The Head Post Office

I
n mid 1988, Larmag acquired the Head Post Office building in Amsterdam from the Dutch Post Office & Telephone company (P.T.T.). It is one of the largest remaining historic buildings in the centre of the old city, situated directly opposite the Royal Palace, which is on Dam Square, the heart of Amsterdam. The construction of this magnificent building was completed in 1899. It is built in typical neo-gothic style and was designed by the famous Dutch government architect, Cornelis Hendrik Peters (1847-1932).

Head Post Office,
Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 182,
Amsterdam, The Netherlands



The Redevelopment
D
uring 1990 and 1992, Larmag carried out a magnificent renovation and rezoning scheme which transformed what was once the Head Post Office, with counter functions on the ground floor and offices at the top, into a state of the art shopping centre. Much attention was paid to recapturing the original style and character of the building.

Practically the whole interior was stripped


B
y far the most radical change took place to the interior of the building. Not only was the foundation, which was completely rotten, replaced but also practically the whole interior of the building was stripped and completely refurbished.

T
hrough the removal of ceilings and floors and very thick supporting walls, two new atriums were created on either side of the existing atrium in the main hall. This created a more spacious atmosphere, which is intensified through the enlargement of the glass domed roof, allowing for more daylight. The two new atriums are separated from the main atrium by bridges adjoining the galleries. In this way the central area of the building melts into one large open space around which the shops are situated.

Efforts were made to recapture
the original atmosphere

T
he most significant alteration to the outside of the building was the main entrance, which was somewhat inaccessible and not suitable for the building's new purpose. Therefore the narrow passages on both sides of the entrance were widened and the access from street level improved by the erection of easy to climb steps, an escalator and a lift. This also provided accessibility to the disabled.

Head Post Office,
after completion in 1992
Amsterdam, The Netherlands