The West Beat building was designed to include a wow factor to attract people to an area on the outskirts of Amsterdam. Structural engineering by Royal HaskoningDHV helped deliver the desired impact while also ensuring costs for parking spaces didn’t escalate.
Developer Lingotto acquired land outside the ring road by winning the tender with their vision to create a building with such a strong wow factor that it would draw people across the ring to live and work.
Huge arches allow more parking spaces in the basement
The plan was for the building to include coffee shops and restaurants, offices and homes, theatre spaces and art galleries, as well as parking. It is a culturally diverse neighbourhood and the architect reflected the diversity in his plans for the building, which provides a sense of a Moorish bazaar.
In the initial plan, the span of the arches was smaller but that created a challenge in relation to parking. If the required number of spaces could be fitted onto a single underground level, the extra cost of a second storey would be avoided. However, this could not be achieved if there were columns in the car park between the parking places.
Solution adds to the wow factor
Our solution was to replace the small arches with huge arches spanning more than 16 metres. This removed the need for supports in the basement car park but also provided support for the 12 storeys above.
During consultations with stakeholders we were presented with a further challenge. We were asked to remove the columns on the corner supporting arches at the side of the building. By reviewing our calculations, we made adjustments and avoided the need for columns there.
“Our challenge was to include enough parking spaces on one single storey to avoid costs escalating,” explained Carla Mulder Consulting Engineer and Registered Designer. “Our solution involved these amazing 16-metre arch spans and, in the process, we helped meet the developer’s vision to create a building with a wow factor.”