Ziggo Dome

De Passage 100
Jan Benthem
Benthem Crouwel Architekten
Black Box Real Estate
trein- en metrostation Bijlmer/Arena + 10 minuten lopen

Many believe that ‘Ziggo’ is the music venue with the best acoustics in the Netherlands. This building in Amsterdam Zuidoost is visible from far and wide because of its LED lighting. Inside, it is in effect shaped like a stadium; a tried and tested concept for handling large numbers of people in a single space.

Ziggo Dome can hold 17,000 spectators and so is the ideal size for the world tours of global artists. It fills the gap between, on the one hand, the ArenA (maximum capacity 50,000) and the Gelredome (Arnhem, maximum capacity 30,000), both of which are too large for many concerts, and, on the other hand, the Heineken Music Hall (Amsterdam Zuidoost, maximum capacity 5,000) and the Ahoy (Rotterdam, maximum capacity 10,000), which are sometimes too small.
The aim was to create sublime acoustics and to prevent sound vibrations from travelling beyond the building with the aid of a box-in-box construction around the concert hall. The building’s exterior is provided with 120,000 LED lights, so that it functions as a huge video screen. As a result, the building is highly conspicuous, particularly in the dark.

The building functions like a well-oiled machine. Facilities such as cloakrooms, toilets, bars and cafés are situated on the same floor as the auditorium and the public can move from one function to another without passing through doors. The corridors and the foyer are especially wide so that large numbers of people can pass through quickly. In order to optimize the flow of people through the building, there are no litter bins standing in the way. Cleaning and tidying takes place automatically with machines that move through the foyer, corridors and auditorium after a performance has ended.

A clever idea: a partition can be inserted in the long row of toilets in order to alter the proportion of men’s WCs to women’s WCs, according to the concert that is to take place and thus the expected ratio of males to females in the audience.

The building was designed by the Amsterdam architectural office Benthem Crouwel Architects. An important requirement in the brief was that the concert hall should be versatile in use. It is of course primarily intended for amplified music concerts, but can also accommodate sports events. Tennis courts, an ice skating rink or an Olympic swimming pool are among the possibilities. (MB)