Equinix data center AM7 at the Business Park Amstel III in Amsterdam is a digital gateway to Europe. Since the beginning of this century, AM7 has been one of the most important digital hubs in the Netherlands for numerous networks, clouds and service providers. To facilitate the required growth of the data center, Benthem Crouwel Architects and RHDHV developed a masterplan for the entire AM7 site, allocating the new extensions next to the existing building.
The renovated data center is designed by RHDHV, complimented by a façade by Benthem Crouwel Architects. Benthem Crouwel Architects also designed a completely new Front of House. The old and new parts of the building are connected by a corridor, which acts as the backbone of AM7.
The bright, accessible Front of House with its open reception area is AM7's representative entrance. An open facade of double-height glass wall is strategically shaded with a printed pattern, that keeps the sunlight out while preserving transparency.
In the center of the Front of House entrance hall you see the characteristic red Equinix “silo” with the security lobby and registration desk. All public spaces in the Front of House are placed around this cylindrical space. While passing through the various security shells, each visitor takes a short walk around the silo as they continue to enter the building.
The two-storey building connects to the adjacent data center on every level. The first and second floors contain offices, meeting rooms and relaxation areas for clients.
In contrast to the open Front of House, the entire data center has a closed, black and silver façade that protects the technology inside. This façade, designed as a net curtain, with wavy panels of silver and black perforated aluminum, was created by digital technology and random number generator. The variation in the wave pattern, the color and the reflection of the panels create a dynamic play of light and space in the completely closed building volume.
Benthem Crouwel did a great job designing the facade in a way that perfectly fits our high standards. It looks very friendly and has a striking appearance and thus sets a new standard for the new Amstel III business district.
– Michiel Eielts, Managing Director Equinix Benelux
Despite the different character of the volumes, the Front of House and the data center form an architectural ensemble due to their clear and sleek finish. The abundant facades both have a refined vertical articulation with horizontal patterns that give a human dimension to the volumes and thus match the adjacent buildings.
AM7 is located on Business Park Amstel III, a business district that will change into a lively city area to work, live and relax over the coming years. The thoughtful, low-rise design of AM7 has a human dimension that blends into the surrounding urban landscape and fits into the new composition of the city. In addition, AM7 has already been made suitable for urban heat exchange - a development that can be followed up on in the future.
Benthem Crouwel Architects and Equinix work together to great satisfaction - design of Equinix data centers AM3 and AM4 at the Science Park in Amsterdam has received multiple awards since completion in 2017.