A Lab: building towards future success in Amsterdam

A Lab provides 33 office spaces plus semi-public areas that can be used to explore the borders of our media and technological era through case studies, meetings and debates. Some promising startups, such as games developer Vanguard Games and Appsterdam, have already moved in. The opening of this new business complex has not gone unnoticed by the Dutch media outlets. Television news programme Nieuwsuur and newspaper Het Parool presented an interesting look inside this former Shell laboratory, which is situated on the northern bank of the River IJ.

A creative hotspot

The A Lab is located beside the Overhoeks Tower, the former Shell head office that is currently being transformed into a cultural eye-catcher, housing the ID&T headquarters, a hotel, restaurants and a nightclub. In 2007, Royal Dutch Shell sold off both the land and buildings to create what is now known as the Overhoeks development. It incorporates many new apartment buildings, event venues and public gardens, as well as the impressive EYE Filmmuseum (opened in 2012). Both developments illustrate that the Amsterdam Noord district is rapidly becoming a hotspot for a diverse range of creative professionals and companies.

Music television giant MTV (Benelux) and Red Bull, the biggest-selling energy drinks company, have already established their European offices in the former shipyards here. Adjacent to MTV, in a previously derelict shipbuilding warehouse, is a home to 250 artists, aptly dubbed 'arts city'.

Startup hub

Moreover, A Lab’s development illustrates the vibrant startup culture in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area. Numerous leading figures in the sector have praised Amsterdam as an inspirational startup hub. For example, entrepreneur and Silicon Valley veteran Dan Harple noted that Amsterdam is a hotspot for internet startups. He described the startup scene in Amsterdam as “cutting edge” and “state of the art”.