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.
Circular Pavilion Abn Amro in Amsterdam, the Netherlands by de Architekten Cie.
July 9th, 2017 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: de Architekten Cie.
The new ABN AMRO Pavilion is unique in the Netherlands: the first built example of a purely sustainable and circular design. The main thought behind circular design is that the impact of the building causes the least possible reduction of the world’s resources. The circular economy is waste-free and resilient and that is the exact idea behind this Pavilion. Right from the start the recyclability of all materials used were taken into account.
Circular economy is also about people and how they function better in a pleasant environment with various opportunities to interact. That has influenced the design as well. The new pavilion is located near the railway station of Amsterdam’s vibrant South Axis business district, in front of the HQ of the ABN AMRO bank. Most striking is the large glass facade that gives the pavilion an open appearance. Visitors can use the broad staircase on the side of the Pavilion. The stairs lead to a public space where both passers-by and employees can meet. The roof is covered with earth and grass, thereby contributing to biodiversity. It is an attractive public space to get a breath of fresh air during a break.
Inside the building there is more than 2000 square metres of meeting and office space but also space is reserved for the so-called ‘living lab’. A space where the latest innovations, which seem promising but have not yet proven their value, can be applied and tested. For instance, a part of the facade is prepared for the application of new materials, so that it can be examined if there are even more durable solutions. The Delft University of Technology was involved in this project from the beginning and will stay present in the ‘living lab’ to monitor the experiments and start new ones. In this way, theory is continuously tested in practice. It is not inconceivable that the ‘living lab’ will collaborate with start-ups, who in turn may supply new innovative ideas, both in the field of collaboration as in the construction field.
From an engineering perspective, we looked at the different life cycles of the various components of the Pavilion. Project architect Hans Hammink explains: “We selected wood as the main material. The life cycle of the supporting structure is estimated to be thirty years. This means that the supplier must be able to pick up the timber after three decades in order to use it again. Therefore we need to create a design which makes it easy to dismantle the components of the Pavilion.”
In fact, in a circular way of thinking the wood supplier is no longer a mere ‘supplier’, but a ‘co-creator’. The supplier should benefit from being able to re-use his wood again after thirty years. How this will work in detail, it is something that is still being considered. Hammink adds: “This is also a result of circular building. You try to look further ahead, to be visionary. You turn philosophy into practice, but some solutions have yet to emerge.”
Special attention has been paid to every aspect of the building: the use of furniture, sustainability, flexibility and re-usability of the interior fittings. Continuously we sought cooperation with new partners, which again led to new solutions. This way a new meeting place emerges, that is more than just a beautiful building. The Pavilion will be a pioneer in the field of circular economy. A design in which the architects looked into the future as much as possible. A design which will be shaped and developed further by the users in the future: an ever-propelling process itself.
Contact de Architekten Cie.