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Office Building, Netherlands
© Duccio Malagamba

The look of a farm building with a ceramic façade

Gooiland lies between Amsterdam, Amersfoort and Utrecht in the Netherlands. The area is marked by forests, fields and small lakes. The residents are proud of their region and the traditional image of their local sites. Architect Koen van Velsen from Hilversum was awarded the demanding job of creating a modern, new office building that fits into that context.

At the beginning of the planning stage, for the building (headquarters to an asset management company) architect Koen van Velsen was confronted with the demands of the building authorities and residents. He studied the specifications provided by the building authorities and the expressed wishes of the locals. He then drafted a building with a gable roof and ceramic façades as desired. But he went one step further. His draft included a nod to the agricultural building tradition in Gooiland, creating a type of “farm building” with dimensions and a geometry that corresponded to the design of agricultural architecture. Even the layout of the property was conceived as a modern interpretation of a farmyard with its pathways and pond. To retain the consistently natural feel, the parking area for employee vehicles was moved to the basement.

Office Building, Netherlands
© Duccio Malagamba

Modern tradition

To comply with the design specifications while creating a distinctly modern building, van Velsen decided to use Wienerberger ceramic façade panels. Traditionally made of rough clay ware, i.e. fired from the same material as roof tiles, these panels can be comfortably used with modern building materials such as glass and steel since they come in standard dimensions and are diamond-cut to the closest millimetre. The architect selected two types of panels with two and three false joints. The panel with three false joints looks like flat façade bricks, and the panel with two false joints makes the brick surfaces appear larger. Installed in a random pattern, the panels hint at a geometric structure. This design was supported by choosing a lively structure, with a sand-coloured, changing engobe surface. The façade panels were the best solution to combine tradition and modernity in one product with an appealing aesthetic.

Office Building, Netherlands
© Duccio Malagamba
Facts
  • Project name
    Office building, Gooiland, The Netherlands
  • Architect
    Koen van Velsen
  • Used products

    Argeton façade panels, Terzo sand hues

Office Building, Netherlands

Façade panels

Argeton façade panels