David Gianotten is the Managing Partner- Architect of OMA. Responsible for all organizational and financial attributes of OMA. He is known for his intriguing design abilities and business strategy. His work and dedication have brought OMA remarkable growth and progress. Besides this, David Gianotten is leading the design and construction projects. His few famous projects include Taipei Performing Arts Center, Masterplan of Rotterdam’s Feyenoord City, and WA Museum Boola Bardip in Perth. He joined OMA in 2008 and hence contributed to launching OMA’s Hong Kong office in 2009. Before this, he was Principal Architect at SeARCH in the Netherlands.

Design for a five-story office building in Amsterdam revealed by OMA / David Gianotten - Sheet1
David Gianotten _©oma.com
Design for a five-story office building in Amsterdam revealed by OMA / David Gianotten - Sheet2
David Gianotten _©oma.com

Currently, OMA has revealed the design of a five-story office building in Amsterdam. The design philosophy has emerged from its surroundings as the location includes end offices and housing and luxury hotels. The presence of this structure is undoubtedly going to be iconic. Interlocking glass volumes have merged design with the surrounding. The entire structure mimics the scale and proportions of other buildings.

Project Description

Design for a five-story office building in Amsterdam revealed by OMA / David Gianotten - Sheet3
Apololaan, David Gianotten, OMA _©www.archdaily.com

A total area of 9,345 square meters area is allotted for the design. The entire project is led by David Gianotten, OMA, Tanner Merkeley, Vincent Kersten, Margarida Arial, Deniz Arikan, and Dagna Dembiecka. It is located on the corner plot of the public space Amsterdam. Apollolaan 171 is a new talk in the town of the design industry. This five-story building has interlocking features of tranquility. It is placed next to 20th – century Berlage architecture.

A total five-story structure up to 25 to 30 meters giving interlocking blocks creates a phenomenal hierarchy. Up and down outer massing profile. Glass has been used as a reflective medium to deliver transparency and opacity.

20th – century Berlage architecture

Design for a five-story office building in Amsterdam revealed by OMA / David Gianotten - Sheet4
Apololaan, David Gianotten, OMA _©www.archdaily.com

Architect Hendrik Petrus Berlage was the designer of the urban development plan of Amsterdam South. He played a vital role in bringing up a new concept of urbanism during 1915. Hence few years of dedication, Hendrik Petrus Berlage was one of Amsterdam’s leading architects of new urban planning. Therefore, the locality and town resemble old Berlage architecture.

Here David Gianotten brought a structure that is challenging to the surrounding. A challenge to stand out in the vicinity where old Berlage architecture resembles. Somehow, team OMA perfectly achieved this remarkable design attribute.

Design and Philosophy

Design for a five-story office building in Amsterdam revealed by OMA / David Gianotten - Sheet5
Apololaan, David Gianotten, OMA _©www.archdaily.com

The previous structure which was present has been demolished to build this five-story building. Remarkable 20-meter high monolithic structure. The structure itself resembles the tranquillity and clear glass persona. Cut–to-cut edge finishing facade gives this building a perfect mass from the exterior. The verticality principle has been applied to the design philosophy. David Gianotten doesn’t disappoint in bringing up the fundamental aspect of the design. The zoning regulations perfectly design it.

Though there are a lot of hierarchies in the design, scale and proportions are subtly managed. The reflection of surrounding buildings has been adapted to the structures. It represents a dual characteristic. An inviting feature where viewers and visitors would not look away from the structure. Modest lines and blending vertical features are something non-architect can observe without flaws.

Verticality Features

Design for a five-story office building in Amsterdam revealed by OMA / David Gianotten - Sheet6
Apololaan, David Gianotten, OMA _©www.archdaily.com

Though the design is only five stories, it cannot bring out the perfect vertical hierarchy in the design aspect. One of the critical characteristics of the mid-rise building. Verticality is rarely perceived within design building types. Celebrating the skyline and surroundings. Apollolaan 171 achieves to bring out the constructed interlocking masses. It is perceived externally as a straight facade building, but internally, it invites natural light and crosses ventilation. Verticality here helped the designer to counter-attack with the old 20th–century Berlage architecture.

The site’s context is designed sensitively as the designer has to involve old and new urban attributes. Overcoming the challenge of blending new ideas and with old aspects was something David Gianotten had to face. Because team OMA has tackled such design projects before, it was pretty flexible for them to bring life to the structure.

Transparent and Tactility.

Apololaan, David Gianotten, OMA _©www.archdaily.com

Every design has the sensation to lift vertical attributes with the surrounding façade. David Gianotten blended the new principle of design with the trendiest style – Transparency. The fluidity of the design introspects with the existing feature. Edgy cut-out features bring this structure a new definition in Amsterdam. A definition of the new urban design is not blending with old but standing out in the new. Long and rigid style never goes out of fashion. The transparent attribute was long adapted in design by team OMA. Apollolaan 171 is the remarkable structure designed by team OMA. A new talk of the town. Just like their other famous structures.

Glass volumes with interlocking façade create cubicle forms from externally. Brick-clad facades that lead to the residential area. Modest addition of this façade welcome essence of new urbanism. The duality of the design is that it is perfectly merged with the existing surrounding façade and design attribute. Enhancing current style and challenging old design existing Belrage style is something commendable.

The design stands out, no doubt. Standing on the old foundation of a demolished building. Apollolaan 171 will bring out astonishing relevance to modern urbanism.


OMA / David Gianotten designs a new office building in Amsterdam – Interior Design Decorating Schools (interior-design-decorating-schools.org)

OMA / David Gianotten reveals images for a high-end office building in Amsterdam (worldarchitecture.org)

OMA / David Gianotten Designs New Office Building in Amsterdam – FinacMag (oupci.com)

David Gianotten (oma.com)

OMA / David Gianotten Designs New Office Building in Amsterdam | ArchDaily


Ar. Ritu Gosavi is a published co-author of the two anthology " A poet's Pulse" and "Slice of life" , graduated from College of Architecture Nasik .A brilliant content writer since 2019 bringing light on social and patriarchal norms through her writing page called "Ruminant". An architect, author, and audacious , a classical and japanese literature lover.