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Cargo Building 18, Amsterdam

Cargo warehouse, Offices, Schiphol Amsterdam NL, Project Team: René van Zuuk, Kersten Scheller, Client: Schiphol Real Estate, Start of design: 2006, Completion: 2009, Area: 12.000 m², Volume: 120.000 m³, Building costs: €10.000.000

Panapina is the first Cradle to Cradle building of Schiphol. Due to the new security rules of the airport the building was too close to the landing strip. Therefore the building is fully dismantled and rebuilt on a plot 10 kilometers from the original spot.


Panalpina, one of the biggest international logistics service providers, has crafted a new development scheme, together with Schiphol Real Estate, for a first-class cargo building along the Schiphol runway. The plot reserved for the project is 10000m² in surface and is adjacent to the A.S Schiphol runway, near the boundary of the airport grounds.

The new design had to take into consideration two main points. Firstly, the new building would have to serve as a connection between the road and the runway, so that goods can be brought in, get sorted, and exit through the other side, to reach their final destination. Secondly, restrictions were imposed as regards the height of the building. Considering the planned expansion of the airport, the new Panalpina building was at no circumstances allowed to block the view of traffic control on a potential future runway.

In addition to the 10000m² distribution hall, 2000m² of offices had to be provided. In buildings with a similar scenario, the offices are often placed on the street side. The Panalpina board, however, wanted to be able to have visual contact with the runway from the offices, in order to monitor the truck loading docks. It was then decided to place the offices diagonally to the distribution hall and to create an angled roof for better visual contact with the exterior. Thus, both parameters are met. Access to the offices is made possible through a staircase that leads to an entrance hall. This hall is connected to the cargo part of the building on the street side, where a visitor can experience the full height of the project.

The industrial function of the building is omnipresent in the materials utilized. The main ground-floor volume, consists of a steel construction, cladded with grey, anthracite sheets. The office spaces boast translucent polycarbonate plates, allowing the entrance of diffused daylight, in order to have luminous workspaces. At night, the light shines through the translucent plates, and the Panalpina logo is visible from the other side of the airport.

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