The futuristic pavilion ‘Living Tomorrow Amsterdam’ (2003), designed by the architectural office UNStudio, is also called ‘Huis van de Toekomst’ (‘house of tomorrow’) and its nickname is ‘kruimeldief’ (‘dustbuster’). It was originally intended as a temporary building that would be demolished after five years. It is still standing, however, and currently houses the music events organiser ID&T.
Living Tomorrow, the client who commissioned the pavilion of the same name, is an organization with various projects relating to living and dwelling in the future. It was set up in Belgium in 1991 when Brussels became capital of Europe. The innovation platform showcases the cutting-edge products and services of various companies and organizations, creating a vision of living and working in the future.
The first Huis van de Toekomst opened in 1995 in Vilvoorde (Belgium). It was a huge public success. In 2003, Living Tomorrow opened a similar concept in Amsterdam, designed by UNStudio. The building in Zuidoost, close to the ArenA and Heineken Music Hall, comprises two convex volumes, one vertical, the other horizontal. The verticality symbolizes the building’s future programme. The volumes are clad with profiled aluminium sheets and have large windows. Originally, the ground floor housed the entrance, an auditorium, events hall, exhibition space and offices. On the four floors above were exhibition spaces, a restaurant and other ancillary facilities. On view in the pavilion were various home automation, or domotica, devices – among other things, a mirror showing the latest news and traffic information, a refrigerator that registered its own contents and then ordered the shopping, as well as other technical innovations.
Temporary or permanent?
Living Tomorrow Amsterdam was built as a temporary building. It was to showcase the most advanced home automation appliances designed by the investment companies HP, Unilever and Philips, among others. After five years the Huis van de Toekomst would be outdated and so would be demolished. However, following the departure of Living Tomorrow in 2008, the pavilion lay vacant for some time and there was talk of bringing it back into use. The city council wanted to retain a hold on the area and so purchased the pavilion for some seven million euros. It is currently leased to the music events organizer ID&T. In 2015, ID&T are to relocate to the A’DAM Tower (the former Shell Tower in Overhoeks, next to EYE), which is to become a 24-hour music hub. The future plans for Living Tomorrow have yet to be announced.