The BFAS architecture firm has designed a striking new shopping center in the heart of Enschede. For this project, the architect specially developed two different types of facade panels in collaboration with Metadecor.
Situated in a traditional shopping area, the location posed specific requirements regarding both architecture and urban planning. What’s more, recent developments in the retail market created high demands for the building’s character and ceiling height. Adding to the challenge was the fact that the future renters were unknown at the beginning of the design phase; hence, the building needed to offer numerous possibilities for subdivision. The monomorphic HEMA store on site was no longer suitable in any way. Thus an entirely new structure was built on the existing foundation. The new building has two floors of 6.5 meters each, which can be flexibly divided to suit the new tenants.
A MUTUAL RELATIONSHIP
The design takes the scale of the city center into account by dividing the facades into clearly distinguishable units. These units are set apart by large frames of Portuguese stone, which are alternately filled in with gold anodized aluminum panels and high glass shop fronts. Because of the close link between the varying height segments, shape and material, the interior can be interpreted as either a collection of shops or as a complex. The facade’s most important corner is embellished with an eye-catching pattern of elliptical perforations. Beneath this sharp corner, the seven-meter high curved glass facade is a response to the rounded corner of the building across the street. Together, these two corners extend an inviting gesture to shoppers.
PLAYING WITH LIGHT AND DARK
Two different types of facade panels were specially designed for this project in collaboration with Metadecor. The corner is covered in MD Designperforation panels, whose holes were cut out from cassettes six centimeters thick. The depth of the perforation makes for varying shades of light and dark.
The panels are made up of three segments joined together. Reinforcements were added, giving each panel an additional structural function. Consequently, no additional structural support was required, and the facade looks the same from both inside and out. There is also space between the facade and glass, allowing room for maintenance.
For the layers in the frames, MD Formatura was used, and the panels were cut according to a repeating pattern. The pattern was designed to evoke a flower shape. To maintain a distance between the “flowers” and to give a certain sense of transformation, a cube-like shape emerges between the blossoms. These cubes create depth, which makes the flowers more visible. Also, the pattern ensures that the panel maintains its stability.
In essence, a 3D effect is achieved in two completely different ways, constantly manifested throughout the day in the ever-changing light. The aluminum panels are attached to the building according to the MD Resto fastening system. Using this Metadecor fastening technique, the panel attachments are concealed on the back side of the construction.