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AR Building – IPKW

Location: Arnhem, NL
Client: Schipper Bosch
Program: storage and office space
Gross floor area: 7500 m²
Project team: Gijs Baks, Joost Baks, Remi Versteeg, Stijn de Weerd, Jordy Vos, Clara Jansen
Structural engineer: Ingenieursburo Gravitas BV, Hoevelaken
Contractor: Qonect Bouwadvies, Hoevelaken
Photograpy: Sebastian van Damme

Kleefse Waard is an industrial estate near the border of Arnhem. In the past a factory for the production of chemicals, now an innovative clean-tech campus. In the far corner of this large factory plot with buildings dating back to the 1940’s, Space Encounters was commissioned to design a storage building for logistical services with optional office space.

Instead of designing the archetypal box-like shed, we aimed for a subtle architectural effect without losing the functional purpose of the building. By closely examining the surroundings we discovered the beauty of functional details typical to old industrial buildings; protruding eaves to protect facades against rainfall, skylights facing North for a large amount of indirect sunlight and the use of economic though durable materials.

Inspired by the architectural language of the industrial park we designed a lightweight steel structure with triangular trusses at the height of 8m, carrying sloping roof surfaces with integrated skylights. Within the repetition of the sloping roofs, the east and west facades slightly rotate in and outwards to create a kind of harmonica effect.

The roof cantilevers over the inwardly rotating facades creating a striking play of light and shadow on the shiny metal claddings of the walls. Where the east and west facades have little openings, the northern ans southern parts open up towards the street with floor to ceiling glass walls. This is where the office space is situated, spread over two floors. The lowered loading docks are situated on the East side.

The assignment was an exercise in creating a utilitarian building without losing the poetry of architecture. By playing with forms, light and shadow, emptiness and mass, a general storage building became a self-conscious architectural object.