At 2:00 p.m. this afternoon, Prince Willem-Alexander officially opened the new head office of ING Group, ING House, at the Amsterdam Zuidas. The building - standing on stilts and with faÃ§ades entirely of glass - was designed by Jeroen van Schooten and Roberto Meyer of the architects firm Meyer and Van Schooten in Amsterdam, offers 20,000 m2 of working space to the Executive Board and the staff departments of ING Group, some 450 people in total.
People approaching Amsterdam from the south along the A10 ring road, have in recent months been greeted by an extraordinary building, somewhat reminiscent of a hyper-modern train carriage. So far, it is by far the most eye-catching building in the new Zuidas development area.
On the occasion of the official opening, Executive Board chairman Ewald Kist announced that four donations have been made, each worth EUR 100,000. In order to stress the international character of ING and its involvement with the city of Amsterdam, the following projects have been selected:
* Water project: The first donation is for an international water project. ING has asked the Prince of Orange to advise on the selection of this project.
* VU Kinderstad: VU Kinderstad (childrenÂ's city) is an initiative of the Medical Centre of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. The Medical Centre will house a playroom for children, an internet cafÃ©, a theatre and a hotel.
* Olympic Stadium: On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Amsterdam Olympic Stadium, the stadiumÂ's entrance at the Stadionplein will be refurbished.
* Artis: A donation to Artis, the capitalÂ's zoo, will contribute to extending its Predator gallery.
By means of these donations ING hopes to contribute to developing these projects. The representatives of said institutions have meanwhile received the donations.
(source: ING Group)