built on Vijzelstraat to a design by J.M. van der Meij. In 1955, the building partially collapsed when work was carried out on the columns of the arcade. Seven years later it was demolished. The Algemene Bank Nederland bought the land in 1966 and commissioned the architect M.F. Duintjer to design an extension to the head office, which was situated in the adjacent building by K.P.C. de Bazel. The functionalist Duintjer had worked with Le Corbusier and had designed a number of landmarks in Amsterdam, such as the Nederlandsche Bank and the Opstandingskerk (the ‘coal-scuttle’).

Duintjer designed a seven-storey building whose height conforms to its surroundings: on Vijzelstraat it adopts the height and setback of De Bazel’s building. The building has a clear facade organization of dark concrete floors and white columns, and fits in with the rhythm of Vijzelstraat, with the Carlton Hotel and the building by De Bazel. On both corners, it conforms to the height of the canal development. The building’s length is emphasized by the horizontal articulation of the facade, but is interrupted by a varied roof landscape, a number of large loggias and the passage to Kerkstraat.
On the ground floor, under the arcade, are the bank’s public functions, together with a number of shops. Above this are the stock exchange and five office storeys. On the setback top storey are boardrooms and conference rooms. When the new ABN-AMRO head office on Zuidas was completed, the building was given a different office function. (ARCAM/JEA/JW)