Address: Weesperstraat 105 | AMSTERDAM | Netherlands | Visit Website
Latitude/Longitude: 52.36382, 4.90669
Zoku Amsterdam, the first to open, is situated in the ‘Metropool building’ at the Weesperstraat, a former office building by architect Arthur Staal. When you come from the city on your bike, like a typical Amsterdam resident, and leave the Rijksmuseum and skinny bridge behind you, you see a glimpse of a modernistic building with a seemingly floating top floor. Arthur Staal, also known for the Shell tower in the north of Amsterdam, always added something special to his buildings, known as ‘the crown’. On this crown concrete designed a traditional Dutch greenhouse, one of its kind in Amsterdam, which is connected to the existing structure.
The guests’ first meeting with Zoku will be on top of the Metropool building, walking through a green oasis but still connected to the bustling city thanks to the amazing views. All public functions are allocated in the crown on the top floor. As soon as the guests enter the living room on the top floor and leave the city behind, this is when they become a Zoku member, and are able to meet other nomads, eat, play, work, read, and do all the stuff they would do at home. After meeting a Zoku sidekick, who will help them find their way in the temporary home, the full Zoku experience can begin.
entrance lobby on ground floor
When you approach the building you see a glimpse of large Zoku letters and the Zoku manifesto on the wall in a double height entrance lobby on the far right of the building. While you are waiting to go up, you can already get acquainted with the city via posters revealing the current cultural activities. The lift then brings you to the communal spaces of Zoku allocated in the crown of the building on the 6th floor, where you can check in.
greenhouse on 6th floor
Arriving on the top floor, concrete designed a greenhouse that extends the communal spaces of Zoku, where you are surrounded by an urban jungle. Here the first meeting with Zoku takes place. Leaving the bustling city behind and walking through a corridor of glass with an outside feel you are guided to the communal spaces. The glass and steel structure full of green with great views of the Amsterdam skyline makes you feel on top of the world.
This is the only architectural element added to the monumental building. When designing the greenhouse concrete looked at building structures of traditional Dutch greenhouses as they are found in the west of the Netherlands. The structure is as simple and light-weight as possible, to make it feel like a green oasis; like being outside but with the convenience of an inside space. The structure of the greenhouse carefully follows the floating zigzag façade of the 6th floor from where the hexagonal crown shape – a returning feature in the building – emerges.
roof terrace on 6th floor
The greenhouse is surrounded by terraces, which also follow this hexagonal shape. Each terrace has its own function, with a pond, plants, herbs and hammocks, surrounded by a rooftop garden. concrete designed the tables on two hexagonal shaped terraces where you can grow your own vegetables and herbs and enjoy them while dining al fresco. The public rooftop garden allows residents and locals to experience the seasons in the middle of an urban environment. Adjacent to the greenhouse and communal spaces the terraces provide a great spot to relax and enjoy great views of the city.
The bar is surrounded by cozy seating areas, where you can retreat alone or with friends, just to chat, work or eat and drink. When you decide to sit here, the transparent cabinets, made of white steel structures filled with plants and styling elements associated with home, work & play, enable you to remain connected to the bar area. If you want to sit more quietly, you can move towards the seating area near the windows next to the fireplaces, which will be especially cosy in winter, or to the ‘come on baby light my fire’ table on the left side of the building, where you can sit at a long oak communal table surrounded by a wealth of (candle) lights.
Contributed by Concrete Architectural Associates
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