© Ossip van Duivenbode

Apollolaan 171

The Apollolaan is a prominent green avenue in Amsterdam’s south district, within a unique neighborhood defined by Berlage’s architecture from the early twentieth century, and the iconic Hilton Hotel by the Dutch modernist H.A. Maaskant. In the late 1980s, the JP Morgan bank organized a design competition for its new office located at a corner site along the Apollolaan. The monolithic design by Wim Quist with a largely opaque façade – suiting the security needs of the bank – was favored against other competition entries, including that of OMA. As the building transformed from the space for a single financial institution into rental offices in the subsequent years, the original design could no longer meet the new functional needs, or the anticipation of the tenants to work in a more open work environment connected with the neighbourhood.