Heading for new heights

Nick Myall
Monday 09 Jan 2017

The Bunker, a monumental brutalist building by Hugh Maaskant in Eindhoven, is to be redeveloped and extended

The Bunker, a former student centre of Eindhoven University of Technology, is to be fully renovated and extended with the addition of a high-rise residential tower.

In late 2015, the development combination RED Company & Being Development, along with architectural firm Powerhouse Company, won the competition for the redevelopment of The Bunker. The winning plan has been further developed in the past year in close collaboration with the Technical University and the municipality of Eindhoven.

The plan provides for a careful renovation and extension of The Bunker, a striking and monumental brutalist building designed by the renowned architect Hugh Maaskant the late period of post war reconstruction. The Bunker, located on the north side of the Central Station, will be extended with a tower that extrapolates the character of The Bunker. Several architectural elements of the current building have been reused by Powerhouse Company (winner of the Maaskant Prize for Young Architects in 2011) in the design of the tower, which creates an inseparable whole and the treats the original design of Maaskant with respect.

The development will eventually have a comprehensive mix of functions, mainly housing, offices and a grand café. Plans are being discussed to add a short-stay hotel. The building will be equipped with the latest technological applications and will therefore be an example of an innovative mixed-use development. With this development, the preservation of The Bunker will be guaranteed and a new and special landmark will be added in the city of Eindhoven.


Vice President Jo van Ham of the Executive Board of Eindhoven University of Technology explained: “For the university, there is one crucial element: maintaining The Bunker as a cultural and social heritage. Thousands of (former) students have memories of evenings, concerts and meetings, back in the AOR (General Recreation Area). This also applies to the numerous associations that where being housed, something "TU/e attaches great importance to. Furthermore, the building itself has become an integral part of Eindhoven and the architectural heritage. These are all arguments to bring this project to a successful completion and to preserve for the city in the years to come."

Nanne de Ru of Powerhouse Company went on to say: "The architecture of the Bunker marks a very important period in the history of post-war architecture. The brutalist nature of the design of Maaskant requires a strong approach in the design of the added tower," said De Ru. "Instead of the standard design solutions for monuments to either place the new development within a remote distance, or to leave it as 'Fremdkorper' contrast, we designed the new tower on The Bunker as a continuation of the design language of Maaskant. The result is a building that can be interpreted on different scales. First, as an icon on the Kennedylaan, on the other hand a culmination of volumes reaching to the Vincent van den Heuvellaan. By adding the tower we simultaneously can realise all parking underground and restore The Bunker, and bring back the spirit of the original glamor of the building. The new Bunker is a hybrid blend of form and function, located in a beautiful park and in this way the entire complex will be shown to its full advantage."

The plans were recently approved by the Municipality of Eindhoven, with final delivery scheduled for 2019.

Nick Myall

News editor

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