The Omval

The Rembrandttoren (skycraper) is located on the Omval, a spit of land between the Amstel River and the Diemermeer (lake, now Watergraafsmeer) which was drained in 1629. In the 17th century, the people from Amsterdam used to enjoy going there for a day out in nature. Rembrandt himself sometimes visited the area to draw. In 1645 he made an etching of the area. The etching shows a large willow hiding a pair of lovers with the Amstel in the background.

 

The Rembrandt Tower just before completion in 1995

Mondriaantoren and Breitnertoren (towers)

During the 20th century, the Omval developed into an industrial area where, among the companies, the cocoa manufacturer Blooker was located. Since then, the factories have made way for office blocks and residential buildings along the Amstel. Apart from the Rembrandtoren, two other tall office blocks were built. These two are also named after famous Dutch artists: Mondriaan and Breitner. In 2003, Blooker’s original porter’s lodge was rebuilt among the office giants.

 

The original Blooker porter house was demolished and then rebuilt in 2003

Skyscraper

During the building of the Rembrandttoren, the Dutch architects sought the advice of their American colleagues Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, specialists in the construction of skyscrapers. The three Americans have built the current tallest skyscraper in the world, the 828 metre tall ‘Burj Khalifa’ in Dubai (United Arab Emirates).

 

The Mondriaan and Brietner towers being built to the right of the Rembrandt tower, 2000