Zaandam – a hotel building is creating waves

Zaandam – a hotel building is creating waves

We were cycling along the Zaan when we noticed a rather strange building in Zaandam, which at first sight looked like classic Zaanse-Schans houses stacked on top of each other, and in the typical shades of green at that.

Of course, our interest was aroused immediately, especially since there are professional connections to architecture and, unfortunately, it has to be said.... Germany is very conservative in so many areas, if not backwards, also in the architecture of our inner cities, which is particularly noticeable in the evenings and at night in the inner cities due to the lack of life. The result is violence and crime.

Zaandam and its Hotel Inntel – daring architecture

zaandam von winden 1Our neighbours realized quite early on that life in the cities shouldn't be reserved for banks and insurance companies and that the sidewalks should be rolled up at 6 p.m., as they say. Only life on the streets and in the inner cities creates atmosphere, creates a sense of well-being and thus security and business. Numerous inner cities in Holland were redesigned early on, car traffic was banned or at least reduced, the path concepts were not only designed according to the motto practical and short, but also opened up perspectives and were interesting in terms of design. The city centre of Zaandam was redesigned by Sjoerd Soeters, historical streets were renewed and the boring and impersonal city centre was subsequently revived with a new, unusual hotel - an architecture that reflects the historical stylistic features of Zaanse Schans.

zaandam von winden 2Opened in March, the hotel is quite a striking building, to say the least, not only because the design has attracted a lot of attention in the international media. The 12-story hotel has 160 rooms, a pool and spa and has had hundreds of guests. Designer Wilfried van Winden envisioned a place where guests can feel at home while on the move. Therefore, the hotel was designed to look like stacked houses, resembling a series of dwellings, from the notary's villa to the workers' cottage. In fact, there are about 70 small houses in the four Zaanse-Schans shades of green that can be found in the hotel construction. The “Blue House” is particularly striking, inspired by the work of the same name that Claude Monet painted in Zaandam in 1871. Each room's décor has been inspired by the rich regional history and decorated with historic photos of typical Dutch scenes.

Wilfried van Winden - a Dutch architect

zaandam von winden 3Van Winden studied architecture at the Technical University of Delft (TU Delft), graduating in 1987. In 1985 he co-founded the office Molenaar & Van Winden Architects in Delft. Van Winden left this office in January 2009 to found a new, independent office, WAM Architects.

In addition to his work as a designer, Wilfried van Winden conducts research and writes articles and essays on various topics. A comprehensive study of the design of Dutch and German motorways led to the 2007 publication “De diabolical snelweg” (The Devilish Motorway; Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 2007), co-authored by Van Winden with Wim Nijenhuis. In 2010, Van Winden published a theoretical treatise, “Fusion: Pleidooi voor een sierlijke architectuur in een open samenleving” (Fusion: An appeal for decorative architecture in an open society; Amsterdam: SUN Publishers, 2010), in which he argued for used an architecture without taboos.

zaandam von winden 4Fusion is a mindset rather than a style, a strategy that represents an inventive way of mixing and connecting present and past, east and west, tradition and innovation, high and low culture. The Inntel Hotel in Zaandam, the Essalam Mosque in Rotterdam and the De Oriënt housing estate in The Hague are examples of mergers from his own portfolio.

Too daring? The numbers of visitors and users show the opposite.

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De 1800 Roeden – cultural park worth seeing in Amsterdam

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Life | Outdoors