A Bamboo Kaleidoscope: Green Hotel Jakarta Amsterdam

A Bamboo Kaleidoscope:
Green Hotel Jakarta Amsterdam

It will probably be the last new building on Java Island, the successful urban renewal project in Amsterdam's Eastern Docklands, but it certainly is the jewel in the crown. Hotel Jakarta by WestCord makes Amsterdam the city with the greenest hotel in the Netherlands. Green in several meanings: one of the most sustainable hotels in Europe and certainly the best example of a place that breathes nature. Right next to the entrance and lobby, the lush subtropical garden, together with the warm bamboo materials, defines the natural atmosphere that is the keynote of the whole building.

MOSO is proud to have contributed significantly to the green look-and-feel with its diverse sustainable bamboo products. With its opening in late June 2018, Amsterdam has a new sustainable hotspot for world travellers, the Java Island neighbourhood community and residents of the capital.

Unique concept with emphasis on sustainability

When in the end of 2013 the city was looking for a partner for the development, realisation and financing of a special hotel project at the head of Java Island, right near Amsterdam central station, the criteria were quite demanding. The prominent location required a unique concept with focus on architecture, sustainability, as well as a communal program. From many submitted plans, WestCord Hotels, together with SeARCH architecture office, could prove themselves in the final selection round.

The story behind the winning concept took its starting point in the maritime connection between Amsterdam and Asia to create one of the most stunning green hotels in Europe. 

A narrative across time and geography

Giant bamboo is the fastest growing plant on the planet and grows naturally in many (sub)tropical regions around the globe. Having worked with bamboo before, SeARCH architects chose a variety of MOSO products, among others because of the possible colour selection and the flexibility of MOSO to offer custom-made solutions. SeARCH architect Kathrin Hanf: "The use of bamboo forges a narrative across time and geography. This traditional material of the Far East connects Hotel Jakarta to a chapter of Dutch-Indonesian shipping history written on site. Bamboo is a natural, highly modern answer to the present need to create sustainable environments."

Hotel Jakarta included many sustainable applications like solar panels and a rainwater collector to reach the sustainable certification score BREEAM Excellent. The building is energy-neutral; all bamboo materials used even have a negative CO2 footprint. The total quantity of different bamboo products that have been installed in the hotel would fill five giant sea containers.

Versatile bamboo

The hotel complex has more to offer than just designer accommodation. The atrium with the widespread subtropical indoor garden with several meter high lush green vegetation invites a walk through and regulates the temperature in summer and winter. From this green heart of the hotel, guests and other visitors have access to rooms and different public hotel facilities like the restaurant, a wellness area and the hotel-owned bakery. The extensive window facade makes the so-called “pasar” light and airy, while natural bamboo adds warmth to the tropical vibe.

Hotel Jakarta perfectly shows how versatile bamboo really is as a building material. If you look closely, you can discover many different types and colours of bamboo all around you. Some subtle, some striking – bamboo flooring, wall covering, ceilings, window frames, doors, beams and furniture details will sooner or later catch your eye. The broad selection of natural colours blends seamlessly into each other to create a harmonious whole that stands in fresh contrast to the industrial character of the concrete and glass. Besides the warm appearance, many of the bamboo materials have been chosen for their high durability.

One of the hotel’s highlights is certainly the “bamboo ship” above the bar in the gastronomy area. The beams were artfully cut from panels to create the outline of an ancient trading boat. The installation is again a reference to the Dutch-Asian trade relations. Relations that also apply to MOSO, being a Dutch company specialised in bamboo products that are grown and produced in Asia and shipped into Europe and the rest of the world.

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