DC Van Hall

Studioninedots transforms a modernist office building on the corner of Donker Curtiusstraat (DC) and Van Hallstraat (Van Hall) into housing and creative workspaces.

The new programme opens up and enlivens the complex by introducing small-scale entrepreneurs and hospitality venues into the transparent ground floor, and students and graduates in the studio apartments above, sparking a new liveliness that fits with the surrounding Staatsliedenbuurt neighbourhood. Workspaces for start-ups will be located along the laneway, creative entrepreneurs will occupy the DC side and a cafe/restaurant on the Van Hall side around the corner incorporates a terrace in the shared courtyard.

The exposed concrete structure, the tripartite composition and wrap-around awning continue to characterise the identity of the complex. Above, the configuration of the compact apartments is expressed in the new shifting facade grid that interplays horizontal and vertical elements, recessed windows and changing window widths.

 

Designed by Ae.G. and J.D. Postma, the 1964 Westerpark Industry and Trade building added variation then to the existing industrial buildings along Kostverlorenvaart, with its office function, sizeable volume and curtain wall facades. Since then, the U-shaped complex forms a cluster together with the Graficolor and Wodan buildings (former pre-war factories which are now both heritage-listed) that turns the building inwards from the street. Due to the bad condition of the building from a technical and energy perspective, this required an extensive renovation; De Key initiated the change in function from offices into housing.

The facade plays with the building’s industrial character and it's place in history.

The residences are accessible from new internal corridors. The courtyard converts a car park into an attractive green, park-like space for residents and locals. The ground cafe/restaurant also features a terrace. On street level, the transparent ground floor and spacious passageways into the courtyard connect DC Van Hall to the street with the neighbourhood. The former showrooms along the street will retain the full-height glass-and-steel shopfronts and will thereby remain as shop windows. Light installations will highlight the entrances.

The characteristic structure of DC Van Hall will be retained, such that the concrete columns, floors and ceilings will feature prominently in the corridors, in the studio apartments and in the shared spaces. The raw, unpolished concrete will be complemented with a soft palette of colours in the shared spaces; residents can define the interiors within their own apartments. Inside the studio apartments, the design cleverly maximises the high ceilings (3.6m) by placing a mezzanine with a double bed above the bathroom unit.

The configuration of the compact apartments is expressed in the new shifting facade grid that interplays horizontal and vertical elements, recessed windows and changing window widths.

The building’s concrete skeleton will be preserved. The new graphite-coloured facade is darker than the previous facade, which allows the building to holds its weight beside the surrounding brick buildings. The coated metal elements reveal changing colour gradients depending on the light. As the grid and windows widen towards the corner, this creates a shifting rhythm on the facade that, together with the new programme and occupants, contributes a dynamic new energy to the community and neighbourhood.

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