Now that the Houthaven neighbourhood is no longer used for the transhipment of timber, this section of land is changing into a mixed creative area, while retaining its industrial character. Soon this will be home to large ships, stylish fashion, rugged factories, lively television recordings and theatre shows. Mediahaven turns making television into a public and open experience, and it is a creative pioneer that has brought expression to the transformation of Houthavens.

Robust and open

Immediately on entering, a large atrium is presented to the public which also turns the entrance into a foyer. This can be fully opened on the water side by means of the glass folding doors which are five metres high. This not only makes it more stylish, but it also transforms the ground floor into a stage in the docklands area on festive occasions. The atrium does even more than this. It allows daylight to flood deep into the building and makes the entire process of creating television visible to the makers and spectators alike. For instance, one of the two studios directly adjoins the atrium. By opening the glass partition wall, it can be brought into use in the studio at special moments. Furthermore, the atrium creates a transparent work atmosphere and an open business culture and stimulates co-productions between the various companies on the premises.

Rough is finish

In the interior, a connection was sought with the rough character of the harbour. For this purpose, the principle of ‘rough is finish’ was applied which results in an interior with an industrial appearance. This combines the best of both worlds, namely the honesty of the shell is combined with the ingenuity of contemporary installation technology. For instance, the construction of the building is clearly visible in the interior, and the pattern left by the timber formwork in the concrete signals the traditional construction methods used. The installations have been included in the concrete floors that were all poured in place. This has various advantages. For instance, it was possible to incorporate underfloor heating and ceiling cooling everywhere in the concrete shell, which provides a high level of user comfort. At the same time, it also provides an aesthetic quality, namely a clear interior. The only added elements are the light fittings, which also provide a significant acoustic value, and the sprinkler system.

Being seen

The fully glazed north facade offers employees an impressive view of life in the port. The large atrium not only provides an impressive entry for visitors, but it also allows daylight to flood deep into the building and provides lines of sight that enable an exchange between the various floors. In this way, the transparent interior exposes the entire process of making television, from writing texts to camera recordings, and from editing to the celebratory drinks during a TV show, Mediahaven combines all of these aspects in a single building and turns it into an experience, both for visitors and employees.

  • commission: new-build TV studio with offices
  • location: Minervahaven Amsterdam
  • client: Mediahaven Vastgoed B.V.
  • project management: Impact Vastgoedrealisme B.V.
  • structural engineer: Zonneveld Ingenieurs B.V.
  • acoustics and building consultant: LBP/Sight
  • building services consultant: Hori raadgevend ingenieursbureau B.V.
  • contractor: Uijtewaal Bouw B.V.
  • program: offices, 2 studios, dressing rooms, deliveries bay, parking
  • floor area: 7.100 m²
  • design: 2010
  • completion: 2014
  • publication Architecture Yearbook 2013/2014
  • photography: Jeroen Musch