Tower Overhoeks, the former Shell Tower, is to go through a substantial renovation to become a 24 hour hangout spot. The project, named Twenty4 Amsterdam, aims to create a space that has something available at every time of day for members of the public. On the 10th January it was announced that the tower has been renamed A’DAM. The A’DAM project aims to be a strong tourist attraction, and also becoming a prominent scene in the hospitality industry. It is perhaps the hospitality aspect which has been given the greatest emphasis. The project is being led by Duncan Stutterheim of ID&T and Sander Groet of Club Air. They have stated that part of the goal is to create a home for dance in Amsterdam. Given the background credentials of those involved, it seems this might be successful in becoming the next big night spot in Amsterdam.
The ambitious plan will combine a mixture of night club and restaurants, but also office and hotel space. An important element of this project is that there is something for everyone. As part of this, the founders are planning for 60% of the building to be accessible by the general public. This access is not limited to the ground and pavilion, but also allowing access to the tower itself. The idea seems the opposite of exclusivity seen in iconic vantage points in other world cities. Whether it will stay like this when the building is completed is another story. Similar towers in cities such as Dubai and New York tend to attract an attitude of exclusivity, and access is general only available to those that can afford it.
Part of the aim is to have a lookout and open observation deck on the top two floors. The project founders believe that these observation areas will prove to be a major tourist attraction. The idea behind the observation area is that Amsterdam does not currently have an iconic vantage point, in the same way that other cities such as New York or Paris do. While it can be argued that Amsterdam is indeed without such a vantage point, it does not necessarily imply it needs one. Unlike other major world cities, Amsterdam is quite a low city. It does not have the horizon defined by monolithic skyscrapers that other world cities have. Part of the attraction of Amsterdam is that it is an old city, and beauty is found in the winding canals and well maintained architecture. This sort of beauty is missed when viewing from a high vantage point. While it would allow one to see the urban sprawl of Amsterdam, whether it will prove successful as a tourist magnet remains unanswered.
In regards to the proposed building layout, the entrance would open into the public lobby on the ground floor and then an escalator to the living lobby on level one. These first two floors would have restaurants and terrace bars. Floors 4-7 would be taken up by hotel space. On level 8 and 9 would be the Nachtlab workspace, with the Nachtlab studios on level 10. Levels 11-14 would be devoted to the international headquarters for Music and Dance companies; Q Dance, ID&T, Sensation, and Massive Music. It is believed that by having these headquarters so close together it will encourage more collaborations and allow for more creativity. Level 15 would be the Sky Office section, which is a workspace specifically for creative purposes. Levels 16 and 17 are the Sensation Sky Villas, a space for special meetings, weddings and also accommodation for high rollers when staying in Amsterdam. Part of level 17 and the whole of level 18 would be the Panorama Bar. Level 19 is the Sky Dek, which is anticipated to be the largest and highest outdoor terrace in the city. Level 20 is planned to be the Revolving Restaurant. Level 21 has perhaps the key tourist feature, the Panorama Dek. It is stated this will be open 365 days a year, and will provide a 360 degree view of the city. Level 22, the top of the tower, will be the Sky Walk.
It is an ambitious project, and if successful it could change both the tourist and hospitality scenes of Amsterdam. A key feature of the project seems to be the emphasis on turning this building into a home for dance in the city. It appears the goal is to turn this spot into the new main Amsterdam night spot. Another key part of the project is in attracting creative talent to the site, and to allow for greater collaboration between existing parties. It is a bold move to try and turn the former Shell Tower into a new tourist attraction, especially considering it is on the other side of Het IJ. However, if successful it could lead to significant changes for the city of Amsterdam.
What do you think of the project? Are you excited by it? Are you opposed to it? If so, why? Leave your comments below!