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Van Dongen-Koschuch : Hôtel Spinoza

Along the Sarphatistraat, one of the main avenues of Amsterdam (Netherlands), is the Hotel Spinoza, a luxury 17 000 square-meter establishment mixed with the remains of a former hospital destroyed in 2012. The Dutch architect Van Dongen-Koschuch reinterprets different emblematic elements of the place in an atypical extension.

This five-star hotel located at the corner of three streets consists of a five-storey rectangular rectangular parallelepiped comprising 211 rooms - including 15 suites - a restaurant, a wellness area and an underground garage. Two adjoining walls of the old children's hospital have been preserved by the owners and hide service rooms, a conference space and offices.

These fragments from the late nineteenth century are both made of red brick, but nevertheless have an architectural expression of their own. One of them, the old frontispiece, in the middle of the building, has a large cornice and angles magnified by stones of white sizes. Between this part and the neighboring building, the second vestige of the past, which is about two storeys high, offers a very elaborate façade, with finely carved lintels, whose openings were walled by bricks and randomly punctuated wide bays with prominent metal frames.

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If these two pieces of archeology have been preserved, they were not, however, the pretext for the realization of a pastiche. Van Dongen-Koschuch, on the contrary, decided to divert its elements, materiality and volumes, to merge the epochs in the new ensemble combining renovation and contemporary extension. The new façade, covered with orange-colored ceramic pavers, is a nod to the historical constructions of the neighborhood as well as its windows with skewed cheeks hollowed out in the mass.

Extending the green environment of the district, where the largest botanical garden in Amsterdam is located, in the open-air areas of the building, was an important project issue. The two terraces and the patio of the hotel have been largely vegetalized and clad in green earthenware. This ambience is also found inside the hotel, with an abundance of greenery from the lobby to the rooms.

An original way of preserving the historical heritage while skilfully diverting it.

To learn more, visit the site of van Dongen-Koschuch
Photographs: Bart van Hoek

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