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Red Bull Amsterdam Headquarters

Sid Lee Architecture was mandated to create the new Red Bull Amsterdam headquarters. The company agreed to settle in the North side of Amsterdam’s port area, in a site evocative of both an artistic street culture and the intensity of extreme sports. The project landed in an old heritage shipbuilding factory, facing a timeless crane and an old disused Russian submarine. 

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“To design the inner space, we aimed at retrieving Red Bull’s philosophy, dividing spaces according to their use and spirit, to suggest the idea of the two opposed and complementary hemispheres of the human mind, reason versus intuition, arts versus the industry, dark versus light, the rise of the angel versus the mention of the beast”, says Jean Pelland, lead design Architect and Senior Partner at Sid Lee Architecture.

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Inside the shipbuilding factory, with its three adjacent bays, the architects focused on expressing the dichotomy of space, shifting from public spaces to private ones, from black to white and from white to black. Our goal in this endeavour was to combine the almost brutal simplicity of an industrial built with Red Bull’s mystical invitation to perform. The interior architecture with its multiple layers of meaning conveys this dual personality, reminding the user of mountain cliffs one moment and skate board ramps the next. These triangle-shaped piles, as if ripped off the body of a ship, build up semi-open spaces that can be viewed from below, as niches, or from above, as bridges and mezzanines spanning across space. In the architecture we offer, nothing is clearly set; all is a matter of perception. Photos by Ewout Huibers

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