KAREL DOORMAN, ROTTERDAM, the Netherlands
Unconventional with a sense of history
Public's Choice BNA Building of the Year 2013
Public's Choice Nederlandse Bouwprijs 2013
2nd place and public's choice Houtprijs 2014
Fiabci Prix d’Excellence 2013
Nominated for ARC13, Rotterdam
Nominated for Architectuurprijs 2013
Nominated for Staalprijs 2014
Unconventional with respect for tradition
The Karel Doorman building stands in the heart of Rotterdam's shopping area and is a remarkable combination of restoration and new development. On top of the Ter Meulen shopping centre - a monument of the post-war reconstruction period - we have built an extremely light-weight construction in steel and wood. This unconventional building method - at least in the Netherlands - enabled the construction of a 70 metres high ‘glass’ residential building with 114 apartments and 156 parking places. In this way a remarkable Rotterdam building was preserved for the future while at the same time new housing was created on a sheer impossible location, contributing to the quality of life and social safety in this part of the city.
‘Demolish or preserve?’ That question was on our minds when we started to design the Ter Meulen building. The building was constructed in 1948 as a shopping centre for Ter Meulen, Wassen and Van Vorst. Back then, its large expanses of glass gave the building an exceptional transparency. Fifty years later, the often renovated building was languishing away. We opted to restore the old building to its former glory as much as possible and ‘top it up’ with new homes. The new residential building is recessed in relation to the shopping centre's building line, which ensures that seen from the street the Ter Meulen building - which is home to fashion shops onc more - has retained much of its former character. On the second floor of the shopping centre an intermediate layer was added to create 146 parking places for the residents.
The new construction has been placed on the pillars and foundations of the existing building. This was made possible by releasing extra load capacity in the existing building in combination with an extremely light-weight new construction of steel and wood that is five times lighter than traditional construction methods for apartment buildings. This had the additional advantage that the building could be manufactured in large prefabricated elements, which could be lifted and fitted straight from the truck. This eliminated the need for a large building site which is a considerable advantage in the city centre.
The apartments have a wooden facade with galleries on the outsides and a second skin of tempered glass. The glass is covered with a screen print consisting of small dots that hide the loggias and galleries from view.
The apartment building has sixteen floors and 114 apartments. The apartments are distributed over seven adjoining floors, topped by two towers with nine and six floors. Between these towers, at a height of 40 metres, there is a sheltered rooftop garden. The size of the apartments varies from 45 to 124 square metres. The selected building method based on steel columns, gypsum partition walls and wooden floors is not only light, but also very flexible. Even during construction some of the apartments were split in separate units while others were combined.
By choosing to ‘top up’ the building we prevented demolition and the need to remove 15,000 tonnes of concrete from the city centre. In addition, the available space is used intensively which contributes to sustainable urban development. The flexibility to split up or join apartments also makes the building more future-proof. The light-weight construction materials can be recycled and have a low impact on the environment, for example during transportation. Galleries and loggias with a width of 2.4 metres prevent the apartments from heating up too much as a result of direct sunlight. The apartments are also connected to the district heating network.
KAREL DOORMAN, ROTTERDAM, the Netherlands Unconventional with a sense of history Public's Choice BNA Building of the Year 2013 Public's Choice Nederlandse Bouwprijs 2013 2nd place and public's choice Houtprijs 2014 Fiabci Prix d’Excellence 2013 Nominated for ARC13, Rotterdam Nominated for Architectuurprijs 2013 Nominated for Staalprijs 2014 Unconventional with respect for tradition The Karel Doorman building stands in the heart of Rotterdam's shopping area and is...
- Year 2012
- Work started in 2006
- Work finished in 2012
- Main structure Steel
- Client DW Nieuwbouw, Rotterdam
- Contractor Royal Haskoning DHV, Den Haag
- Status Completed works
- Type Apartments / Single-family residence / Multi-family residence / Tower blocks/Skyscrapers / Shopping Malls / Showrooms/Shops / Urban Renewal / Lofts/Penthouses / Recovery/Restoration of Historic Buildings / Restoration of façades / Structural Consolidation / Building Recovery and Renewal