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Culture in hybrid: Multiple use for maximum efficiency

Markus Sporer from Benthem Crouwel Architects in Amsterdam and Dr. –Ing. Martien Teich from seele GmbH have created a unique multi-use structure within a glass envelope

by Nick Myall 05 October 2015 Urban design
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    In the seventh of our series of BAU – Insider Focus features Nick Myall, World Architecture News’ Editor, looks at a project to build a multi-use structure that involved close collaboration 

    Speaking at BAU 2015, Markus Sporer from Benthem Crouwel Architects in Amsterdam and Dr. –Ing. Martien Teich from seele GmbH outlined a project that they collaborated closely on that required a unique approach to architecture and interior design. The challenge was to create a single structure that would incorporate a number of uses including; a library, a museum and a tourist information centre to serve the inhabitants of a busy city. A multifunctional building was required where the different uses were layered within the site itself resulting in synergy effects through the optimum integration of the different areas. 

    Commenting on the internal layout of the building Markus Sporer from Benthem Crouwel Architects said:

    “Visual links allowed people to get their bearings within the building, with a central room linking all the different functions together. The building’s architecture reflects that idea of flow. The internal space was made as transparent as possible so visitors can easily locate the areas they are interested in and see where they are and where they want to go.”

    The other firm involved in the project, seele GmbH, wanted to create an amorphous glazed structure which created a sense of flowing water. To achieve this effect they used laminated safety glass printed with white dots on the exterior. Three metre high vertical panes were used with a minimum of joints, which gave a visually appealing finish. The curved panes were cold bent and an autoclave pressure chamber was used to laminate the glass together. Commenting on the process Dr. –Ing. Martien Teich said: “This way you can bend sheets of glass as big as you can buy and use virtually any coating or print on any layer. The glass was then printed with white circles that filter light in both directions to give a feeling of being in an enclosed and protected space. During the day the printing creates beautiful and interesting patterns within the building and gives the exterior of the building an elegant matt appearance. At night the buildings appearance changes completely and the contents of the structure are unmasked enticing people inside to explore.”

    The end result is a multifunctional building that is a true eye opener both internally and externally.


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    Nick Myall

    News Editor

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