MAHLER 4

Location: Amsterdam, Holland
Scope: Office Tower
Area: 31,752sqm
Stage: Completed 2005
Budget: $35m
Client: Mahler 4 Consortium
Architect: Rafael Viñoly Architects
Engineering: Ingenieursgroep Van Rossum Deerns
Local Architect: Van der Oever / Zaaijer / Roodbeen + Partners

The Mahler 4 masterplan aims to achieve a rich urban environment, creating a natural seamless integration with the historic city of Amsterdam.
 
Key to this is to avoid the typical formal structure of base, shaft and crown associated with traditional high-rise building design, and replace it with complex multi-layered architectural orders which reinforce the idea that the city should be perceived as having more than one reference plane.
 
The design alternatives that were explored referred to the range of possibilities that this distinction can have, as well as three different views on the restrictions imposed by the grid of the underground garage and the marketability of the project.
 
The final scheme is an attempt to reinterpret the horizontal data of the project into a more dynamic geometry, which results in the exterior fire escape that wraps around the building. The development of the open stair offers the possibility of exterior spaces that can be used as gardens and outdoor expansions at each level. The effect is one of perpetual motion that encourages the perception of the building not as a planar composition but as a sculptural element.