The Amsterdam City Archives in the historic De Bazel building on the Vijzelstraat in Amsterdam suffers from a lack of archive storage space. The Municipality of Amsterdam therefore commissioned a new, additional archival repository for documents dating from 1850. Through a European tender procedure, BAM Bouw en Techniek was selected for the design, build & maintain assignment, in collaboration with cepezed for the architectural design and cepezedinterieur for the interior design.
The new four-story city archive will arise on the Cornelis Douwesterrein in Amsterdam-Noord on the corner of the Tt. Vasumweg and the Internetstraat. The 3,000 m² new construction volume fills almost the entire plot except for a narrow enclosed patio at the rear. Accessed by a heavy gate from the Internetstraat, the patio serves as the first security limit of the complex, parking for staff and visitors and access to the expedition.
The main feature of the expedition is the truck dock; an indoor space where the electric cars of the City Archives can load and unload safely and dry. The dock forms a central point in the building layout that is optimized for an efficient working process and the strict security limits. The staff canteen, office space and the various support functions are situated around the dock. Glass partitions separate all rooms while maintaining transparency and long sightlines. Right behind the truck dock incoming archive materials are divided in a dirty and clean flow. In the dirty areas new incoming archive materials are cleaned and if necessary quarantined. Clean materials go to the registration space or if already registered directly to the depots. These are accessed through a spacious central traffic zone, with a lift and staircases.
The depot spaces, with 45 kilometers of archive shelves, are logically and conveniently arranged and accessible separately for each level. For the best archiving conditions and energy saving, climate control takes place according to the so-called Scandinavian model.
The building has a bold and robust appearance due to the completely flat anthracite-colored façade cladding. Careful detailing greatly contributes to the high-quality appearance. The wide ribbon of PV panels on the facade is light gray for a ton-sur-ton effect.
The project focuses on minimal material use as well as high sustainability and process and maintenance efficiency. The use of prefab components with standard system sizes guarantees a clean and fast assembly with the possibility for disassembly and remounting. This construction method, which is frequently used by cepezed, fits in seamlessly with the ambitions of the Municipality of Amsterdam to contribute to the circular economy.
A total of 1,644 m² of PV-panels on the façade and the roof more than meet the energy requirements of the 'zero-to-the-meter' archive building. The pec-value is zero and the electricity surplus is returned to the grid. The aforementioned patio has a green layout with grass stones and planting as well as a water retention of more than 150 m² for the excess rainwater. The completion of the depot building is scheduled for mid-2019.