At the beginning of the 1970s, this mammoth building symbolized the era of modernity. Architect Hugh Maaskant designed the masterpiece back then. With an area of 30,000 square meters, it was the largest building of its kind at that time in Europe. The WPP Campus Amsteldok – also known by its former name «Rivierstaete» – is attractively located on the banks of the Amstel in southern Amsterdam. The building consists of piled up, staggered white boxes.

Team at WPP

f.l.t.r.: John Vreem, Project Lead, BAM Infratelecom bv; Robert Post, R&M Netherlands; Michel Kortstra, Project Leader, WPP PLC

Then there was a real estate crisis. Around 60 % of the building was empty and technically out of date. «Demolition and new construction would have been the easiest option,» explains the project description. But the owner decided to opt for renovation. The Dutch company MVSA Architects won the pitch.

The modern architects wanted to retain as
much as possible of the original design. They wanted to make the concrete construction behind the facade visible. The monolith was to be converted into a transparent center for creativity with floor-to-ceiling glass frontages. The WPP Campus Amsteldok was to fit seamlessly into its urban surroundings and establish a lively relationship with the neighborhood. The architects feel that this interaction with its surroundings creates a pleasant working environment.

Logistic challenge

The neighborhood played a major role in this project. The WPP Campus Amsteldok building is surrounded by private houses and gardens. There was no space around the building for a material warehouse. The residents were not to be disturbed by the noise outside the working hours.

This created a number of logistics challenges for installation partners BAM Bouw & Techniek and BAM Infra Telecom. They could only deliver their material at strictly defined times and the material had to be transported to the right floor immediately with the building hoist. This task was perfectly coordinated in close collaboration with the Dutch R&M distributor Forehand. Forehand placed the material in storage in advance and scheduled deliveries individually to suit the plans of BAM.

WPP Campus Inside

Management by app

The experts from BAM also ensured precise coordination on the construction site itself. BAM works with the Building Information Modeling (BIM) method. All technical drawings are available in digital form, everything is interconnected. On-site, the project managers download the floor plan updates onto their tablets. The program visualizes changes and additional installation requests. This way, the installers can carry out the work orders immediately. With their mobile devices, they confirm when the job has been finished.

Swiss quality is compelling

Due to previous good experience, BAM had recommended cabling from R&M. «The Cat. 6A EL modules from R&M are easy and fast to install. They always fit incorrectly straight away,» confirms John Vreem, project lead at BAM Infra Telecom bv. The Swiss quality and the performance of the R&M cabling also cut a convincing figure. On top, R&M issued a 25-year warranty – a necessity for this project.

In spite of optimal preparation, the typical challenges of a renovation had to be overcome, and that included dealing with low raised floors. «We had to pay special attention to the bending radius of the cables at the floor outlets,» explains John Vreem. BAM also used a self-developed metal bracket for RJ45 modules. It fits on every cable tray and facilitates overhead installations. Good news, since 150 PoE-powered wireless access points were to be installed on the ceilings and connected with consolidation points.

Courage rewarded

The architects’ summary: «We were rewarded for the courageous investment and the far-sighted renovation approach. Our team has realized a wonderful, unique office complex that is of great interest.» Once work was completed, leasing partners immediately took over the entire building.

New campus for WPP

The international advertising and PR agency WPP plc. is turning the building into a creative campus and named it «WPP Campus Amsteldok». WPP unites all disciplines under one roof and moved in with 20 companies resulting in correspondingly varied use of the LAN.

It also requires high-performance Internet access as 80 % of the agency’s applications run in the cloud. The WPP Campus Amsteldok is situated directly on Amsterdam’s Fiber City Ring. Its transmission performance was to be available in full throughout the building. This necessitates permanently stable data transmission to all outlets and access points. The performance requirement was one of the reasons R&M was chosen.

Around 1,500 WPP employees apply their ideas for the benefit of customers in nine VPNs. The 150 wireless access points support the creative employees perfectly as they prefer to work on a mobile basis. And the cabling offers large reserves for data-hungry applications, such as video productions. Last but not least, WPP runs a call center for market and customer surveys in the Rivierstaete building which also requires diverse LAN functions.