De Zwarte Hond has completed an office complex, made of timber, based on a circular and sustainable approach on the Noordzeeweg, in Amsterdam Westpoort, the Netherlands.
Named Liander Westpoort, the new complex is comprised of a trio buildings designed for Dutch energy company Alliander.
Following the principles of circularity and flexibility, the ensemble, made of timber construction, consists of an office building, workshops, warehouses, test facilities, educational, and parking buildings – encompassing a total of 21,000 square meters for 700 employees.
De Zwarte Hond, together with clients Alliander, IMd, Copper8, and DGMR, formulated the sustainability ambitions resulting in high flexibility, scalability, and modularity.
The office used sustainable materials, mainly wood as much as possible, and the team avoided using harmful substances like glue, PU foam or sealant as much as possible during the construction.
The office building and training facilities were entirely made of timber construction, which was aimed to be flexible and to create a healthy working environment.
“Thanks to its detachable structural set-up, the parking building can grow or shrink. The facades are made of weather-resistant Corten steel, rendering the regional office resilient for the future,” said De Zwarte Hond in its project description.
Office building, parking building and workshops of Liander Westpoort. Image © Jaques Tillmans
The team arranges buildings and interspaces with rhythmic alternations on the plot, like a barcode, with the office building as a height accent, visible from the A5.
Paying attention to all parts of the program to receive equal attention, work buildings and storage areas were designed with the same care as the office building, and together they form a robust ensemble evoking memories of industrial architecture’s peak moments.
Stairs encourage meetings and interactions
Inside the office building, its interior has a large atrium and wooden central staircases, which creates an environment that encourages meetings and interactions.
A unique ‘wandering staircase’ connects each floor in a different place, providing an exciting and adventurous route through the office.
The office complex is described as “an example of sustainability”
According to the team, the building shows “an example of sustainability”. The building is gas-free and energy-neutral thanks to 3.435 square meters of solar panels and thermal energy storage.
Since the building is made of timber, the team has stored 560 tonnes of CO². Additionally, the team paid attention much attention to cost reduction and the reuse of materials, contributing to a circular economy.
Biodiverse and nature-inclusive
The complex has also a biodiverse landscape plan which is inviting to people and animals. Rich planting around and on the buildings with a 30% of the facade is green – provides a habitat for insects, birds, amphibians, and small mammals.
Rainwater is stored locally on-site and is used for watering plants.
A circular, climate-adaptive, and nature-inclusive environment
Alliander consciously opted for sustainability and transparency and, with this regional office, is contributing to a circular, climate-adaptive, and nature-inclusive environment.
Three Alliander companies were located on the site as of the end of May 2023: grid operator Liander, technical specialist Qirion, and integrated energy solutions provider Kenter.
Alliander’s Westpoort regional office was designed by De Zwarte Hond in collaboration with IMd Raadgevende Ingenieurs, DGMR, De Urbanisten, COAREinterieur, and Copper8, among others, and was built by Dura Vermeer.
De Zwarte Hond is a design agency for architecture, urban design, and strategy, with offices in Groningen, Rotterdam, and Cologne.
De Zwarte Hond also designed a market hall that features net-like columns and beams, elevating the space to another level as a new, modern community space in Groningen, the Netherlands.
Project name: Liander Westpoort
Collaborators: DGMR, Coare Architectuur, IMD Raadgevende Ingenieurs, De Urbanisten
Top image in the article © Jaques Tillmans.
All images © Scagliola Brakkee unless otherwise stated.
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