Tax Office

ir. G. Friedhoff
Ministerie van Financien
Tram 6-7-10-20; metro 51-53-54.
ir. G. Friedhoff, 'Belastinggebouw te Amsterdam', Bouwkundig Weekblad 1960, p.577-81; ir. F.A. Vreede, M.J. Grund, 'De constructieve vormgeving van de gevel', Bouwkundig Weekblad 1960, p.582-84.

Former office building for tax service

The tax office building was built in 1958, to a design by the architect Friedhoff, on Wibautstraat, on a site occupied until 1939 by Weesperpoort station. The urban design scheme provided for two tall buildings, at the entrance to the widened Wibautstraat, which were to function as a gateway to the city. Originally, the height of the building was more than adequate for the programme of requirements, but on completion the building proved to be too small.

Friedhoff designed a ten-storey slab-shaped building with public functions on the ground floor and the first floor. Because the building is 22 metres deep, the architect designed a tall atrium in which daylight can easily penetrate. Friedhoff did not choose a glass curtain wall, which at that time was coming into fashion for large office buildings. He was of the opinion that a curtain wall loses its significance in a cityscape, while brick, by contrast, emphasizes the importance of a building. The facade consists of brickwork interspersed with horizontal concrete bands. The concrete frames around the wooden window frames are unusual. The interior is embellished with stained-glass windows and non-figurative decorations. In 1997, the building was renovated and adapted to house the educational courses of Amsterdam’s university and polytechnic. The entrance was relocated from Wibautstraat to the rear of the building. (ARCAM/VK)