The W Amsterdam Hotel is a definition of the vibrant culture of the city created through innovative design and spatial aesthetics by BK Architects

Architecture Interior

27Photo Courtesy: Lutz Vorderwuelbecke
Project Credits:
Project Name: W Amsterdam
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Architects: BK Architects
Design Team: Irene Kronenberg and Alon Baranowitz
Awards: ENTRÉE award for best Hotel Design 2016Mr. Porter at W AMSTERDAM winner of  ENTRÉE prize for best Restaurant Design 2016

Led by Irene Kronenberg and Alon Baranowitz, BK Architects was formed in 1999 whose team today comprises of international architects and designers belonging to various cultures across the world, with studios in Tel Aviv and Amsterdam. They practice architecture and interior design with an aim to distinguish their clients and inspire the minds of the users. They firmly believe in the art of storytelling as they weave enthusing narratives around the context, culture, client and lifestyle consumers, thus connecting the brand with its audience.

BK Architects value the existing and enhance the same, broadening their horizons. They work through multidisciplinary thinking and collaborations, creating designs that are timeless, which can be melded through time and keep a competitive energy and significance.

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Situated in the heart of the vibrant Dutch capital, the W Amsterdam Hotel is a splendid icon illustrating the animated energy of the city. Spread through two classic buildings – the Bank Building and the Telephone Service Building; the hotel is extends on the Spui St. just behind the Royal Palace and the Dam Square.

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The Bank Building (constructed 1908) and the Telephone Service Building (inaugurated 1928) share the same raison d’etre; ‘connect and exchange’. This value is portrayed in the design conceptualization and also has been an inspiration for the architects throughout the design process.

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The hotel is located in close proximity of the city’s exemplary canal district, with its vivacious restaurants, bars and nightlife scene.

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The W is distinguished for being a paradigm of a life style brand influenced heavily by aesthetics. It is a definition of iconicity, influence and innovation. The brand also offers a distinctive fusion of vanguard music, fashion and design. Owing to its flamboyant location, all these attributes were to be fittingly amalgamated to create an experience completely appropriate for Amsterdam. Hence, the locals became a significant part of the design.

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The city of Amsterdam, its people and its essence are a huge inspiration for all of the studio’s works. The core value of the city, liberalism, is seen in the fact that the place is about its people not monuments. It is a humble abode for people belonging to various ethnic backgrounds, religion and sexual orientation. Alongside this, the other major influences for the studio are the buildings with their impressive history which led them to the spirit of their design strategy – connect and exchange.

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Inspired by the telephone wires and the electricity lines, a vital part of the building’s setting; the architects integrated five kilometres of brass tubes in various parts of the hotel, which is a recurring design element in the structure.

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In the W Amsterdam Hotel, these brass tubes function as leaders throughout the building, creating a vibrant discourse with the different spaces they cross over and delineate. These tubes essentially induce movement, create varied facades and define spatial characteristics of the areas formed.

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The unique culture of Amsterdam can be outlined as edgy, liberal, forbearing and transcending social class. Candour, simplicity and inventiveness form the core values of the city. Encouraged by these characters, the designers have explored material that emulate them in spirit and reflect the cultural mind-set, thus drawing up a fascinating story for the W Amsterdam Hotel.

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These material embody the phrase ‘what you see is what you get’, defining the transparency in the locals’ attitudes. The materials used – poured concrete, epoxy resins, brass and steel – define the passion of the people involved in the production of the design.


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The W Amsterdam is an architectural embodiment of the vivacious culture of the canal city, inspired by its people and history. The Hotel thus enhances the experience of its guests by proposing them with inventive design that is deeply rooted in the culture that it lives in.

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40Irene Kronenberg and Alon Baranowitz. 
Photo Courtesy: Dan Peretz

-Tanvi Naik, Volume Zero.

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