Rowing Building River

rowing in the forest

Bosbaan Rowing Building, Amstelveen

The Bosbaan in Amstelveen is the premier venue for people interested in rowing in  the Netherlands. In order to meet requirements for international competitions, the Bosbaan has recently been widened, resulting in the demolition of the landmark tribune building from the 1920s in which the student rowing association Okeanos was accommodated. 

The students consequently worked for many years on the preparation of a replacement building in almost the exact same location. In a joint venture with the Royal Dutch Rowing Association (KNRB), Okeanos was finally able to replace the tribune building with a new structure of appropriate size.

location: Bosbaan, Amstelveen
design: 2004
realisation: 2005
extension: 2013-2014
client: KNRB and student rowing association Okeanos
structural engineer: Pieters Bouwtechniek
contractor: MJ de Nijs and WBC (extension)
advisor - technical installations: Frank Burger and Mobius Consult
photography: Stefan Müller, Luuk Kramer (extension)
Rowing Building Start
Rowing Building Pergola Outside

The building is situated on a narrow strip between the flat banks of the rowing course and the wooded area behind.
The long building combines two volumes, one for each client, under one widely cantilevered flat timber roof.

Rowing Building Long Side
Rowing Building Balcony

The balcony replaces the former tribune during small competitions and daily training.

The building has been designed from the inside out: a balcony spanning the entire length of the building emphasises and frames impressive views over the water. The opening between the two volumes forms an almost monumental porch, or better: a covered outdoor "room with a view". The generous proportions of all the elements relate to the large scale of the surrounding landscape. 

The materials used for the structure, concrete and timber, are left exposed, resulting in a warm, robust exterior that closely relates to the interior. Thanks to the use of imported prefabricated timber elements from Switzerland and Germany, no additional linings were necessary in the building of the large cantilevered roof and the generous corner windows. The timber’s rough, dark surface allows the building to visually merge into the woods behind it while the panels painted in different shades of green contribute to the perceptual differentiation of the lengthy building mass.

Rowing Building Side
Rowing Building Bridge
Rowing Building Plan

KNRB building section
1 entrance
2 training room
3 toilets
4 coaches
5 KNRB office

Okeanos building section
6 club house
7 kitchen
8 teams 
9 commissions
10 management

Rowing Building Gym
Rowing Building Gym2
Rowing Building Corridor Window
Rowing Building Gym Hall

In 2012 the building was extended. The KNRB added new training facilities and office spaces to the ensemble. On the side of the rowing course the building seems unchanged. On the side of the forest the new extensions appear as a backpack. For the structure and in the interior, materials, colours and techniques similar to those used in the original building were selected. In terms of finishes and interior acoustics, we were able to add a new chapter to our research on the application of innovative timber systems. 

Rowing Building Window Bridge
Rowing Building Corridor Hallway
Rowing Building Corridor
Rowing Building Window
Rowing Building Skylight
Rowing Building Stair Corridor
Rowing Building Stair
Rowing Building Shower Corner
Rowing Building Forest