On Stadhouderskade, between Vondelpark and the Marriot Hotel, stands the building Byzantium, designed by Rem Koolhaas. The complex contains shops, offices, apartments and a parking garage. Striking is its almost detached gold-coloured extension. Most of the complex is situated on Vondelpark.
Apart from the gold-coloured elements and the blue mirror glass windows of the office tower, Byzantium is a fairly unpretentious complex. Despite the receding volume at the backside, the subdued greyish blue colour and the building's relative unobtrusiveness, Byzantium was controversial when it was built from 1988 to 1991.
Purists objected to the gold-coloured glazed front, which ascends diagonally towards Vondelpark, and to the gold-coloured, round extension above the entrance to Vondelpark. Originally, the 'golden' extension should have been a revolving restaurant, reachable by a glass lift on the outside of the building. However, the lift proved too costly, and so the extension was added to the upper apartment, back then, with 500 m2, the biggest penthouse in the city.
While not everyone likes the building there is plenty of interest to live in it. Rich oil sheiks, businessmen and writers all have stayed here. DJ Tiësto occasionally rents the penthouse. Even King Willem-Alexander wanted an apartment here when he was still a prince, which eventually was cancelled due to security reasons.
place Stadhouderskade 20, Amsterdam Leidseplein
tram 1, 2, 5, 7, 11, 12, 19 Leidseplein directions_bus 752, 754, 758 Leidseplein