It was Dutch practice Meyer en Van Schooten that came up with this astonishing insectoidal banking office in the heart of Amsterdam – possibly after spending the evening in one of the city’s many fine coffee houses...
You’ve got to hand it to the Dutch. First they develop Edam – a football-shaped cheese – and now this insectoidal, sci-fi-inspired banking headquarters.

The creature, known as ING House, is in real life the prestigious head office for ING Banking Group. It was designed by Dutch architect Meyer en Van Schooten for a site alongside Amsterdam’s ring road, nestled between the old city and a new financial district.

The building’s unusual form is a response to this site. The nose dips toward a lake to the west, whereas its 11-storey glazed rear elevation engages with the high-rise business district. Its slim body is the result of a narrow site, and the insect’s 16 V-shaped steel legs hold it high enough to peer over the adjacent raised highway.

Inside, less than half the building is devoted to offices. The remainder accommodates restaurants, meeting rooms, an auditorium, a lounge and eight interior gardens. These improve the office environment and provide leafy meeting spaces for the workers.

The building’s shell is clad in 5600 m2 of 3 mm thick anodised aluminium sheet, supplied by Alcan. The unusual form of the building meant that each of the cladding panel had to be formed using 3D computer software more frequently found in the aircraft industry.

Unsurprisingly, the ING House has just won the architecture category in the Dutch Aluminium Centre’s Aluminium Awards.