Recently hailed as the world's best new skyscraper, Valley has now finally been declared officially complete by designer MVRDV. Even by the eclectic Dutch studio's usual standards it's an eye-catching project and takes the form of three "geology inspired" rocky towers that have odd angular shapes, and significant greenery.
Valley is located in Amsterdam's business district and includes offices, apartments, retail space and cultural areas. Its three connected towers reach a maximum height of 67 m (220 ft) 81 m (265 ft), and 100 m (328 ft).
The outer edges of the three towers are finished in smooth mirrored glass, which is meant to complement the nearby gleaming office buildings in the business district, while the inner areas are envisioned as craggy rock faces made up of natural stone. Its awkward jagged edges look random but the design was actually painstakingly calculated using specialist software to maximize daylight and views inside. It also creates multiple private terraced areas and other terraces which are open to the public, as well as impressive cantilevering apartments.
There's a lot more greenery on it than appears at first glance too. Landscape architect Piet Oudolf installed over 271 young trees and 13,500 smaller plants and shrubs, which will mature over the coming years and slowly transform Valley's appearance. Their location was chosen to ensure optimal amounts of account of wind, sunlight and temperature, and to take into account maintenance requirements. Biodiversity is increased with bird and bat boxes, as well as bee and other insect habitats.