Archive for December 3rd, 2011

December 3, 2011

Adrian Smith, the maestro of super-tall

Architect wants to take you higher

Kevin Brass (

The architect based in Chicago worked as a lead designer with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill on four of the 11 tallest towers in the world, including Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world’s tallest building. Now his firm, Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, is designing the 1-kilometre-tall Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, which will take the title of world’s tallest when – and if – it is built.

Far from subsiding, the zest for building tall towers is continuing with fervour, especially in China, where Mr Smith’s company is working on several towers of more than 600 metres.

“There is no telling how far it will go,” Mr Smith said in an interview with The National. “We keep seeing people wanting super tall. And they keep upping the ante.”

But while the industry continues to strive for new heights, the debate rages about the sustainability and eco-credentials of the tall towers. Critics suggest the buildings are more about ego than efficiency.

Mr Smith, who will be in Dubai next Tuesday to address the Green Build Congress at the Dubai World Trade Centre, argues that skyscrapers are both eco-friendly and practical.

What is the next challenge for building super-talls?

I think architects and engineers can design buildings that will go even taller. We’re working on a tower now that will go a mile high, as a prototype, not as a commission. But to see how possible it is.



Once the building gets to be more than a kilometre, they get to be very big buildings, not only in height, but area. Primarily area. One of the limiting factors is how much area of [a] building can you put in [a] city on one time and market it successfully and have reasonable income or rate of return on investment. That’s a big challenge. But that’s not our challenge, it’s more of the developer’s challenge.

Our challenge and the technical challenge would be as you get taller the elevator systems have to improve in order to get elevators to go higher in the building before transfer. Right now that limit is roughly 575 metres. So if it goes one kilometre, you start to get into a double transfer system.

That begins to be pretty onerous in terms of how many elevator rides you’re taking before you get to your destination.

Those are the only limitations?

Structurally we can go a mile high. We know that from a wind perspective we can design a building that will behave properly in wind conditions that exist in most cities. It basically becomes more than one building tied together. But it is possible.

Are super-talls sustainable, green projects?

A lot of people believe super-tall buildings are not sustainable. We are in [the] process of doing a research effort which looks at every typology of building – from super tall up to 200 storeys down to single family homes and just about every typology in between and evaluating the energy consumption required on a square-metre basis needed for each of those typologies.

So far we’re finding that the super-tall building is in the middle of the road. It’s not the best-performing, but it’s not the worst performing either.

The best-performing tends to be something in the 40-storey range. And once you go higher than that certain other elements, like increased winds and lower temperatures, begin to impact the energy consumption in the building. But once you go less dense than that you get killed by additional surface area.

So just from a building performance point of view, we think super-tall is justifiable as it relates to density of anything below 40 stories.

Can you rationalise going above 40 storeys?

In the ideal world, yes. When you go high-density you will encourage or almost mandate that the location be served by public transit. And when you go high-density with block after block, like the city of New York or Chicago, you have the added benefit of live-work environments where people can live and work in the same district.

Is there technology that will make taller buildings more efficient?

I would say in truth higher buildings are as efficient as a 40-storey. You are putting space above 40 storeys in a different kind of environment. It’s location-specific to some degree. In Dubai [in Burj Khalifa], for example, it is 7 to 10 degrees cooler at the top of the building than at the bottom of the building. That actually helps you in Dubai because your cycle is mostly cooling.

Whereas in Chicago that same principle applies but in Chicago in winter it actually hurts you because it is actually colder up there than on the ground. And your heating cycle takes over and you’re losing more heat near the top of the building.

The study is inconclusive at the moment. We’re still in [the] process of fine-tuning a lot of these issues. But in general, I would say that they already are sustainable.

Another part of the study is how much land you use for a super-tall building versus how much land you use for single-family or even a 40-storey.

The land is valuable in itself. The more that can be turned into green belt the better. So you have to consider that aspect.

Q&A:some of Adrian Smith’s most noteworthy projects

Trump International Hotel & Tower, Chicago The 10th tallest building in the world added a new landmark to the Chicago skyline. Perched on the Chicago River, the 423-metre tower completed in 2009 includes a 225-room hotel, 472 residential units and 50,000 square feet of retail space.

201 Bishopsgate and The Broadgate Tower, London Set on a key site in London, at the centre of the Broadgate business district, the two towers combine restaurants, bars and retail space on a 2.3 acre site above the active rail lines.

Burj Khalifa, Dubai The world’s tallest building, completed last year, answered many of the questions facing tall building construction. The rounded, tiered design minimized the influence of wind at high levels, and systems were creating for the elevators, plumbing and other apparatus that had never been installed at such altitudes.

December 3, 2011

Kern Süd Uster | Dietmar Eberle

Uster, Switzerland

AXA Real Estate
Siska Heuberger Holding AG
Ernst Hotz


BE Zürich
zsb architekten, Oensingen

Project Director
Sabrina Contratto Ménard

Site Area
4,797 m2

Gross Floor Area
13,697 m2

Building Volume
61,431 m3

December 3, 2011

Big Names Team up!

National Mall Competition Finalists Announced

Over 1,200 entires from 30 states and 10 countries submitted applications for the National Mall competition. Late last month fifteen design teams were chosen as finalists to advance to the second stage of this prestigious contest.

Hosting 25 million visitors annually, the  will undergo an estimated $700 million restoration beginning in 2012. The competition has been broken down into three areas of restoration: Union Square including the Reflecting Pool and the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial,Sylvan Theater on the Washington Monument Grounds, and the Constitution Gardensbetween the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial.

Among the finalists to move on to stage two of the competition, Diller Scofidio Renfro,, and Rogers Marvel Architects who are shortlisted for two out of the three areas of restoration, as well as SnohettaMichael Maltzan ArchitectureTen Arquitectos, andBohlin Cywinski Jackson who are finalists for one area of restoration.

“Entrants were evaluated on past design performance, philosophy, design intent, thoughtfulness, creativity and overall resume,” according to a release from the Trust of the National Mall. The jury, compiled of architects, professors and other members of the architecture community, includedMichael Gericke of Pentagram NYC and Pritzker Prize Laureate Thom Mayne founder of Morphosis.

The second stage of the competition includes interviews of the teams conducted by the Trust for the National Mall and the National Park Service, and the last stage will include proposed plans for the restoration. The competition will culminate in May 2012 and the proposed designs from stage three of the competition will be available to the public prior to the winning design being selected.

Follow the break for a complete list of design finalists for the National Mall Competition.

Union Square

Diller Scofidio Renfro & Hood Design
Elizabeth Diller | Lead Architect
Walter Hood | Lead Landscape Architect

Gustafson Guthrie Nichol & AEDAS
Kathryn Gustafson, FLA, ASLA, Hon RDI | Lead Landscape Architect
Carl F. Krebs, AIA | Lead Architect

Pei Cobb Freed & Partners Architects & Workshop:Ken Smith Landscape Architect
Henry N. Cobb, FAIA | Lead Architect
Ken Smith, ASLA | Lead Landscape Architect

Reed Hilderbrand & Chan Krieger NBBJ
Gary R. Hilderbrand, FASLA, FAAR | Lead Landscape Architect
Alex Krieger, FAIA | Lead Architect

Rogers Marvel Architects & Peter Walker and Partners
Robert M. Rogers, FAIA | Lead Architect
Jonathan M. Marvel, AIA | Lead Architect
Peter Walker, FASLA | Lead Landscape Architect

Snohetta & AECOM
Craig Dykers, AIA, siv. ark. MNAL, FRIBA, LEED AP | Lead Architect
Roger Courtenay, FASLA, LEED AP | Lead Landscape Architect

Sylvan Theater on the Washington Monument Grounds

Balmori Associates & Work Architecture Company
Diana Balmori | Lead Landscape Architect
Amale Andraos | Lead Architect
Dan Wood, AIA, LEED | Lead Architect

Diller Scofidio Renfro & Hood Design
Elizabeth Diller | Lead Architect
Walter Hood | Lead Landscape Architect

Handel Architects & W Architecture and Landscape Architecture
Michael Arad, AIA, LEED AP | Lead Architect
Barbara Wilks, FASLA, FAIA | Lead Landscape Architect

Michael Maltzan Architecture & Tom Leader Studio
Michael T. Maltzan, FAIA | Lead Architect
Tom Leader, ASLA | Lead Landscape Architect

OLIN & Weiss/Manfredi
Skip Graffam, RLA, ASLA, LEED AP | Lead Landscape Architect
Marion Weiss, AIA | Lead Architect

Ten Arquitectos & Andrea Cochran Landscape Architects
Enrique Norten, Hon. FAIA | Lead Architect
Andrea Cochran, FASLA | Lead Landscape Architect

Constitution Gardens

Andropogon & Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
Jose M. Alminana, RLA, FASLA, LEED AP | Lead Landscape Architect
Frank W. Grauman, RA, FAIA, LEED AP | Lead Architect

Lee and Associates & Arthur Cotton Moore/Associates
Jeff S. Lee, FASLA | Lead Landscape Architect
Arthur Cotton Moore, FAIA | Lead Architect

McKissack & McKissack & Oehme Van Sweden
Ronald A. Kessler, AIA | Lead Architect
Sheila A. Brady, FASLA | Lead Landscape Architect

Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architect & Paul Murdoch Architects
Warren T. Byrd Jr., FASLA | Lead Landscape Architect
Paul Murdoch, AIA, LEED AP | Lead Architect

OLIN & Weiss/Manfredi
Skip Graffam, RLA, ASLA, LEED AP | Lead Landscape Architect
Marion Weiss, AIA | Lead Architect

Rogers Marvel Architects & Peter Walker and Partners
Robert M. Rogers, FAIA | Lead Architect
Jonathan M. Marvel, AIA | Lead Architect
Peter Walker, FASLA | Lead Landscape Architect

December 3, 2011

CHL Social Housing | O-S Architectes

Architect: Ateliers O-S Architectes
Client: Logivie / Batigère
Budget: 4,162,000 € HT
Area: 3,260 sqm
Consultants: EUCLID
Photographs: Luc Boegly


Located on a former industrial site, the project of 39 social apartments is part of a master plan of three housing projects organized around a generous garden. The project stands along Rue Pierre Vaux made up of two volumes of three and four floors. Its corner situation implies a specific work on this urban link.

The building adopts the inflection of the street, while the gabled facades usually blind are open to the neighborhood. A wide deck adjacent to the building overlooking the central garden, articulates and connects its level with the ground floor apartment level.

The project reflects a process of dialogue against the reluctance toward the social housing realized by a property developer. Because we gain the trust of our client, we were able to work in partnership to meet the needs of this project (density, cost surfaces, simple organization of the units), while working on the specific urban conditions and the quality of the outdoor private spaces.


The building was designed and built based on two principles: density and generosity for the city and for the users. Housing are organized in a single volume surrounded by balconies, whose privacy is ensured by a set of colored wooden slats.

The work on the envelope provides a strong identity to the building, gives a kinetic character to the facades and offers sun and visual protection. As a vessel of a thousand sails reflecting the various colors of the sky, the project provides a range of colors from white to blue, which vibrates with the changing light of the day.

The project contrasts with the heterogeneous architecture of the neighborhood, and brings a hint of color and a sensitive daring. The floors slide with each other, creating the effect that the volume gradually opens out. As a boat deck, the balconies are real external rooms that are now inhabited in many different ways.


The apartments are organized around two vertical distributions, one for each part of the building. The A cage distributes 16 apartments by a staircase with natural light, the B cage distributes 23 apartments by a lift and a staircase. A basement level provides a 39 car park places.

Most of the apartments have several exposures, because of the different situations offered by the building. A void in the garden facade also provides light to several adjacent apartments. Each room has an outdoor extension. The balconies become real appropriated places allowing different uses, protected by the slats of the facade.


The plans of the apartments have been optimized to reduce the surface of the corridors. Generous openings light up all the rooms including kitchens.

The project is part of an environmental approach, respecting the THPE 2010 objectives and the CERQUAL profile A certification. To achieve these objectives the thermal insulation of the building is reinforced and all thermal bridges phenomena are reduced. The compact construction also minimizes heat loss. The solar orientation has been optimized to take advantage of free solar gain.

This project is a simple answer to the sustainable development concerns and to the particular urban context. It is an ambitious project for a social property developer who has transformed an ordinary commission to provide quality housing with generous living spaces.

December 3, 2011

Moses Bridge | RO&AD Architecten

Architects: RO&AD Architecten
Location: , The Netherlands
Client: Municipality of Bergen op Zoom
Material used: Accoya wood
Project Area: 50 sqm
Photographs: Courtesy of RO&AD Architecten

The West Brabant Water Line is a defense-line consisting of a series of fortresses and cities with inundation areas in the south-west of the Netherlands. It dates from the 17th century but fell into disrepair in the 19th century. When the water line was finally restored, an access bridge across the the moat of one of the fortresses, Fort de Roovere, was needed. This fort now has a new, recreational function and lies on several routes for cycling and hiking.

It is, of course, highly improper to build bridges across the moats of defense works, especially on the side of the fortress the enemy was expected to appear on. That’s why we designed an invisible bridge. Its construction is entirely made of wood, waterproofed with EPDM foil. The bridge lies like a trench in the fortress and the moat, shaped to blend in with the outlines of the landscape.

The bridge can’t be seen from a distance because the ground and the water come all the way up to its edge. When you get closer, the fortress opens up to you through a narrow trench. You can then walk up to its gates like Moses on the water.

Text provided by RO&AD Architecten

December 3, 2011

The Urban Crossing | Aedas

The Urban Crossing (11) site plan diagram

Anchoring at the end of the proposed Hongqiao primary retail axis in , and with a canal meandering through the northern edge of the site, the Linkong Block 10-1 Development is the destination for the public within the Linkong Business Park. The program for the development, ‘The Urban Crossing’, calls for a boutique urban mixed-use project with office, retail, gallery, conference center, and water promenade plaza. This concept by Aedas is to create a brand new landmark, which further establishes a strong civic presence through its iconic form and vibrant program mix. Portrayed as the Gateway of Hongqiao Airport Transportation Hub, the project is deemed to generate synergy from public and commercial activities.

In keeping with a metaphoric image with functional requirements within a limited site confine, the concept places a series of vertical forums and stages using inter-connecting layers of platforms, while maintaining a strong gateway presence. These platforms allow access and offer distinct views at various levels and locations. The Urban Crossing also signifies a dynamic mix of urban forum, windows, stage, and observatory, providing platforms for different activities throughout the day.

The form consists of two office towers linked by two weaved platforms at upper and lower floors. The platforms combine with a north-south directional shift on the towers to complete the portal concept. The elevated linkages complete this iconic form, and the diagonal connections receive circulation movements from three different axes and distribute people flow to various platforms. Simple shifting and connecting paradigm enriches the overall spatial quality, while satisfying the users’ functional requirements and providing a place for drifting. The Urban Crossing is capable of hosting multiple major events, while maintaining daily commercial/retail activities as part of the urban living scene.

The project will be the focal point in Linkong Business Park where people gather and exchange. The shifting of architectural form, layering and circulation pattern expressed the Crossing concept in architectural terms. Functional interaction and spatial extension between the interior and exterior, further strengthens and completes the inter-connected vertical living room/showcase concept at The Urban Crossing.

December 3, 2011

Two Financial Towers | MA2

The design of the Two Towers, by MA2 in collaboration with CZ Visual Architecture, is a series of manipulated manifolds that construct a dual vertical lattice with angled surfaces. The towers radiate vertically deriving from a multi-sided body, diamond shaped, molded, intended for diversity, complexity, and robustness in form. Elongated diamond bodies functions as a poly-operational structure that addresses flows of energy, circulation, dynamic composites, both aesthetically and material make up.

It is important to have an array of projecting elements within the design aesthetic and logic to generate sensuous formal manipulations that give a dynamic presence to the surrounding environment. In order to meet the desired effect of constructing a set of towers that are an image of elegance, design robustness, and economic valiancy, the two towers are in a state of motion and vibrant play of parts – volumes which generate synergized architecture. Economic towers are elements which give identity to financial sectors and districts, so in order retain confidence, the towers are composed so they are not competing agents but are complementary tectonics and a have dynamic interplay of bodies.

Ground level interaction is an important part of the design proposal because it serves as a face in which the public flow around the building and circulate inside. These are the points of departure which govern the varied sensibilities, logic, and tectonic intensities that give the towers vigor as an image of economic resiliency.

December 3, 2011

Federal Office Building | Krueck+Sexton Architects


Krueck + Sexton Architects have been selected by the GSA Design Excellence Program for the firm’s design of the Federal Office Building in Miramar,  just outside of Miami.  The 375,000 square foot building is designed with three goals in mind: reduce energy, resources and consumption, incorporate high performance buildings materials and systems and harvest renewable energy sources available on the site.  Currently out to bid, the project is scheduled for completion in mid-2014.

The Federal Office Building is designed as two 60′ narrow bars running East to West along the site.  The strategy is to reduce heat gain by orienting the side with the least surface area toward the rising and setting sun.  The bars are six and seven stories and are connected at their midpoints, creating two enclosed exterior courtyards.  The architects have also provided outdoor areas that are comfortably shaded in areas adjacent to the site, such as near the parking garage and service annex.

A curtain-wall system with high performance glass maximizes daylight access while reducing heat gain.  This, in addition to perforated sun screens, provide the building and its inhabitants with shade and daylight when desired.  The building will reduce water use by 95% by using several systems such as rainwater capture, well water, and municipal reclaimed water. Photovoltaics on the roof of the Annex and parking garage will accumulate solar energy.

As part of the building initiatives for sustainable design, the wetlands adjacent to the site will be restored.  These make up the majority of the site and is an effort by the architects to bring back the natural state of the site while also invigorating the native ecosystem and local community through a physical connection of nature.

The design team consists of Atelier ten (environmental), WSP Flack + Kurtz (MEP), Curtis + Rogers (landscape), Miller Legg (civil), Thornton Tomasetti(structural) and Shepphird Associates (envelope engineers).

via Krueck+Sexton Architects

December 3, 2011

International Skyscraper | ADEPT and Urbanus


The winning design of a large international architectural competition, ‘The Two Towers’, was recently announced in Shenzhen, . The team selected to design this new Shenzhen landmark – comprising 100.000 square meters in total – is a constellation of ADEPT (DK) and Urbanus(CHN) with VSA (HK), Max Fordham LLP (GB) and Beijing CCI Architectural Design Co, LTD (CHN). The jury meeting was hosted at the Shenzhen Municipal Planning Building with Pritzker Prize winner Thom Mayne as chairman of the jury.

As the competition title suggests, the project is comprised of two towers, the CDB Tower (150 meters) and the Minsheng Financial Tower (120 meters), functioning as new headquarters for the two fi nancial institutions. The challenge of designing two new towers in Shenzhen raised the question as to what kind of tower could be added in the context of an already impressive skyline. Analysis of this context suggested considerable emphasis has been placed in recent years on achieving extravagant, visually unique forms amongst the towers themselves – a situation that has generally occurred at the expense of the quality and liveliness of the urban spaces at their base.

In addressing this, ‘The Two Towers’ project attempts to articulate the skyscraper not as a purely visual landmark, but as a functional landmark welcoming and embracing citizens and visitors. In this way, the skyscraper as a type is capable of contributing toward a future urban culture by stimulating the urban area that it is rooted in. The focus of the design therefore has been the activation of the ground floors by placing active and public-oriented programs in visible positions, closely connected to the surrounding public realm. By shifting the volumes around a sunken plaza, a dynamic shaded public space is created underneath, supporting a clear.

identity for the two institutions. Furthermore, the volumes are broken down into a human scale on the ground fl oor, creating a remarkable three-dimensional public space on many levels. Green and blue elements generate a pleasant micro-climate in these stacked spaces. Not only complying with the urban regulations and conditions of the local context, the scheme creates a diverse public space that exceeds the expectations implied in the brief.

A key factor for the clients has been the representation of a stable image for the fi nancial institution. With this in mind, the expression of the towers themselves refl ects strength combined with an image of generosity. Both towers are designed with structural cores and load-carrying façades leaving the offi ce spaces in the towers open and free of columns. The expressions of the towers are related, but diff erentiated to convey the separate identities of the two institutions. The façades are fi nished in two diff erent types of stone – the CDB Tower in a darker tone and the Minsheng Financial Tower in a lighter tone. The glazing system on each tower underlines the two diff erent tower typologies – the vertical point and the rectangular slab.

The façade design of both towers reacts to the amount of sunlight and energy each façade is exposed to. Detailed studies of sun conditions led to the design of an energy performing façade off ering more shade to sun-affected areas. This results in a changing façade that offers a soft gradient that is reflected differently at each time of the day. Furthermore, the positioning of a series of atriums in the towers is based on views to the surroundings. In the atrium areas the windows expand to off er better views and more light to the interior spaces. Additionally, the atriums create interior gardens and recreational spaces in the office towers, generating greater spatial variety and improved social interaction amongst the buildings’ users.

December 3, 2011

Witlox Van den Boomen new Headquarters | Van den Pauwert Architecten

Architects: Van den Pauwert Architecten / Jeroen Verdonschot
Location: , The Netherlands
Client: Witlox van den Boomen
Associates: Ton Smulders, Paul Buts, Gijs Kersten
Project Year: 2011
Project Area: 6,000 sqm
Photographs: Norbert van Onna

The offices of Witlox Van den Boomen are situated in a striking villa at the junction of the A2 and the Eindhovenseweg in Waalre. Having outgrown its existing accommodation, the firm of civil-law notaries, lawyers and accountants asked Van den Pauwert Architecten to design a new, contemporary extension, which was also flexible enough to meet the demands of the new working relations within the rapidly growing organisation.

The specifications for the new office provided for around 6,000 sqm of office space, conference rooms, a staff restaurant, classrooms and an archive divided over four floors. The basement is devoted mainly to large rooms for presentations, classes, the archive and technical facilities. The public area and general functions such as conference rooms, the staff restaurant and various service areas are located on the ground floor. A corridor connects the ground floor with the villa’s annexes. For the first and second floors, the standard floor plan is divided entirely into offices of various shapes and sizes.

The architectural challenge for the building involved two paradoxes. The first was the client’s request for an open office environment that still provided privacy. The confidential nature of much of the information discussed and the legal requirement to maintain Chinese walls between the different professional groups within the firm called for a layout with predominantly private offices. At the same time, however, the client wanted to encourage closer interaction between the different disciplines and the co-workers and give its clients a clearer insight into what is happening there. Witlox Van den Boomen is a far less formal organization than the stately villa might lead one to believe. With the new building, the firm’s image is more closely matched with its true identity.

The second paradox was the need to design a building with its own distinct personality but without detracting from the prominent character of the villa. The new building had to be striking without being dominant. The proposed volume was massive in relation to the size of the site and threatened to overshadow the villa.

The answer to both paradoxes is a compact, square building that complements the villa. A point symmetry at the heart of the building brings together all the sight lines and contacts. The top two floors do not favour any particular direction. The views extend equally to all of the building’s beautiful surroundings and not just to the Eindhovenseweg that the villa faces. The building projects a less formal stature than the villa at that location.

From the Eindhovenseweg, the new building is clearly positioned less prominently than the existing buildings, on an open site where the lane of old oak trees no longer stood. As a result, the remaining trees at the entrance to the site have regained their former function and the new building has its own entrance. To the rear of the site the new building does occupy a formal position on the axis of the tree-lined drive. The site previously had a distinct front and rear. This has been remedied by the new building, which has fully integrated the site with the surrounding meadows.

The floating floors and the transparency of the ground floor contrast with the closed and authoritarian character of the more elevated villa. This is reinforced by the fact that the ground floor is recessed at the corners and provides a light and airy feel to the basement. The building now seems to float above the landscape, with a seamless transition from the outside to the building at ground level.

The centrifugal composition of the garden walls firmly anchors the building on the site. They enclose four different scenic chambers that serve as extensions of the functional rooms on the ground floor. Each chamber has its own unique quality.

The first scenic chamber encloses the villa and farm and is connected to the post room and goods entrance, from where supplies are distributed to the entire site. The second scenic chamber marks the main entrance to the building. The third chamber on the south side of the building contains a garden and a patio adjoining the restaurant, which provide a pastoral view over the fields. The fourth chamber contains the old tree-lined lane flanked by meadows and the staff car park. The chambers come together in the atrium.

Inside, the atrium forms the centre of a point symmetrical layout of nine planes. This structure is further subdivided in the general grid of the louvre walls. The result is a variety of possible layouts and exciting vistas in and through the building. The building’s structure is clear and straightforward. It organizes the degree of transparency and reflection. The basic tone of the building is white. The light partition walls between the offices and the conference rooms are transparent and black. People, plants, furniture and the exterior add extra color to the building.

The concrete louvres scarcely interrupt the outside views from the upper floors and offer a constantly changing prospect from the offices. The louvres form a coulisse and serve as an intermediary between the inside and the outside. As a result, the separation of the interior and exterior is never completely open or closed, but always both, depending on the perspective.
With the abstraction and rhythm of the concrete louvres, the reflection of the sunlight is constantly changing. This gives a different tactile effect than the tactility of the detailed brickwork of the old villa. It gives the building its own unique character. The building is both ambiguous and explicit.

The building’s layout has prompted a different style of cooperation and created a new commercial image for the client. Transparency has become a guiding principle of its business; throughout the building people have visual contact with each other and with nature.

Text provided by Van den Pauwert Architecten