Everyday Asia

Home » Travel » Europe » Sightseeing Amsterdam’s The Edge

Sightseeing Amsterdam’s The Edge

Global views


Amsterdam is known for bicycles, canals, gorgeous historic buildings, cheese, fries with mayonnaise, beer, coffee shops & its red light district…

My last day took a bit of a departure from that list… with a rather modern edge!

It started with a delightful breakfast catch-up at a café in Oosterpark followed by a ride on the back of a bicycle to the metro. (pretty standard stuff so far)

And then?

Why naturally hop over to Amsterdam Zuid for lunch in the business district! Isn’t that everyone’s top destination?



Far from the typical grand historic buildings of Amsterdam Centraal, Zuid is the universe of office towers like ABN, World Trade Centre… which to my Asian eyes all seem oddly stunted and small when your measuring stick is Hong Kong, Singapore, Taipei and Tokyo!

20141124_4ABN 20141124_4ABN2 20141124_5WTC Square

The highlight was checking out the spanking new THE EDGE which boasts being the world’s most innovative and sustainable office building. And I gotta admit, it is deceptively impressive. Unassuming from the exterior, the features and feel is what makes it remarkable.

20141124_6TheEdge2 20141124_6TheEdge3

So what is it like inside? Cus naturally I got the full tour! We first went up… to look 15 floors down the atrium where there is a cheerful café below… and lovely lounge space above…

20141124_EdgeLookingDown 20141124_EdgeLounge

The view of the sky from the roof was spectacular… I was ‘ahem’ encouraged to lean on the gravity defying glass at the top but declined. 😉


Nope! I'm not gonna lean against the glass wall...

Nope! I’m not gonna lean against the angled glass barrier…

So much is controlled by applications from your smart phone or tablet:

  • Wanna book a room? Just wave your phone in front of the bar code and select
  • Room to hot? cold? bright? dark? Tap tap and adjust to your preference
  • Need to project your presentation… tap tap without any wires…
  • Phone battery low, just set it on the table and it will recharge – again without any wires…
  • Need a locker for your bike helmet and stuff? No keys or codes required here – just select and secure with your phone and as you come back, your locker door will sense your arrival and automatically pop open
  • Can’t find your colleague? Tap tap to find out where s/he is in the building (ooh big brother time!)

Everything is designed to not just be ‘state of the art’ but also resource ‘smart’ so that real-time utilisation links to how much heating / cooling and even cleaning different parts of the building require.

Natural light from the south side minimises the need for artificial lighting during the day. Solar panels on the north side of the building charge all laptops, phones, etc. Whereas more solar panels on the roof meet the requirements to heat, cool and light the building. Rainwater is used to flush toilets and water plants.

20141124_EdgeRoom 20141124_EdgeRoomBooking

I didn’t check out the gym but apparently as you exercise, you help power the building too. Naturally public transportation is encouraged with a large board at the entrance providing the latest options and times. There are also plenty of spots for bicycle parking and none nearby for cars. Typical for Amsterdam, there are recycling bins everywhere too.

Green is good... red is naughty!

Green is good… red is naughty!

The place is so new that many floors are still getting ready for occupancy. and all around the building are signs of construction and change.


The view is very much that of ‘new’ rather than ‘old’ Amsterdam… what was remarkable for me is how empty the roads are of traffic!

20141124_EdgeView1 20141124_EdgeView2

What a fascinating opportunity to explore what could potentially be the future of office buildings which are wireless, adaptable, sustainable and apparently even carbon negative in terms of their impact on the environment.

Living in polluted Mumbai where it seems all building construction is mired in dangerous short-cuts, corruption and disregard for the environment and people, it is easy to become cynical. So all the more reason to be impressed by initiatives like The Edge that attempts to make a positive difference.

Anyone else find such a ‘tour’ interesting? Or am I the only weirdo out there that finds such things worth seeing and wish in my lifetime to see such structures in my adopted home India?

More info? Check out:

Related posts:



  1. I love the concept of having humans generate power for the building in the gym 😉

  2. Going through any European city it feels like that all the big buildings are kind of stunted compared to North American and Asian monstrosities 🙂

  3. BerLinda says:

    That is so cool! 🙂

  4. Sarah M says:

    Really interesting. It’s amazing that when you think you’ve seen everything in a city there’s still plenty out there that you haven’t seen. Need to add Amsterdam to my ‘places to revisit’ list.

  5. I also would not have leaned on that glass, nope no way! Happy to see something Dutch on your blog though :).

  6. Anna says:

    This place is way too high-tech for me. I feel a panic attack just thinking of all this semi-intuitive technology!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,659 other subscribers
%d bloggers like this: