Watch the November 27, 2023 4:56 Valley – Featured Project video from Greenroofs.com on the greenroofsTV channel on YouTube; 2022 1:24 Valley In Amsterdam Is The World’s Best New ‘Green Skyscraper’ by World Economic Forum; 2021 4:51 Amsterdam – ‘Valley’ by MVRDV Tops out in Zuidas District by Cities of the Future on YouTube.
November 27, 2023 Featured Project: Valley, Amsterdam by Linda Velazquez in Greenroofs.com; October 14, 2022 The Best New Skyscraper in the World Is a Game of Tetris by in Elle Decor; July 22, 2022 GREEN Gastrobar: Vegetarian dining in the highest sky bar in Amsterdam by Mees Groot in de hippo vegetariër; April 28, 2022 With Valley, MVRDV Adds Topography to Amsterdam’s Business District by Peter Saltsman in Azure Magazine; December 21, 2021 Valley by MVRDV photographed near completion in Amsterdam by Lizzie Crook in dezeen; October 20, 2022 The Valley – New quarter in Amsterdam Zuidas by MVRDV Architects in Linear; 2022 Valley by Marcel Steinbach in Amsterdam Zuidas; September 14, 2017 MVRDV Breaks Ground on “Valley” in Amsterdam by Ashleigh Popera in Architect.
The dramatic, geology-inspired, plant-covered Valley stands out in Amsterdam’s Zuidas neighbourhood with its three towers of 67, 81, and 100 metres and its spectacular cantilevered apartments. Named the best new skyscraper in the world in the 2021 Emporis Skyscraper Awards, the building distinguishes itself in several ways: firstly, it combines offices, shops, catering, cultural facilities, and apartments in one building; secondly, unlike the closed-off buildings elsewhere in the Zuidas, the green valley that winds between the towers on the fourth and fifth floors is accessible to everyone via two external stone staircases.
Designed for developer Edge (formerly known as OVG Real Estate), Valley is an attempt to bring a green and human dimension back to the inhospitable office environment of Amsterdam Zuidas. It is a building with multiple faces; on the outer edges of the building is a shell of smooth mirrored glass, which fits the context of the business district. Inside this shell, the building has a completely different, more inviting natural appearance, as if the glass block has crumbled away to reveal craggy rock faces inside replete with natural stone and greenery.
Various locations throughout the three-tower complex offer breathtaking views of the city – the apartments, of course, but especially the GREEN gastrobar on the two upper floors of VALLEY. At GREEN Gastrobar visitors and residents can dine on the 26th floor of the VALLEY with an extraordinary 360-degree view of Amsterdam. A must visit for all vegetarian lovers, the sustainable offering of the menu is in line with the innovative and sustainable Valley. Located at the top of the tallest tower, the sky bar and skyroom can be accessed by visitors via the Molteni flagship store on the ground floor on Beethovenstraat. Magnificent vistas are enjoyed overlooking the Zuidas in the beautiful city of Amsterdam.
The building’s layout is tailored to a mixture of residents, workers, and visitors: on top of the three-storey underground car park, offices occupy the lower seven floors, with apartments located on the eighth floor and up. Much of the building is open to the public: from the publicly accessible footpath that zig-zags up to the central valley from the street level, to the Grotto, an atrium that forms a covered street on the first floor where the Sapiens Lab – a breeding ground for young scientists – will soon open. The grotto is connected to the outside by two large skylights that double as shallow water pools in the valley level above, and its natural stone flooring, walls, and ceilings – the same stone used on the surfaces of the valley and towers – makes clear that all the public areas of the building are part of the same apparently geological formation.
The design and construction of Valley is utterly bespoke, requiring the sustained commitment of hundreds of designers, engineers, builders, consultants, and of course the client. The enormously complex shape required a special commitment to fine detailing that further enhances the design concept. MVRDV’s technology experts created a series of custom digital tools to perfect the building, from a tool that ensured every apartment had adequate light and views, to a programme that made possible the apparently random pattern of over 40,000 stone tiles of varying sizes that adorn the building’s façades. Each of the 200 apartments has a unique floorplan, made possible by the interior designs by Heyligers Architects. And the outlandish cantilevers of the towers are possible thanks to innovative engineering, including eleven steel “specials” bolted to the concrete building that take the overall appearance to the next level.
The Valley’s planted areas were a custom design, together with MVRDV, Piet Oudolf, and DeltaVorm Groep. In total, Valley has 370 vegetated areas spread over 26 floors with a total of 1787 m2 of planting area. Landscape architect Piet Oudolf developed a matrix to select the right plants for each location in the building, taking into account factors such as wind, sunlight, temperature, and maintenance. Trees, for example, are largely found on the lower floors, while the uppermost levels mainly support small plants. In total, more than 271 young trees and shrubs and approximately 13,500 smaller plants occupy the natural stone planters, representing 220 different plant species. In the coming years, the building will mature into the lush appearance of the design team’s vision as the greenery continues to grow. The biodiversity of this landscape is further supported by bird- and bat boxes as well as various bee and insect hotels. Maintained using an automatic irrigation system and by “façade gardeners,” the trees and plants on the terraces will positively affect the well-being of people living and working in Valley.
Valley combines insights in the field of sustainability, technology, and health. The building’s energy performance is 30% better than local regulations require, it has received BREEAM-NL Excellent certification for the commercial spaces, and the residential area scored an 8 out of 10 on the GPR Building Scale, a Dutch measurement tool that scores buildings across five themes of energy, environment, health, quality of use, and future value. The latest smart technologies are integrated in the office spaces, including IP-based Building Automation Systems and various sensors linked to monitoring actual usage.
The construction of Valley took four years, with the first residents and entrepreneurs moving into the building at the end of 2021, opening fully in September 2022. In this time, the building’s striking design attracted media attention and debate in the Dutch press. “Once again, MVRDV shows that dream images can be made buildable,” explains Kirsten Hannema for de Volkskrant. “Using 3D software, in which the architects entered requirements with regard to daylight, view, cooling load and noise exposure, they ‘rationalised’ the design. The irregularly shaped facades eventually have about ten different angles, with the natural stone cladding fitted together like a puzzle.”
“An oasis in the stone desert on the Zuidas,” writes Bernard Hulsman in the NRC Handelsblad. “It is not only because of the vertical forest and the cantilevered building parts, eleven of which are so large that they seem to float away, that Valley differs from all the towers that have been built over the past quarter of a century between the Amsterdam ring road A10 and the Buitenveldert district. With catering establishments and shops on the ground floor, offices on the bottom seven floors and, above that, 200 expensive rental homes in many shapes and sizes, Valley is the first building in the Zuidas where working, living, and entertainment are mixed.”