Project: Westfield Mall of the Netherlands
Award: Concrete in Architecture, Gold, 2022
Location: Leidschendam, Netherlands
Architect: MVSA Architects
Client: Unibail Rodamco Westfield
The façade design of the Westfield Mall of the Netherlands features an unusually expressive and sculptural use of an everyday material: concrete. The design brief: to transform a dated, run-of- the-mill shopping centre into an all-round contemporary urban leisure destination with one identity. Its design was inspired by a silk scarf and just as a scarf can complete an outfit, the draped façade of this clean design connects the previously scattered buildings. The shopping centre has almost tripled in size and is now the Netherlands' largest.
Reusing the existing structure, the white scarf roof pulls the building together, here and there opening with a flourish to allow visitors to enter through glass and green façades that contrast with the concrete. Rippling vertical aluminium louvres in bronze tones cover the closed areas between windows to dramatic effect.
Glass fibre-reinforced high-performance concrete is used in super-thin moulded panels to create the softly waving forms – a fresh and unexpected use for this familiar material. The surface is polished, smooth and tactile, catching the light beautifully and offering a warm, friendly appearance. A hydrophobic coating has been applied to prevent vandalism, ensuring the façade is future proof. In order to minimize weather damage, the elements are sealed in reverse so that rain will disappear behind the elements rather than running down the whole length of the façade.
Photo credits: Joni Israeli; Barwerd van der Plas; Ronald Tilleman; Bart van Hoek; Teun Koek
- LEAD ARCHITECTS: Roberto Meyer, Charlotte Griffioen, Mark Ohm