Amsterdam’s mayor opens RAI Amtrium

BREEAM Excellent certificate for the third-generation exhibition building
RAI Amsterdam opened the doors to its new multi-purpose exhibition and convention centre on Tuesday, 2 June 2015. The mayor of Amsterdam Eberhard van der Laan carried out the ceremonial opening of the Amtrium, a third-generation structure which unites exhibition, convention and office functions. It also features two restaurants and a special greenhouse for urban farming. The Amtrium is the first convention building in Europe to receive the BREEAM-NL Excellent label from DGBC.

The Amtrium – a combination of Amsterdam and atrium – has given the RAI a new face on the side of the complex closest to the city centre. The mayor of Amsterdam Eberhard van der Laan attended the official opening, expressing his pride over this extension and his conviction that the Amtrium will strengthen the position of Amsterdam as a convention city in Europe.

For RAI Amsterdam CEO Hans Bakker, the opening is a milestone. “The Amtrium shows our faith in the future. Combining functionalities will enable the RAI to attract even more international multiday events to Amsterdam. This is crucial for the RAI itself, and for business tourism in the greater Amsterdam area in general.”

BREEAM-NL Excellent label
The most eye-catching element of the Amtrium is its five-story vertical greenhouse. This unique urban farm will produce vegetables and herbs for the RAI’s own restaurants as well as the restaurant The Roast Room. The urban farm is an example of RAI Amsterdam’s progressive sustainability policy. The Amtrium was designed by Benthem Crouwel Architects as the first convention building in Europe with the BREEAM-NL Excellent label. Prior to the opening ceremony, Hans Bakker received the certificate from Daan van Vliet, who will become chairman of the Dutch Green Building Council (DGBC) on July 1.

“This certification is a testament to RAI Amsterdam’s dedication to enhancing the sustainability of the built environment,” Van Vliet said. “Given its iconic value,  the Amtrium building is emblematic not just for the city but also for the rest of the Netherlands and the wider world. Continuing to develop this part of Amsterdam in a sustainable manner – including construction of the largest sustainable hotel in the Benelux – will ensure that the RAI maintains its leading role.”

Heritage logo
The official opening was symbolised by the cutting of a red ribbon, which revealed the iconic red RAI logo surrounded by a new house style. “Today we celebrate the past, present and future of RAI Amsterdam,” Bakker said. “The advertising mast ‘het Signaal’ has always been a symbol of the RAI. We chose to restore this icon to its former importance and once again use it as our official logo.”

Over the last decade, RAI Amsterdam has invested more than €180 million in high-quality modern facilities for major international multiday events. These investments have a significant economic value for the city of Amsterdam. The Amtrium is the first building to result from the Spatial Future Vision agreement, drawn up jointly by RAI Amsterdam and the municipality of Amsterdam.

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