In Dordrecht, NL, a former transformer building has recently opened as a multifunctional care center. During the renovation, architects RoosRos retained as much of the building’s original character as possible, enhancing the existing infrastructure and materials. Called KV13, the name of the project comes from the building’s original name: ‘13kV electricity distribution station.’
Floors were reused and steel fences around the transformers were given a second life in consulting rooms. In the physio room, a steel lifting beam with original crane adds a raw, industrial accent. Throughout, vintage – i.e. – recycled furniture was specified.
Despite retaining the building’s original character and aesthetics, the design still meets the contemporary demands of legislators and users for a modern medical practice. In order to make the building more open and transparent, part of the façade, for example, has been replaced by glass, with light apertures inserted into closed spaces. Double-storey volumes are deployed throughout. The additional daylight and sightlines mean that the user’s gaze is directed outward.
Of the design concept and approach to retaining existing building fabric, architect Sander Ros says, "At RoosRos, we believe in innovative and sustainable redevelopment. In other words, rather than demolishing and starting over, we transform and upgrade existing buildings. Fortunately, we had clients who thought the same way and who dared to accept our bold proposals. So this fantastic end result actually represents a co-creation process with them."