06 2018
June 2018
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28/06 2018

KAAN Architecten designs a new multifunctional centre at National Field of Honour in Loenen

The Netherlands War Graves Foundation commissioned KAAN Architecten to design a new multifunctional memorial and education centre at the National Field of Honour in Loenen, after a public tender. The main focus of the centre is to tell stories about Dutch war victims, the efforts of Dutch people during World War II and current international peace missions. The building is a layered and connecting element between the new National Veterans Cemetery and the existing Field of Honour.

The rich woods, existing routes and the scenic qualities of this exceptional site have been used to underline the unifying role of the building. The landscape, originally designed in 1949 by garden and landscape architect D. Haspels and extended by karres+brands, is characterised by the contrast between open spaces and the dense forest.
The design of the new centre consists of fluent open spaces, bound by a horizontally extended roof. This comprehensive openness blurs the transition between inside and outside and allows the natural elements to visually penetrate into the interior spaces. The flexible and logical organisation of the rooms and the roofed outdoor spaces gives the building a double function, while a multimedia educational installation informs students, families and visitors about the stories of war victims and veterans.

The three main rooms, the auditorium, the exhibition space and the condolence room, form a harmonious ‘sequence’ that can be combined for a single ceremony or can be used independently by different groups at the same time. These three key rooms each have their own identity, but at the same time form an architectural ensemble.

When entering the pavilion, the visitors experience the specific orientation of the building, which is positioned towards one of the sightlines of the Field of Honour with a central axis. In this way, the ceremonial route culminates with a view on the memorial cross seen from the auditorium of the pavilion. With this strong visual relationship, the pavilion occupies a central position between the two cemeteries, creating a timeless link between old and new.

14/06 2018

Universidade Anhembi Morumbi: two campuses, one architectural identity

A year after the official launch of KAAN Architecten’s second outpost in São Paulo (Brazil), the Dutch firm completes two new buildings, which will house the new campuses of the Universidade Anhembi Morumbi in São José dos Campos and Piracicaba, in the inland of São Paulo State. The projects were coordinated by BRC Group.

Both buildings have been driven by the same design choices: to create an elegant yet strong architectural identity for the campuses of the Universidade Anhembi Morumbi through a non-scale approach to the representative façades, providing the students and the institution with a generous central common space that promotes social interaction and responds to the hot Brazilian climate of these regions by allowing greater circulation of natural air.

Located in proximity to a main road junction, the future campus in São José dos Campos stands like a modern day Acropolis on an elevated plot, which creates isolation and the ideal conditions to turn it into a new reference point amid the dense urban fabric. In Piracicaba, the new building occupies a plot along a secondary urban expansion axis in the southern part of the city.

By optimizing the topographical characteristics of their areas and thanks to the balanced façade geometries, both projects are landmarks that firmly and visually open themselves to the city, giving the University a recognizable position within the architectural panorama.

The buildings have different volumetric proportions. São José dos Campos encompasses a more compact structure and consists of three floors with a total area of 5.300 sqm, while Piracicaba, is horizontally developed and lies on the slope of the surrounding landscape, directly dialoguing with it.

The intense Brazilian solar radiation is mitigated by a fully encompassing system of vertical slabs that fulfills the need for shade in every façade. Choosing a regular structural system enabled KAAN Architecten to feature glass in between the thin concrete slabs and the roof beams. In the case of São José dos Campos, this was molded in-situ, relying on the expertise of the local workforce, while in Piracicaba, it was prefabricated to enhance sharpness and exactitude in the attachment system.

The wide use of glass in the façades enhances transparency and reveals a deep connection with the architecture of the cities. Moreover, a caramel resin floor comfortably reflects the abundant natural light in the social core and passageways of the buildings. The natural ventilation and light are optimized via a ceiling pergola in concrete and smaller wooden elements acting as sun blades.

The shared program features classrooms, diverse laboratories for practice exercises and simulation, a space for the cafeteria, physiotherapy facilities, a library and offices. All educational spaces are situated alongside the longitudinal glazed façades to take advantage of the natural light and have been oriented towards the large-scale central void, to embody the buildings’ core social identity and its essence as a place for encounters, human connection and knowledge exchange.

Following a careful analysis of the structural opportunities, a system of ribbed slabs made possible by in-situ molded concrete was adopted in the São José dos Campos building. In Piracicaba instead a system of alveolar slabs was employed, exploring the best possibilities of precast concrete. These choices allow wide free spans and a significant modularity of space based on a rigid 1.50 x 1.50 meter grid. Moreover, the in-depth study into solar radiation results in large floor-to-ceiling windows, which grant abundant daylight to classrooms and laboratories, playing with the deep shadows generated by the vertical concrete elements.

Sustainability plays a central role in the design of the two campuses, which feature an innovative energy management system for thermal control to prevent refrigeration waste and enhance the efficiency of the roof system with chimney effect. The use of BIM software and technology is also at the core of both projects: each façade has been designed following specific comfort studies, resulting in a wide protection porch for the north and south elevations, and in a dense grid of vertical brise-soleil for the east and west elevations.

07/06 2018

Central Post featured in “Gaten in de muur” film

“Gaten in de muur” is a film dedicated to the forgotten monumental art pieces in the city of Rotterdam and it has been directed by Jan Dirk Schouten. After the 1940 bombing, artists and architects joined forces to re-build the city. Dikkie Scipio appears in the film as one of the expert following the renovation of the Central Post building completed in 2010, presenting art pieces by famous Dutch artist Louis van Roode.

The film will be screened at Cinerama on Sunday 10 June at 16.30 and Tuesday 12 June at 19.30.

For more information, please check out this link.