Delft, the Netherlands
The Dutch firm Cepezed Architects, founded in 1973, is known for its quick-assembly, on-site construction with factory-made elements. From 1999 until just recently, it occupied a glass and steel building it had designed that demonstrated the firm's commitment to a modernist method of fabrication. But as principal Ronald Schleurholts notes, 'We were expanding rapidly, and our office was dispersed over four different areas in that structure.' Schleurholts and his partner, Jan Pesman, discovered a landmarked complex of three buildings in Ezelsveldlaan, in the south part of the city, where they could use their 'custom prefab' techniques to remodel the space for 50 employees. They chose to occupy the largest main hall and leave the middle-sized and smallest for two other creative offices.
The architects were drawn to the industrial quality of the lightweight, airy Polonceau trusses in the main hall, where two segmented triangles are held together by tension rods. The 52-foot height of the gabled roof accommodates mezzanines for additional work areas while augmenting the sense of spaciousness. In rebuilding the low-rise annex next door, the architects used a steel frame with slender, minimal profiles and slightly recessed double-insulated glazing. 'We try to build a kit of parts,' says Schleurholts, 'but it is customized, so you don't see it as a typical prefab.' The elegant result fits the firm's philosophy, without losing a sense of history.
Owner: Made in Delft, Delft
Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Interior designer: cepezed architects
Construction physics and acoustics:
CAD system, project management, or other software used:
40,365 square feet