Telephone exchange IJburg (Blok 30)

Maria Austriastraat
Haveneiland West, IJburg
Herman Zeinstra
Atelier Zeinstra van der Pol
KPN Vastgoed
Bus 326, IJtram, halte: Diemerparklaan ARCAM Architectuurkaart IJburg

Building with semi-transparant glass facade

Before IJburg became a vibrant city district, with hundreds of dwellings and dozens of schools and companies, the area was part of the outer waterway Het IJ. After the plans for IJburg received the go-ahead in 1996, a start was made on creating land by depositing dredged sand.

Haveneiland, the Rieteilanden and Steigereiland were created first. In 2001, the very first building to be built in IJburg was completed in the middle of Haveneiland West, which was then still a sandy wasteland.

The square, stately grey building with a semi-transparent glazed façade is IJburg’s telephone exchange. The building’s function demanded a virtually closed space, which meets safety and climate control requirements.

The architect, Herman Zeinstra, opted for a glazed façade that is semi-transparent and has two different layers. A layer with horizontal concrete strips in between which is translucent coloured synthetic material, and a second layer comprising vertical aluminium strips with semi-transparent sheets of glass on the exterior. The building changes colour and transparency depending on the light outside and the rather mysterious activities that are taking place inside. The building has now been incorporated in the rest of the development on block 30 and, with a high degree of self-evidence, forms part of the street frontage on Maria Austriastraat. (ARCAM/YK)