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Alderwoman Gehrels starts construction of new RAI Amtrium

On Tuesday 4 February, the first foundations were laid of the new RAI Amtrium building in Amsterdam. The ceremony was officially started by Carolien Gehrels, Amsterdam alderwoman of Economic Affairs, and Hans Bakker, general director of Amsterdam RAI. During the event, the RAI received the four-star BREEAM-NL new buildings design certificate (Excellent level) from the Dutch Green Building Council. The ceremony was attended by various (business) relations of Amsterdam RAI, the architect and building partners.

The preparations for the construction of RAI Amtrium, the new, flexible and sustainable conference, meeting and office concept on the city centre side of the Amsterdam RAI complex, got underway in October 2013. Designed by Mels Crouwel of Benthem Crouwel Architekten, the building fits in seamlessly with the current RAI complex while providing a new and modern look within the desired urban planning framework.

In addition to the atrium, the most eye-catching element is the large greenhouse for city farming. It will provide vegetables and herbs for the new restaurant ROAST Amsterdam, which will be realised in the low-rise part of the Amtrium. ROAST Amsterdam is the unique rotisserie concept by Michiel Deenik from the renowned restaurant Visaandeschelde.

The compact building is being developed with the most sustainable technologies. Amsterdam RAI and its partners aim to be the first conference centre in the Netherlands to attain the BREEAM-NL Excellent level. During the foundation ceremony, Annemarie van Doorn, director of the Dutch Green Building Council, presented the four-star BREEAM-NL new buildings design certificate (Excellent) to RAI general director Hans Bakker. “Amsterdam RAI is one of the frontrunners in the Netherlands with regard to sustainability,” commented Van Doorn. “This fact has been further underlined by the design of the Amtrium. I am also delighted that a healthy indoor climate is part of the design. The vertical greenhouse, which will provide both fresh crops and clean air, is a real eye-catcher.”

RAI Amtrium is the first project to result from the RAI (Spatial) Future Vision concept developed by Amsterdam RAI and the City of Amsterdam (Dienst Zuidas). The new facility reinforces the RAI’s commitment to invest in sustainable innovation and strengthen its position as an internationally leading exhibition and conference centre. The Amtrium will be taken into use on 1 May 2015.

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