The city of Amsterdam wanted a building that would stand out, creating a recognizable location in a developing area by the busy A2 highway. They got it.
The Fletcher Hotel, designed by Benthem Crouwel Architecten, is a 60m high blue cylinder with a distinctive glass façade of circles within circles. The glass is, in fact, the outer skin of a double-layer wall system. 900 mm behind the glass is the inner skin of FRP. The curved panels are attached to the concrete superstructure by steel brackets. Additional steel brackets are mounted exterior to the FRP, to support the glass skin. The distance between the two is large enough for a window cleaning system.
Both inner and outer skins are screen printed with the large circular designs that are the building’s trademark. In addition, the FRP skin is “port-holed” with circular fixed windows. The circles on the hot-bent glass panels are done in a halftone-like pattern that allows relative transparency from the point of view of occupants, while creating very visible color from the nearby highway. At night, accent lights between the two skins are added to the circles of light created by illumination in the hotel rooms.
The double skin helps with thermal control of the interior, and also reduces noise from highway.
The wall system was designed and executed by Octatube, with glass panels produced in China. Originally, the glass facade was to be fixed to a wood-framed structure. The switch to FRP saved weight and solved other engineering challenges.
Images via Benthem Crouwel Architecten