|Designed in 1960 as an office building, the Metropoolgebouw (Metro Pool Building) is a designated national Dutch monument which has housed a diverse mix of offices, institutions and retail businesses. Located on the Weesperstraat, one of Amsterdam's main arteries, the city recognized the importance of the Metropool's location and created a destination street. When renovations and refurbishments were desired, AKKA Architects were commissioned by Breevast and Hotel Ahead in 2013 and created an inspiring vision for the entire building that co-hosts a unique concept hotel.|
Co-founded by Hans Meyer and Marc Jongerius in 2015 and opened in May 2016, Zoku was envisioned as a place where people and ideas came together. Zoku is a new hotel type that facilitates the new (international) live and work concept, and is a Green Key Gold certified hotel. The Zoku is a hybrid between a "home-away-from-home" and "office-away-from-the-office" for people who live and work in Amsterdam between five days and three months. In effect, Zoku provides maximum functionality through "smart lofts" with ingenious use of space: an ideal space to live, work, sleep and live.
"Stretching over an impressive 140m along the Weesperstraat, the building is approximately 16.000m2 spread over seven levels. The Metropool is a complete ecosystem, a truly mixed building, housing commercial functions on its ground floor and mezzanine, a hotel and offices on its 1st to 5th floor and public areas on its roof level. The building has three entrances, the central one next to the underpass towards New Kerkstraat, is the main entrance." ~ AKKA Architects
Located in the Metropolis Building at Weesperstraat Amsterdam within the existing 'Metropoolgebouw,' Phase 1 of this project consists of 133 rooms / apartments / lofts and common areas. The Zoku hotel's light and airy entrance hall at roof level is set within a galvanized steel cabinet surrounded and filled with edible greenery greeting visitors and residents.
"Zoku's urban vibe comes with a lot of green, both inside and out. A rooftop garden, complete with greenhouse, produces some of the vegetables and herbs that are served in our Living Kitchen. You can even choose to channel your inner-farmer and get your hands dirty - but only if you are into that sort of thing. You may just prefer to take in the painfully scenic views of Amsterdam from our two rooftop terraces." ~ Zoku
|Zoku, Japanese for family, tribe, or clan, has social spaces which are an extension of the residents' Zoku Lofts, offering a warm welcome, a buzzing Bar, a chill Living Room, a Living Kitchen, Communal Working Spaces, Green Spaces and tailored retail. |
Zoku worked with the interior architect firm of Concrete Architectural Associates for the design of the hotel's roof garden space, and De Dakdokters (The Rooftop Doctors) were asked to create a beautiful rooftop garden within the design concept. The greenhouse terrace and roof gardens are situated at the entrance of the hotel, on both sides of the very green and nature-inspiring greenhouse.
De Dakdokters implemented the hexagon shape where possible as this shape is recurrent in the interior design of the hotel. Alongside the hexagon-shaped floorboards De Dakdokters planted moss sedum green roof areas, implemented water features, and designed Modiwood planters with wire design where plants can climb up the wall.
Project materials included: Modiwood, sedum, stepping stones, water features, a custom designed table, planters, and Rooffood.
A variety of hexagon-shaped seating areas and beds for urban farming provide respite and deeper planting options. Additionally, veggies and herbs are grown in the greenhouse as well as the vegetable beds which provide fresh food to the Living Kitchen on the top floor. The Living Kitchen offers simple and honest food served on long communal tables. "Designed to help nourish the body and mind, this means healthy food served fast. Home-grown vegetables and herbs from our rooftop garden provide great flavor for our high-quality, weekly changing menu, with organic ingredients purchased from local suppliers where possible." ~ Zoku
This green roof and greenhouse is publicly accessible, and urban farming workshops can be arranged.
"As the doors open, a temperature change might be noted as the visitor is transported via the lift from the concrete street below into a beautiful, urban greenhouse paradise: tropical, leafy green plants line a long white corridor, and the sound of faint birdsong echoes. Beyond the concertinaed glass windows lie a series of outdoor micro-gardens, complete with water features, wall creepers, blossoming pot-plants and spacious garden tables where guests can enjoy a cup of coffee or a glass of wine whilst gazing out over the Amsterdam skyline, which is dominated by the impressive splendour of the recently renovated Rijks Museum and a number of lofty church spires like that of the Westerkerk, which marks the location of the Anne Frank huis in the Jordaan.
"Adjoined to the greenhouse is a multi-functional space comprising vibrant, communal work areas, cosy sofa snugs, a music corner complete with guitars, piano and drums, game rooms, the Living kitchen and a centre-piece bar which serves an array of drinks and snacks throughout the day and night." ~ Deliberately Untitled
Zoku says new technology and new working habits create a huge opportunity to improve the use of existing space and limit the need for new space. Smart solutions that create the opportunity to use less square meters and facilitate 24/7, multifunctional use are needed. The Zoku Loft combines all this in a creative hub (living/working and micro living) by designing a spacious experience in a minimum area of just 25 m2. Zoku was awarded the Radical Innovation Award and the Serviced Apartment Award for Best Disruptor.
Facilitating global living and working for the travelling professional, Zoku believes in offering its residents more green spaces in order to better experience the seasons in an urban environment. Described as a complete ecosystem, Zoku is a truly mixed use building with an urban greenhouse paradise and its series of outdoor micro-roof gardens for respite and relaxation. Guests can enjoy a cup of coffee or a glass of wine on the roof garden, beautifully lit at night, while gazing out over the picturesque Amsterdam skyline.
Additional thumbnail photos:
|Zoku is located at Weesperstraat 61-105 Amsterdam, Netherlands; visit their website and Facebook page. Watch the 3:13 Zoku (Metropoolgebouw - Metro Pool Building) Roof Garden - Project of the Week 10/9/17 video from Greenroofs.com on the greenroofsTV channel on YouTube. Greenroofs.com Project of the Week 10/09/17 video photo credits: Courtesy of De Dakdokters, Zoku, Zoku's Facebook page, and Van Der Wiel.|
See the project profiles from AKKA Architects; Mulderblauw architecten; De Dakdocters; Amsterdam Rooftop Solutions; Van Der Wiel; Zinkinfo Benelux; and Kondor Wessels Amsterdam. For more information regarding the Zoku Roof Garden, please contact De Dakdokters BV at +3120 8208251 or visit www.dakdokters.nl.
Read the April 24, 2017 The Weesperstraat Secret: Zoku by Robyn Kelly-Meyrick in Deliberately Untitled and the January 17, 2017 Design, Eat, Sleep and Repeat: 48 Hours Design a Better Business Experience by Patrick Van Der Pijl from Design A Better Business.
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