La Facade

La Facade

Den Bosch, Netherlands | View Map
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Hagemeister GmbH & Co. KG
Arthur Bagen

Two office buildings Den Bosch

diederendirrix as Architects

From an urban planning point of view, the east side of the square in the station district in Den Bosch lacked a clear boundary. diederendirrix architects designed a closed perimeter block for the location both to define the volume of the square and to make a gesture towards the station and the Palace District. Architecturally, we searched for a contemporary, idiomatic connection with the historical aspects and the more formal architecture around the station. The square is given life and character through the use of an idiosyncratic facade pattern which combines scale, differentiation and detail.

The office buildings designed by diederendirrix architects at the Stationsplein in Den Bosch received the BREEAM-NL certificate. La Facade also was awarded a Groenverklaring (Green Declaration) and given an A+ energy label. La Facade uses, amongst other things, solar panels, an efficient climate control system, efficient elevators, environmentally conscious and sustainable use of materials including FSC wood and water-saving plumbing. The buildings are suitable for New Work, where the user and his health are central, for example by taking into account the daylight and the view. During construction attention will be paid to waste separation and energy reduction.

La Facade consists of two office buildings, together 3,250 m2 GBA. Construction started on the 1st of February 2012 and completion was in February 2013. BREEAM-NL is an international assessment method to determine the level of sustainability of a building. BREEAM-NL looks not only at how sustainable the building is, but goes further. It looks at material use, energy use and to the viability of the building and the environment with the aim to analyze and improve the building. Stringent requirements are applied to obtaining a BREEAM certificate. The office buildings have been valued as Very Good, or 3 stars based on the new construction 2010 v1.11.

La Facade

Hagemeister GmbH & Co. KG as Publishers

A sculpture in brick: That is how “La Façade” has made its place near the rail terminal of Den Bosch. The two office buildings merge with the modern architecture of the station buildings, while referencing the scale and atmosphere of the 19th century townhouses further along the road. Architect Rob Meurders of the studio diederendirrix achieved this with a playful reinterpretation of traditional brick architecture. Hagemeister’s “Genua” brick, developed for this project, give the façade its striking undulating look with a unique slanted profile.

“La Façade” was created in an environment with a dual nature: The “Den Bosschen” station square is dominated by the relatively new terminal building of 1998, flanked by modern office buildings. Looking towards the city centre, the fabric of the city change, as the stylish townhouses of the 19th century with their characteristically rich and playful brick façades dominate. It is at the meeting point between these two architectural worlds that “La Façade” fills a literal gap that had long been a sore spot in the urban environment of the station square.

The idea of the design was to recover the urban fabric without being beholden either to the thrust of new building or the inherited weight of the old. “We have created a break by putting two strong modern structures in place while allowing the spirit of the place to shine through. The latter was done in a very contemporary way, with innovative, undulating masonry that speaks to history.” The sweeping feel of the exterior is owed to the waves in the masonry of the office buildings. “The original design proposed a brick structure to be modelled and formed to our needs. A truly unified building,” as Meurders explains. This made brick the ideal material for the architect: “It is not just its history, but also the simple fact that brick allowed us to realize this idea of a unified façade.”

“La Façade” reinterprets the façade profiles of the 19th century, while giving the façade an additional decorative layer. The bricks of the “Genua” assortment have a unique slant across their entire length. Hagemeister produced the brick with its homogeneous orange-red tone especially for the project. Rob Meurders explains the effect: “The different depths of the exterior surface create a relief effect. All of the waves one sees on the façade are created by the slanting brick. These waves allow the simple colour of the brick to shine in many different hues when the sun catches the gables.” The bricks are placed without vertical seams to underline the linear effect of the bricks placed in random bond. The horizontal joints reinforce this effect by using a thin-bed mortar that allows joints of no more than six millimetres.

One particularly distinctive feature of “La Façade” is its corner stones. “We have used 80 different shapes to match the many different angles of each corner. The blocks are precut and fixed in place, with each shape using a special template. The façade has a major structural effect on the masonry. Giving it a sound anchoring was a particular challenge for us”, the architect explains.

The sustainable quality of the design of “La Façade” reflects the ecological, economic, and energetic sustainability of the concept. The building has received BREEAM-NL *** Very Good certification, an excellent rating that covers the entire lifecycle of the site.

Quote “The original design proposed a brick structure to be modelled and formed to our needs. A truly unified building.” Rob Meurders, diederendirrix architecten, Eindhoven

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