Golden Tulip Inntel Hotel in Zaandam (E-1 + 11-22mm)

Started Jul 7, 2012 | Discussions thread
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JustFred
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Golden Tulip Inntel Hotel in Zaandam (E-1 + 11-22mm)
Jul 7, 2012

This is the Hotel Inntel Zaandam, a madcap fairytale of a building. In fact, this 12-storey structure is, for a while, hard to take in. It looks like a trick, a conjuring act, as if some maverick architect ran off to join the circus, and learned how to balance one building on top of another, possibly while riding a bike. It's a stupefying, funny, delightful building – a quirky addition to the skyline of Zaandam, capital of the Zaanstad region and a town best known (until now) for its cocoa, biscuits and Europe's first McDonald's.

"I didn't set out to shock," says Wilfried van Winden, chief architect of WAM, the Delft-based practice behind it. "But this is, of course, an outspoken building. And the language it speaks is the architectural language of Zaanstad. It makes a big statement, sure, but the building is not an imposition – it belongs here." All the facades you see, explains the architect, are based on traditional Zaanstad houses. "From a stately notary's dwelling," he says, "to workers' cottages."

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