Dutch practice möhn + bouman architects were approached by a property developer from Emmen to help transform a modest residential building into a contemporary office unit. The original property had retained the former character of Emmen, once a rural town, now a busy regional city with a keen eye for design.
The client, Orangerock Projectontwikkeling, requested an edgy, modern office facility fitting of a city on the rise and möhn + bouman architects responded with an ingenious plan. As the building stood on a plot destined for further redevelopment within the next decade, the design needed to retain a transient element.
möhn + bouman architects explain: “The temporary character of the design allowed us to refrain from renovation and adapting. Instead we designed a Corten steel screen that masks the old building. Corten steel rapidly develops an equal layer of rust which protects it from further decay.”
By stripping back recent extensions to the quaint property and cleaning the external façade, the team were able to take precise measurements which were entered into 3D design software. Plans were then created to wrap the house in a Corten steel shell, sliced through with glass laminate and the name of the development company etched into the façade.
Anchoring one corner is a cluster of large rocks, one of which sits directly beneath a hidden gutter. The nature of Corten steel means that the material rusts over time and to ensure that the glass laminate is not adversely affected by rusty rainwater runoff, this hidden gutter quietly distributes the water safely to one side.