The Zandkasteel: way ahead of its time
It was intended to be ‘a human building’. In the early 1980s, the Nederlandse Middenstandsbank – the NMB, forerunner of the ING – decided to have a new office built. The location was to be Amsterdam-Zuidoost, and the building was to become the new, high-profile home for the bank’s various Amsterdam branches. Alberts & Van Huut succeeded admirably in that mission. The architectural firm designed an iconic, organic building perfectly attuned to the human scale. The sand-coloured office – popularly known as ‘het Zandkasteel’ (the Sandcastle) – was completed in 1987 and was an immediate sensation, both inside and outside.