The 4-star Hotel Arena is located in a listed building, namely the former Saint Elisabeth Orphanage in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Work on the extension of Hotel Arena started in 2013 and was completed in 2016.
It included the construction of a new hotel wing and two modern pavilions which look onto the Oosterpark, along with the PARK café/restaurant and a space for meetings and events. The café has a spacious terrace with a broad set of steps made from durable clay pavers that leads directly down to the park.
The monumental chapel that was originally decorated with stained glass has been restored and is now used for weddings and other celebrations.
Sander Signor of Buro Sant en Co: “The main entrance to Hotel Arena was moved from its original location on ’s Gravesandestraat to the Oosterpark. As a result, the building that was initially surrounded by high fencing now fronts onto the Oosterpark.
The new glazed side wings by Team V Architectuur, the structure of which is based on the old drawing by the original architect Bleijs, create an optimum relationship between inside and outside.
The introduction of the new landscaped pond, the addition of a broad set of steps leading down to the park and the continuation of the greenery around the building make the complex in its entirety a logical part of the park.”
The listed building as we know it today is therefore based on the original design by architect Bleijs from 1888 which was never fully realised.
Team V Architectuur built on that design and enhanced the quality to create an extension that is contemporary but takes into account the historical significance of the monument at the same time: another prerequisite that Team V Architectuur had to meet.
“Because the façade of the two new wings is made entirely of glass, the inside and the outside blend into each other almost seamlessly. We wanted to emphasise that by literally extending the outdoor paving indoors. Because the architecture itself is so strong, we also wanted to use a material that would add smallness of scale and ‘personality’.
For these areas, we chose a clay paver which has a pleasant human dimension in terms of its size and proportions. Because this small format makes people feel comfortable, the brick emphasises the fact that this building is intended to be used by people and not just to make a powerful design statement,” explains Sanne Schenk of TANK.
“The reason we chose the yellow colour was 'to bring the sun inside'. The yellowish colour gives both the conservatory and the terrace a warm, positive feel that makes people want to spend time there.
The colour fits in perfectly with the grey of the concrete columns and floor in the centre of the space.”