RAI Amsterdam

Zuidas Amsterdam, aan de ring A10
Mels Crouwel, Heymen Westerveld, Noortje ter Heege, Willem Jan van der Gugten, Pepijn van der Kroft, Volker Krenz, Jerome Latteux
Benthem Crouwel Architects
RAI Amsterdam
Aan de Stegge Twello
Infra, Openbare ruimte

The RAI in Amsterdam is an international exhibition and conference centre. Founded in 1893, the society ‘Rijwiel en Automobiel Industrie’ (bicycle and motorcar industry) has developed into the world’s busiest exhibition and conference centre. Since the RAI relocated to its current site in 1961, the complex has been extended on a number of occasions. The most recent addition to the complex, completed in August, is the parking garage.

House architect Benthem Crouwel Architects
The new parking garage was designed by Benthem Crouwel Architects. This office has been architectural supervisor for the entire RAI complex since 1989. Among the buildings Benthem Crouwel Architects has designed over the past twenty years are Amtrium (2015) and Elicium (2009). The parking garage is the office’s most recent project for the RAI.

The parking garage has a sleek, rectangular form. It is thirty metres high and has eight parking levels. The building distinguishes itself from other parking garages by its multifunctional spaces. With a height of 7.2 metres, the first level is higher than the other parking levels and so can be used as an additional conference space. Moreover, it can be connected, by means of sliding doors, to the surrounding halls in the RAI complex. The building’s roof can also be used for various activities. Vertical fins have been added to the design in order to tie it in with the other buildings, which also feature vertical fins, in the RAI complex.

A distinctive feature of the building are the two spiral-shaped structures, so-called ‘Wokkels’, on the south side of the building. These structures separate traffic entering and exiting the building, enabling an efficient parking system. They are composed of precast concrete elements that are stacked to form the access and exit ramps on the various parking levels. The Wokkels are the building’s defining feature and form an eyecatcher from the A10 motorway. At night they are accentuated further by blue LED lines.