MVRDV transforms 19th-century Amsterdam building into EV outlet

Images courtesy of Ossip van Duivenbode/MVRDV
Chinese EV-maker Nio has opened a flagship European showroom in a 19th-century insurance building in Amsterdam.

The building on Amsterdam’s Keizersgracht was built in 1891 for the New York Life Insurance Company. It is seven-storeys tall, making it one of the tallest private buildings in the city.

For much of the 20th century, the building was home to the Metz & Co department store and in 2013 became an Abercrombie & Fitch shop, with the upper floors and the 1933 rooftop pavilion – designed by Gerrit Rietveld, one of the leading figures of the Stjl movement – closed to the public.

The remodeling of the building, designed by Dutch architect MVRDV, will reopen the upper part of the building and expose its structural details.

“Nio House” will have a showroom on the ground floor, spaces dedicated to local businesses and a children’s play area on the second. The third storey will have a co-working area, and the fourth an art and design gallery. NIO’s offices will be above that.

The ground and first floor are panelled by 3D-printed material made from recycled drinks cartons.

Jacob van Rijs, MVRDV’s founding partner, said: “The challenge of this project was in unifying the history of this building with the identity of Nio, a company that in many senses is interested in offering a vision of the future.

“In a sense, we are confronting the same challenge that Rietveld resolved so gracefully 90 years ago. Nio House Amsterdam shows how the old and the new can provide a counterpoint for one another and ultimately enrich each other.”

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