Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Philips Business Innovation Centre FiftyTwoDegrees in Nijmegen, Netherlands by Mecanoo architecten b.v.
July 20th, 2016 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Mecanoo architecten b.v.
At the start of the new millennium, Philips Semiconductors (now NXP) wanted to expand its current production and research site in Nijmegen by creating a new knowledge centre for the development of semiconductors for the electronics industry. The existing production site is sealed off and fenced in for security reasons. The new knowledge centre, where technology, science, culture, work, living and leisure come together, fosters chance encounters and collaboration with diverse parties. The name of the complex, FiftyTwoDegrees, refers to the site’s 52nd degree of latitude, which like the ambition of the initiators, spans the entire world.
FiftyTwoDegrees is the realisation of the first phase of a large-scale master plan surrounding the Neerbosscheweg. The 86 metre tall tower stands on a slope and is fluidly yet excitingly absorbed into surrounding Goffert Park. The second phase will see the ground level overarch the Neerbosscheweg, creating a direct link with the city, the Goffert stadium and the new Goffert light rail station. Under the grassed roof are parking spaces for six hundred cars, various commercial facilities and a covered Plaza with shops and restaurants. Conference rooms, a theatre, a hotel, sports facilities and shops are due to be added to the complex in the second phase.
The tower is seventeen storeys high. The lower eight floors are ten degrees out of plumb, creating an inviting gesture towards the city. The bent form was created by the hybrid construction of concrete and steel, whereby for each intermediate floor the elevation shifts in relation to the concrete cores. In order to shorten the construction time – one floor per week – it was decided to use prefabricated cladding, resulting in a pattern of pixels that gives the facade an abstract appearance. A broad staircase leads from the Esplanade to the reception hall with its conspicuously curved wooden benches. The undulating wall clad with mahogany represents a visually connecting element that automatically indicates the route through the building. The office and laboratory floors can be flexibly subdivided. The use of climate ceilings allows the climate to be regulated for each work station so that the spaces can adapt to the organisation of new products being developed.
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