On Tuesday 28 April 2015, the Zuidas district, City of Amsterdam and RAI Amsterdam announced their decision regarding the tender for the RAI hotel. The winner is the NH Hotel Group and its innovative nhow concept. The hotel will be developed by COD and designed by OMA, the firm established by architect Rem Koolhaas.
The City of Amsterdam and RAI Amsterdam issued a tender in June 2014 for the development, realisation and operation of a headquarter hotel next to the RAI. It received no fewer than 11 submissions, all of an exceptionally high quality. Each of the parties received high marks on their proposal for a hospitality function on the top floor. The winning concept by OMA, COD and the NH Hotel Group beat the competition by adding special facilities such as a TV studio, gallery, sculpture garden, spa, restaurant & bar and – its most remarkable feature – the iconic design.
Valuable addition to the city
“On behalf of COD and our development partner Being Development we are proud and honoured that the City of Amsterdam and the RAI chose our plan,” says Gert-Wim Bos, director of COD. “The spectacular nhow Amsterdam RAI concept and the iconic design by OMA will enrich the skyline of the Zuidas district. The hotel will also be a valuable addition to the city and the RAI.”
The construction of the 91-metre hotel is due to start in mid-2016. It will be located in the triangle encompassed by the Europaboulevard, the A10 ring road and the RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre.
OMA has developed a design that seamlessly blends into the current RAI complex while simultaneously offering a new, modern character. OMA partner Reinier de Graaf: “RAI Amsterdam has needed a ‘new’ urban face since the establishment of the Zuidas district. The prominent advertising column, known as ‘Het Signaal’, provided the inspiration for the new nhow Amsterdam RAI hotel, which is to be both part of the new context and an expansion of RAI Amsterdam itself.”
nhow Amsterdam RAI
With its 650 rooms, nhow Amsterdam RAI will become the largest hotel in the Benelux region. Every nhow hotel adapts itself like a chameleon to current trends, 24/7. With the revolutionary design, strong programming and state-of-the-art facilities, a stay in nhow will always be a unique experience. nhow Amsterdam RAI revolves around the theme ‘On Air’, which means highlighting connectivity, innovation and media in the broadest sense.
Maarten Markus, managing director of the NH Hotel Group, sees the development of nhow Amsterdam RAI as a major new asset for the chain’s portfolio, which already includes over 375 hotels: “With 650 rooms, 25 storeys and a multimedia studio at a height of 91 metres, our partners and company will offer a significant addition to the Amsterdam skyline. After nhow Milan, nhow Berlin and nhow Rotterdam, the iconic nhow Amsterdam RAI will become a hub for business and leisure guests in which superior hospitality, unexpected experiences and amazing gastronomy will be ‘On Air’ day and night.”
Landmark for the Zuidas district
Amsterdam council is aiming for a larger and more varied hotel offer, better distributed over the city. It sees major added value in a hotel which features extra facilities in this prime Zuidas location. Klaas de Boer, director of the Zuidas district for the City of Amsterdam: “The Zuidas district is very pleased with the outcome of the successful tender. Although all submissions were of a very high quality, this one really stood out. The design by OMA will serve as a noteworthy access point to the east of the Zuidas district, further increasing the appeal of the area and the RAI to international business traffic.”
A longstanding wish is finally becoming reality for RAI Amsterdam. “The RAI hotel realises our goal to have a so-called headquarter hotel on the RAI premises,” says RAI Amsterdam CEO Hans Bakker. “The hotel will be a home base for organisers, exhibitors and visitors to large, multi-day international events. Thanks to the iconic design by OMA and the 24-hour experience on offer, nhow RAI Amsterdam is a great addition to the RAI complex, making it even more attractive as an event location. It allows us to strengthen our competitive position within the international exhibition and conference market and further increase our spin-off value to the city of Amsterdam.”
The development of the RAI hotel is one of the results of the ‘Spatial Future Vision RAI’ document, drawn up by the Zuidas district and RAI Amsterdam in 2011.