New Amsterdam Plein & Pavilion opens to public in New York City

Buro Happold developed integrated engineering systems for prominent new landmark

New York City celebrates its Dutch heritage with the opening of an iconic public structure in the busy Peter Minuit Plaza, gateway to Manhattan’s Battery Park. The landmark commemorates the 400th anniversary of the founding of New Amsterdam and was made possible through a grant from the Dutch government.

International multidisciplinary engineering consultancy Buro Happold provided structural engineering, MEP engineering, lighting design, and fabrication modelling for the New Amsterdam Plein & Pavilion. While the structure itself was unveiled in 2009, the visitor information centre and café only opened to the public this month.

Buro Happold collaborated with UN Studios and Handel Architects (associate architect) to design the white windmill shaped structure. Features include:

  • Structure: the structure is made of durable, low-maintenance steel and plywood covered with a flexible wood fibre surface and coated with Polyurea, a material used in the production of spandex, to create a smooth and seamless surface
  • Integration: the fully-integrated structural, MEP systems, and lighting fixtures are concealed in the structure’s shell
  • Ventilation: the interior is naturally ventilated through shading fins that allow hot air to escape, but protect against rain, and reduce the need for air conditioning and heating
  • Production: the structural components were designed and produced using the file-to-factory process
  • Lighting: an interactive touch screen projection imaging system balances a double-layer dynamic LED lighting system, which allows the glass exterior walls to change colours and glow at night

Michael McGough, MEP principal at Buro Happold said “The project appears deceivingly simple, but required complex integration. Because of its small size, it was especially important to integrate MEP building systems seamlessly into the design of the structural geometry to highlight the structure’s charm.”


For more information, please contact:

Gill Sincock 

Corporate Communications Manager

Tel  +44 (0)1225 320600   Email

Buro Happold is an independent international practice of consulting engineers. Since 1976 we have grown in size and reach to serve public and private clients across a full range of sectors through an international network of 29 offices.

We draw on the multi-disciplinary skills, knowledge and experience of our local experts to design and deliver award winning building, infrastructure and environmental projects that excel for clients, engage with communities and enrich the lives of users.

Sustainability, innovation and holistic consulting are at the heart of everything we do and we are committed to touching the earth lightly. We think harder and are dedicated to addressing the big challenges that face the planet – climate change, population growth and scarcity of natural resources.

Current and recent projects include the Grand Museum of Egypt (Cairo), the Louvre (Abu Dhabi), the Aviva Stadium (Dublin), the London 2012 Olympic Stadium, the King Abdullah Financial District (Riyadh), the Royal Shakespeare Theatre (Stratford) and the O2 (London).


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