Paul de Ruiter

QO Amsterdam wins FRAME Awards’ societal award for sustainability

February 21, 2019 During last night's international award ceremony, QO Amsterdam grabbed the number one spot in the public vote.

QO Amsterdam, designed by the collaborative team of Mulderblauw architecten and Paul de Ruiter Architects, is located in Amsterdam’s vibrant Amstel quarter. QO Amsterdam is one of Europe’s most sustainable lifestyle hotels, and embodies a seamless blend of luxury and circularity. Its interior design was by TANK and the London office of Conran and Partners. The hotel is part of IHG Management’s portfolio, and was commissioned by the Amstelside company.

Energy from natural sources

One of the most visible circular design innovations of this unique 21-storey “living building” is its “intelligent” moving façade. The façade consists of 1,638 moving thermal panels installed on the outside of the windows, which respond to changing weather conditions when guests are absent from the rooms, thereby serving an insulating function that maintains ideal room temperature throughout the building even when it’s cold outside, admitting sunlight for additional warmth when necessary. This revolutionary feature cuts energy requirements for heating and cooling by up to 40%. Seventy metres below ground is the hotel's energy storage system, which stores unused hot water in the summer months and uses this to heat the building when temperatures drop. In addition, floor-to-ceiling windows and the central positioning of the building’s systems allow QO to meet 80% of its lighting needs with nothing but daylight, keeping electricity requirements to a minimum especially in the daytime. The rooftop greenhouse uses the latest technological innovations and the most progressive principles of organic farming to grow the hotel’s fruit and vegetables and breed its fish. The greenhouse runs on an aquaponics system, which allows the plants and fish to grow in a mutually beneficial ecosystem.

Sustainability and circularity

QO Amsterdam was built according to the internationally recognised LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards of sustainability, and is one of the first LEED Platinum certified hotels on the continent. The hotel stands as a testament to the unparalleled ability of the sustainable approach and design circularity to support the well-being of both people and planet without compromising luxury. The principles that underpin QO are about much more than simply ticking a few environmentally friendly boxes: they form the very lifeblood of the building, its products and services, and its entire operation, in both visible and invisible ways. The closing of loops regarding the use of energy, water, waste and materials in the building’s design and construction are an essential part of this foundation.

Design and construction

QO’s concept and design were created and executed by the collaborative team of Mulderblauw architecten, Paul de Ruiter Architects and Arup on behalf of the Amstelside company. Construction was by J.P. van Eesteren and Croonwolter&dros, both members of TBI Holdings, and project management was by 4Building. The hotel’s 200 rooms, including its 12 suites, were designed by the London office of Conran and Partners, and TANK were responsible for the restaurant interior, bars and public spaces.

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