In the world of architecture, you never really know where the next strange marvel is about to pop up. Yet it is rarely a mystery who builds these sorts of structures: wealthy corporations, people, or banks. Today our journey takes us to Amsterdam, Netherlands. Among the bustling streets and electric nightlife, those that venture a bit into the suburbs can find an odd looking gem, built by the ING bank as their Netherlands headquarters.
In the early 2000s, ING bank was planning on building their main office. To make things interesting, they invited a slew of young architects in the area and hosted a competition to see who could design a building that portrayed their ideals: fast moving, transparent, innovative, eco-friendly, and open. Architects Roberto Meyer and Jeroen van Schooten whipped up a spaceship-like creation that dazzles tourists and employees today.
In its grand appearance, the architects matched company ideals with design – a task that takes great innovation. The building looks almost like a spaceship, covered almost entirely with glass. This is to signify the openness and innovative nature of the bank. Two layers of glass were installed in each panel to ensure heat retention. On the bottom of the building are several tilting stilts that create the perception that the building is moving.
Looking at this building brings out the inner astronomer inside of me. It makes me feel like I’m going to blast off into the new frontier. As Tim Evans once said, “[i]nspiration from what we see is usually the most powerful. It makes us dream of new possibilities.” Perhaps dreaming of a place where I can work and blast off into space in the same day is far-fetched…. But that is what dreams are for, aren’t they?
Join me next time as we continue to explore the weird of our universe. From the vast monuments erected by mankind to the peculiar discovery of scientific phenomena, there is plenty left to discover around us.
Aditya Rengaswamy is a sophomore accounting student at CWRU. He enjoys doing various service projects like Kids Against Hunger, being a part of USG, and hanging out with his brothers in OX.