Mei projects - English version

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mei in 32 projects

mei architects and planners

Mei architects and planners Schiehavenkade 150 3024 EZ Rotterdam Nederland version 04.2022 t +31 (0)10 4252222 e instagram: mei_architects_and_planners linkedin: Mei architects and planners facebook: Meiarch

mei architects and planners


About Mei architects and planners Core values Resume Robert Winkel Resume Robert Platje and Michiel van Loon Awards Jury comments Projects Fenix I, Rotterdam SAWA, Rotterdam McDonald’s Coolsingel 44, Rotterdam De Generaal, Rijswijk Cheese Warehouse, Gouda Silk Factory, Naro-Fominsk, Russia Kabeldistrict, Delft SPOT, Amsterdam Bonner Flagge, Bonn, Germany MENU, Utrecht De Caai, Eindhoven DUWO, Amsterdam Spaardersbad, Gouda De Verkenner, Utrecht NMBS, Brussels, Belgium Van Gendthallen, Amsterdam De Lijnbaan, Rotterdam CreativRevier, Hamm, Germany OMY Museum, Yrseke Gnome parking garage, Almere Toulon, France Citroën garage, Paris, France De Fabriek Delfshaven, Rotterdam De Nieuwe Hallen, The Hague Bastille, Enschede Max & Moore, Amsterdam Lloydquarter, Rotterdam Schiecentrale 4B, Rotterdam 25kV, Rotterdam Kraton 230, Rotterdam Hotel Restaurant STROOM, Rotterdam Jobsveem, Rotterdam

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Mei architects and planners

Mei architects and planners realises leading projects in the Netherlands and abroad. Our work is founded on respect for the environment: for the history of the location, the current context and future living environment. Based on our expertise in the field of adaptive re-use of architectural heritage, new build projects and urban development strategies, we work on designs that put the user first. Our distinct designs tell their own story, which increases the involvement with the building and the connection between its users. With creativity, expertise and courage, we introduce innovative technical applications and user concepts that contribute to social and ecological sustainability. Mei was founded by Robert Winkel, who leads the firm together with Michiel van Loon and Robert Platje. Established in Rotterdam, we work with an ambitious, international team on assignments in the Netherlands, France, Germany, Russia and Norway, among other countries. The office structure is based on the expertise domains of Building Transformation, New Build projects and Urban Planning, within which research is fostered and knowledge is secured. To further increase brain power and decisiveness, Mei seeks collaboration with various parties in the field, from experts in the area of urban nature to the building materials industry. Mei’s work has been widely published and awarded. Mei is known for transformation projects such as Fenix I and Jobsveem in Rotterdam and the Cheese Warehouse in Gouda, and new construction such as Schiecentrale 4B and the McDonald’s pavilion at Coolsingel in Rotterdam. With the design and development of SAWA, a fully wooden residential building in Rotterdam, Mei is a pioneer in the field of creating future-proof, nature-inclusive housing. At an urban planning level, Mei specialises in complex inner-city and redevelopment projects. Mei designs dynamic masterplans for, among other things, the site of the former silk factory in Naro-Fominsk, the OPG location in Utrecht and the Cable District in Delft.

Core values

Our distinct designs tell their own story, which increases the involvement with the building and the connection between its users. With creativity, expertise and courage, we introduce innovative technical applications and user concepts that contribute to social and ecological sustainability. What we stand for we have translated into 5 Core Values: context, community, new aesthetics, flexibility and new values.

Context: Built and narrative history

Mei cherishes the history of the place and uses it in the design. At the start of each project, we delve into the local history: the background of existing buildings, on and around the location, and the images and stories that are part of our collective memory. We build on this by preserving structures, integrating physical objects and translating stories into recognisable elements. In addition to the cultural importance, the economic value of building elements and materials will also play an increasingly important role in design and construction practice in the future. By reusing existing buildings where possible, we contribute to circularity in construction.

Community: Encouraging shared ownership

Communities of committed residents, who look after each other and their living environment, form the basis for a well-functioning city. With attention to facilitating joint use and staging encounters, in generous and carefully designed collective space, Mei aims to contribute to the emergence of close-knit communities. We encourage ownership by giving residents a say in their living environment and, where possible, involving them early in the design process. Programming also plays a role in strengthening contact between residents, users and local residents. The need to consume more consciously offers opportunities for shared use. By connecting with local initiatives, new communities are embedded in the existing ones.

New aesthetics: From refined to sublime

Mei is looking for an image that people will remember: recognisable, but also surprising, or even alienating. From construction to façade design, we embrace the grand scale of the transformation areas where we work, shaping an almost sublime experience. Multiedited elements, sometimes provided with an image or text, add stories to the buildings. By avoiding an unambiguous distinction between old and new, we are working on a new visual language. We design iconic elements - such as façade panels, fencing and balconies - with great precision and control. In addition, we leave room for the unpredictable aspects of the construction process. Visible appropriation by users is part of the image, which can change over time.

Flexibility: User freedom and circularity

Flexibility has been the basis of Mei’s designs for more than 25 years to give users freedom and extend the life of buildings. With open structures, we offer space for a wide range of possible interpretations, both on the scale of the building and of the urban ensemble. We guarantee the adaptability of buildings by disconnecting building components of different lifespans: the main supporting structure, façade, systems and finishing. Mei is one of the founders of OPENBUILDING.CO, the network that gives renewed attention to Open Building, as developed by John Habraken in the 1960s. Based on the current need to build in a circular way, the relevance of these principles is becoming clearer than ever.

New values: Healthy and shared living environments

Social issues guide Mei’s work. We believe that architects can and should play an important role in creating a healthy and shared living environment. From stimulating social cohesion to integrating urban nature, we incorporate social and ecological design principles, both on the scale of the building and of the neighbourhood or district. Timber construction the new standard As one of the pioneers of industrial flexible and demountable building (IFD), Mei has many years of experience with flexible and detachable building systems, which contribute to a circular economy and extend the lifespan of buildings and materials. With SAWA, we are setting a new standard in the field of timber construction. Extensive knowledge of technology, process and regulations and an always inquisitive attitude drive constant innovation in our projects.

Robert Winkel architect | founder (01.05.1963)

Education 2006 1984 – 1991

“We constantly ask ourselves why something happens in a certain way”

UvA, Bouweconomie, certificate 2006 ir. Msc. Architecture, TU Delft

Overview of job positions 2003 – present Mei architects and planners, architect / owner 2019 – present Nice Developers, owner 2001 – 2008 Smarthouse together with Holland Beton Groep, founder 1996 – 2003 Robert Winkel Architecten, architect / owner 1995 – 2013 Archined together iwth Piet Vollaard and Uitgeverij 010, founder and director 1991 – 1995 CEPEZED Architecten (project architect) Lectures (amongst others) Moscow Urban Forum (RU) Academie van Bouwkunst (NL) Dutch heritage exhibition, Moskou (RU) Provada transformatieplein, Amsterdam (NL) Vastgoedmarkt Collegetour, Amsterdam (NL) Design and Emotion conference - Amsterdam (NL) Re-Use sypmosium Sao Paulo Brazilië 2015, work visit minister of OCW Jet Bussemaker (BR) Les salons structuralistes, Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam (NL) Hessischer Architektentag (DE) BNA academie, herbestemming (NL) Gunsan University, Bunsan Port Authority (South Korea) Zeppelin #48, (RO) Arcelor Mittal Conference (PL) Delft University of Architecture, Delft (NL) Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura (SP) École nationale supérieure d’architecture de Nantes (FR) EASA (PO) Cercle de l’Instituut Supérieur d’Architecture Victor Horta (BE) Staalbouwdag 2000 and 2007 (NL) Open building conference (Paris, FR) Eina Universiteit (Barcelona, ES) dS+V (Rotterdam, NL) Kubusuitreiking Habraken BNA (Amsterdam, NL) Kingspan BuildingHolland 2010 theme: ‘Koplopers in Bouwinnovatie’ (Amsterdam, NL) Architectencafé theme ‘Transformaties’ (Amsterdam, NL) TU Delft BK-city series Transformations Open building conference (Paris, FR) Eina (Barcelona, ES) Department of Urban Planning (Rotterdam, NL) Kubus BNA presentation Habraken BNA (NL)

The entrepreneurial architect Robert Winkel founded Mei Architects and planners back in 2003. As an energetic foreman he inspires a team of about fifty designers and specialists. After studying Architecture at the TU Delft (1991), Robert worked as a project architect, founding Archined in 1995. In 1996, he started his own firm (Robert Winkel Architecten), which became Mei architects and planners in 2003. In 2019, Nice Developers joined the firm. The move into development illustrates Robert’s drive for innovation and progress. When Robert sees a need, he can’t help but act on it. “We constantly ask ourselves why something is done a certain way. There is a great eagerness in our company. But we don’t just want to talk about it, we want to do it! We want to show what we believe in. Show don’t tell!” As a developing architect, he was the mastermind behind SAWA: the first wooden (and prize-winning) building in Rotterdam. “The innovation at SAWA was in the clever combination of design solutions and technical elaborations. The result is a building with a supporting structure made of more than 90% wood.” Robert holds various external roles of social importance. He was for many years chairman and member of the Spatial Quality Commission in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, is currently supervisor of ‘Rotterdam - The Hague Airport’ and chairman of the ‘Quality Team Feyenoord-City’ (Rotterdam) and ‘Merwede’ (Utrecht). Robert is a guest lecturer at numerous universities and colleges and a much sought-after juror for awards in architecture and urban development.

Committees / Juries (among others) 2021 - present Member of assessment committee for redevelopment Koepelgevangenis Breda for RVB 2021 - present Member of commission Quality-team new theater ‘De Meervaart’ in Amsterdam 2020 - present Chairman Quality-team Merwede, Utrecht 2020 Chairman of Regulations Four-year Institutional Subsidy at Creative Industries Fund 2019 Jury member ‘Steden in Beweging’ Award 2019 - present Member of Expert Council of Industrial Heritage in Russia 2018 - present Chairman Quality-team Feyenoord City, Rotterdam 2018 - present Supervisor Rotterdam - The Hague Airport 2018 - 2021 Deputy chairman of Amsterdam Commission for Architecture and Built environment 2018 Chairman of ARC18 Oeuvre Award 2017 - 2021 Chairman of Amsterdam Commission for Architecture and Built Environment Subcomm. III 2016 - 2017 Member of Amsterdam Commission for Architecture and Built Environment Subcomm. III 2016 Jury member Gouden Piramide, award for inspiring commissioning 2014 - present Boardmember Rotterdam Rooftop Festival 2013 - 2014 Member Q-team Havenbedrijf Rotterdam 2011 - 2014 Deputy Chairman of the Rotterdam Commission for Architecture and Built Environment 2011 - present Member advisory board Booosting 2010 Jury member of BNA Jonge Architectenprijsvraag 2009 Jury member ‘StedenBouwNu’ 2009 - 2011 Architecture Fund, Advisory Board member Architecture Project Grants 2009 Jury member of Europan 10 2009 Jury member, Rotterdam-Maaskantprize for Young Architects 2008 Member board of professionals, Rotterdam Academy of Architecture and Urban Design 2008 - 2014 Member of Commission for Architecture and Built Environment of the City of Rotterdam 2008 - 2011 Member of the Rotterdam Monument Team (monumentenwerkgroep) 2008 Jury member, Netherlands Architecture Institute (competition ‘Rotterdam Mooier Dan!’) 2008 - 2011 Board member Booosting 2008 Jury member of Archiprix 2008 Member feedback group of the Netherlands Architecture Fund 2006 Jury member of Total Façade Innovation and Architecture Prize 2004 - present Board member of Vedute 2001 Jury member of Ikthinos (Maaskant) prize, Academy of Architecture Rotterdam 2000 - present Member of several forums, symposiums, debates 1983 - 1984 Board member of Stylos

Robert Platje

architect | partner (01.07.1975)

“You can’t monitor everything, so focus on the most important aspects.”

Robert joined Mei architects and planners in 2000 as a project manager and building technologist, became an associate partner in 2017 and a full partner in the firm in 2022. Robert is Mei’s building technologist and has been a valuable addition to the team since 2000 with his specialisation - architectural detailing and sustainable construction. Robert looks at how a concept can be realised as smartly as possible. “I translate a concept into something that is easy to understand and easy to make. Then, I explain it to those who are building it and monitor it during its implementation.” He is the concept supervisor at Mei and has a fascination for technical solutions. Technology is always a means, not an end in itself. The aim is to create functional and pleasant ‘people buildings’. “Fenix I is a friendly building because of the space it offers for personalisation. It is a plea for living the way you want to live. It’s not the architecture, but the people dictating that.” Robert believes that ‘perfect’ buildings are soulless buildings. He, therefore, offers controlled space to make small mistakes: an approach known within Mei as ‘selective control’. It is this pragmatic approach that typifies the firm. “Our starting point here is: you just can’t monitor everything, so we focus on the most important aspects.” The puzzle between form, function and details is what keeps him busy: designing until ‘something works’. It is no coincidence that he is also a BREEAM-NL expert with the Dutch Green Building Council, a committee member for Non-Residential Construction with SBR and a member of the BNA’s Technology and Regulation policy advisory committee. He is also happy to share his knowledge of construction technology as a guest lecturer and visiting critic at, among others, TU Delft, SBR and Bouwen met Staal. Education 2010 1993 – 1996

DGBC Rotterdam, HBO sustainability building environment Randmeer College Harderwijk, MBO Bouwkunde

Overview of job positions 2022 – present Mei architects and planners 2017 – 2022 Mei architects and planners 2012 – 2017 Mei architects and planners 2012 – 2012 SPEE architecten 2011 – 2012 PLUS architecten 2000 – 2011 Mei architects and planners 1998 – 2000 Tekta architecten 1996 – 1998 Ontwerpburo Ad van de Vis

architect | partner architect | associate partner project manager, specialty: Building technology & BIM project manager project manager Building technologist / project manager project manager technical designer

Extracurricular activities 2019 – present BNA, member policy advisory committee on technology and regulations 2010 – present BREEAM-NL expert, Dutch Green Building Council 2008 – present Member of commission Utiliteitsbouwdetails, SBR 2008 – present Guest lecturer building technology, TU Delft 2014 Member of the housing market group, Bouwen met Staal 2012 Lecturer ‘construction engineering design utility construction’ at SBR / Bouwen met Staal

Michiel van Loon architect | partner (28.6.1985)

“At the level of both the city and the building, that space is incredibly important.”

Michiel joined Mei architects and planners in2012 as a project architect, became an associate partner in 2017 and a full partner in the firm in 2022. After the HTS in Tilburg (2007) and his Master of Architecture at TU Delft (2011, cum laude) Michiel gained experience at several architecture firms in the Netherlands and abroad (New York, Vienna, Rotterdam). In 2012 he applied at Mei. “I loved the aesthetics of projects like the Schiecentrale. This kind of project, with its high complexity and the layering of existing and new buildings, was the exact reason I applied for a job. I like working on different levels of scale and can do that well. Without those skills, I wouldn’t be able to do projects like Fenix I or Kabeldistrict in Delft.” At Mei’s, he learned the importance of making choices in a design, by constantly weighing up what is really important and daring to make a selection. “Choosing is essential, that is my most important lesson. You can make everything important, but that doesn’t necessarily make it more relevant.” The reservation of space - within residential buildings, projects and cities - is Michiel’s pet subject. In addition to working on the content of projects, he would therefore like to become more involved in the discussion about architecture and spatial interpretation in the future. Michiel previously worked as a guest speaker and graduation supervisor at Avans University of Applied Sciences in Tilburg.

Education 2007 – 2011 2003 – 2007

Ir. Architect, Cum Laude, TU Delft Ing. Engineer Building Technology, Avans HogeschoolTilburg

Overview of job positions 2022 – present Mei architects and planners 2017 – 2022 Mei architects and planners 2012 – 2017 Mei architects and planners 2011 – 2012 Barcode Architects, Rotterdam 2010 Maks, Rotterdam 2010 NL Research Lab, Rotterdam 2008 – 2009 Coop Himmelb(l)au, Wenen 2006 – 2008 01-10 Architects, Rotterdam

architect | partner architect | associate partner project architect project architect architect researcher architect architect

Extracurricular activities 2018 – present Guest speaker TU Delft 2016 – present Guest speaker TU Eindhoven 2018 Guest speaker Hogeschool Rotterdam 2016 Graduation supervisor Avans Hogeschool Tilburg 2009 – 2016 Guest speaker Avans Hogeschool Tilburg 2011 Archi-prix Exhibition


International Design Awards, 3rd prize category Architectuur – Sustainable Living – Green, SAWA, 2021 FX Design Awards, shortlisted Mixed Use Development, Fenix I, 2021 Iconic Awards for Innovative Architecture, selection category ‘Concept’, SAWA, 2021 The International Architecture Awards, winner, Fenix I, 2021 World Architecture Festival, Highly Commended Old & New – Completed Buildings, Fenix I, 2021 World Architecture Festival, shortlisted Masterplanning – Future Project, Kabeldistrict, 2021 World Architecture Festival, 1st prize Experimental – Future Project, SAWA, 2021 Architizer A+ Awards, special mention Unbuilt – Multi-Unit Housing, SAWA, 2021 Urban Design & Architecture Design Awards, 1st prize category Urban Design Concept, Kabeldistrict, 2021 MIPIM / Architectural Review Future Projects Awards, highly recommended category Residential, SAWA, 2021 Green GOOD DESIGN Awards, 1st prize, SAWA, 2021 ArchDaily Building of the Year Awards, nomination, Fenix I, 2021 European Property Awards, 1st prize Best Mixed Use Architecture Netherlands, Fenix I, 2020 Architecture MasterPrize, 1st prize category Heritage Architecture, Fenix I, 2020 NRP Gulden Feniks, nomination, Fenix I, 2020 ARC20 Innovatie Award, 1st prize, SAWA, 2020 BNA Beste Gebouw van het Jaar, nomination, Fenix I, 2020 FX Design Awards, nomination, Fenix I, 2020 Architectenweb Awards Woongebouw van het Jaar, nomination, Fenix I, 2020 German Design Awards, special mention, Fenix I, 2021 Iconic Awards for Innovative Architecture, 1e prijs, Fenix I, 2020 THE PLAN Awards, nomination, Fenix I, 2020 Blueprint Awards, nomination, Fenix I, 2020 Nationale Steel prize, nomination, Fenix I, 2020 ULI Europe Awards for Excellence, nomination, Fenix I, 2020 Rotterdam Architectuur Prize, jury prize, Fenix I, 2019 Rotterdam Architectuur Prize, voter’s prize, Fenix I, 2019 Reynaers Project prize, nomination, Fenix I, 2019 MIPIM/AR Future Project Award, 1st prize category Old&New, Fenix I, 2019 ARC18 Development Award, winner, Gouda Cheese Warehouse, 2018 Iconic Awards, Innovative Architecture - Selection, Gouda Cheese Warehouse, 2018 Dutch Steel Award, 1st prize category residential building, Gouda Cheese Warehouse, 2018 Architizer A+Awards, finalist, category Architecture + Concrete, De Verkenner, 2017 Archmarathon Award,1st prize category Mixed Use & Residential Buildings, De Verkenner, 2017 Concrete Award, nominee, De Verkenner, 2017 BNA Building of the Year, nominee, McDonald’s Coolsingel 44 Rotterdam, 2016 German Design Award, winner, McDonald’s Coolsingel 44 Rotterdam, 2016 Iconic Awards, winner category Architecture, McDonald’s Coolsingel 44 Rotterdam, 2015 ARC15 Detail Award, nominee, McDonald’s Coolsingel 44 Rotterdam, 2015 WAN metal in architecture award, shortlist, Gnome Parking Almere-Buiten, 2014 Rotterdam Architecture prize, shortlist, De Fabriek Delfshaven, Rotterdam, 2013 Roterodamum Restoration prize, 2nd prize, De Fabriek Delfshaven, Rotterdam, 2013 Rotterdam Building quality prize, nomination with Schiecentrale 4B, 2009 BNA Building of the year, nomination for Schiecentrale 4B, 2009 National Renovation prize, 1st prize with Jobsveem, 2009 Dutch Building prize, nomination with Jobsveem, 2009

Rotterdam Building quality prize, 1st prize with Jobsveem, 2008 Job Dura prize, Schiecentrale and Jobsveem on shortlist, 2008 National Steel prize, 1st prize with Jobsveem, 2008 National Steel prize, nomination with Kraton 230, 2008 BNA Building of the year, nomination for Kraton 230, 2008 BNA Building of the year, nomination for LOC, 2008 Geveltotaal Architecture prize, 1st prize for façade and cast iron panels Kraton 230, 2008 Living Steel International Architecture Competition for Sustainable Housing (Londen), short-listed, 2007 Dutch Design Prize, nomination for cast iron panels Kraton 230, 2006 Unorthodocks competition, 2nd prize with a vision for the development of Stadshavens Rotterdam, 2006 IFD grant for the PWS housing association in connection with 200 flexible living and working units in Schiecentrale Rotterdam, 2004 Rotterdam Design Prize, 3rd prize with Smarthouse, 2003 Sustainable Building Prize, City of Rotterdam, 25kV Building, 2001 Spacious Living competition, 1st prize, De Gedoogwoning, 2001 Rotterdam City Office competition, nomination, The People’s Palace, 2001 National Steel Prize, nomination, 25kV Building, 2000 EO Wijers competition, honorary mention, The Wild North, 1998 Church for the 21st Century competition, 1st prize, 1997 Glass House competition, 3rd prize, Mi Casa es su Casa, 1996 Roosendaal competition on squares, honorary mention, De Stolling van Roosendaal, 1995

Jury comments

International Design Awards 2021 - SAWA - Bronze winner category Architecture - Sustainable Living - Green “SAWA is striving to make a difference in the health of the planet, revealing the compassionate nature of the collective design community.” MIPIM / AR Future Project Award 2021 - SAWA - highly recommended category Residential “SAWA is a stand-out building in Rotterdam that docks visually for its green appearance, and socially for its programme and approach to sustainability” ARC20 Innovatie Award 2020 - SAWA - 1st prize “SAWA is relevant and promising because of the scale of the timber construction. It will be the most innovative, tallest wooden building in the Netherlands. This is a new concept, smart and aesthetic, energy-saving and possibly the tipping point in the timber construction revolution.” Rotterdam Architecture prize 2019 - Fenix I - winner jury prize “The building shows the enthusiasm of all those involved – client, architect, contractor and users. It is a new icon for the city of Rotterdam and it proves that no bridge is too far for densifying the layered city” Rotterdam Architecture prize 2019 - Fenix I - winner voter’s prize “Amazing, how an abandoned and dreary part of the town has come to life, became easy accessible and playful. From a depreciated place to the place to be.. Unique project.” MIPIM / AR Future Project Award 2019 - Fenix I - winner Old & New “The design of Fenix I makes a coherent relationship between old and new which elegantly dovetails existing and added structure and convincingly first into its docklands context.” ARC18 Development Award - Cheese Warehouse Gouda - 1st prize “The Cheese Warehouse in Gouda is a project that has everything the jury was looking for. It is a project that most parties considered development to be too risky. A project that has a great complexity and is realized in a difficult market. It is a project that has become a decisive success in commercial terms and that circularity is of paramount importance. A project where users could assert their individual wishes.” Betonprijs 2017 - De Verkenner - nomination Residential building “The care with which the building has been developed and realized can only be achieved if all parties involved have the same ambition: to give a qualitative boost to the post-war neighborhood. They have succeeded extremely well in this.“ BNA Beste Gebouw van het Jaar 2016 - McDonald’s Coolsingel 44 Rotterdam - nomination “Fast food chains and architecture: it is a seemingly impossible combination. The standard building formulas of restaurants such as McDonald’s hardly tolerate deviating designs, the interiors are generally not focused on comfort, but rather on a stay that is as short as possible. The spectacular transformation of the McDonald’s on Coolsingel in Rotterdam proves that things can be done differently. The pavilion was once declared the ugliest building in Rotterdam. The franchisee decided to take on the challenge, together with Mei architects, to make it the most beautiful McDonald’s in the Netherlands. The jury believes that they have succeeded; this is “a jewel for Big Mac eaters.” It’s good that in this way, this audience is being confronted with something beautiful.” ARC15 Detail award - McDonald’s Coolsingel 44 Rotterdam - nomination “Perfectly detailled pavillion” 20

WAN Metal in architecture award 2014 - Gnome Garage Parking - nomination “I like that there is a high level of transparency, it is quite difficult to do.” Nationale Renovatieprijs 2009 - Jobsveem - 1st prize “The transformation of a warehouse, where goods were stored directly from the ships into the harbor, to a high-quality combination of mainly living, but also working in the plinth of the building is, according to the jury, very praiseworthy. The original quality of the building has been enhanced by the intervention to bring more daylight into the building. With that intervention right through the building in the form of atria, a stiffness is guaranteed by installing a steel cage that also includes all services. (...) The jury now regards the building as a major asset of this location, both due to the mix of functions and the appearance of the building, and recommends tackling the guard façade on the city side quickly.” Nederlandse Bouwprijs 2009 - Jobsveem - nomination “The Jobsveem national monument is a wonderful example of revitalizing an industrial building and is therefore of great significance for the future. The designers have carefully added a new architectural interpretation to the existing characteristic building. This has created a good and balanced symbiosis between old and new. “ Rotterdamse Bouwkwaliteitsprijs 2008 - Jobsveem - 1st prize “The St. Job project is a high-quality reconstruction of industrial heritage with contemporary interventions to give new meaning to the existing building. (...) What immediately catches the eye and for which the jury expresses its appreciation, is the respectful attitude of the architect regarding the monument. The precision with which has been worked to preserve the authenticity and let it speak, is clearly noticeable. The art of making an incision in a high-profile building like this lies in the application of powerful yet modest architecture. The subtle use of hard contemporary materials fits the robustness of the building. (...) The revitalization of this industrial heritage with its new function is certainly an added value for the city.” Nationale Staalprijs 2008 - Jobsveem - 1st prize “The building task in our country will increasingly consist of redeveloping buildings that form part of our cultural heritage. This project is a good example of this. The Jobsveem national monument is given a new function in an impressive way, while retaining its authentic character. The precise and modest design of the new “incised” atria in steel and glass has been very successful. The subtle and natural addition of new steel to the original cast-iron construction gives the building extra quality.” BNA gebouw van het jaar 2008 - Schiecentrale 4B - nomination “Schiecentrale 4B exudes enormous self-confidence. The building is tough, dynamic and smart and has a clear icon effect. According to the jury, the architect has cleverly succeeded in presenting a large, rich and varied program in a metropolitan way. By placing functions such as a supermarket and gymnasium all around and, apart from apartments, also creating land-based quay homes, the plinth generates commotion, the building stands firmly on the ground and anchors itself on all sides in the urban fabric. The jury praises the starting point for turning Schiecentrale 4B into a common building. By dividing offices and homes over a lower and a higher drive, a public accessible courtyard with picnic tables and play options is created in the middle, on top of the parking garage. The jury thinks the raw materials that match the harbor have been successful.“ Schiecentrale 4B - Rotterdamse Bouwkwaliteitsprijs 2009, nominatie “The jury greatly appreciates the wildly experimental Schiecentrale. This experimental building belongs exactly in Rotterdam; it cannot be found anywhere else. The open floor plans and the conceptual material choices will appeal precisely to the specific public for which this building is intended.“ 21

Fenix I, Rotterdam


Loft apartments on top of a monumental dockyard warehouse 21 awards, amongst others: European Property Awards 2020 Residential Building of the Year 2020 Iconic Awards for Innovative Architecture 2020 Rotterdam Architectuurprijs 2019, Jury and Audience award MIPIM/AR Future Project Award 2019 client: Heijmans Vastgoed program: approx. 8.500 m2 commercial, cultural and culinary approx. 9.000 m2 public parking approx. 23.000 m2 loft apartments (212) team Mei: Robert Winkel, Robert Platje, Michiel van Loon, Ruben Aalbersberg, Sean Bos, King Chaichana, Kasia Ephraim, Johan van Es, Danijel Gavranovic, Jan Hoogervorst, Rutger Kuipers, Arjan Kunst, Daam van der Leij, Ruben van der Plas, Riemer Postma, Rob Reintjes, Ed de Rooij, Adriaan Smidt, Lore van de Venne, Roy Wijte, Menno van der Woude, Reinoud van der Zijde photography: Ossip van Duivenbode, Marc Goodwin (Archmospheres), Peter Hooijmeijer building costs: 48.000.000,- euro completion: 2015 - 2019 location: Veerlaan / Rijnhaven, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

With 45,000 m2 of mixed-use program and a unique steel table construction that is built right through the existing monumental warehouse, Rotterdam has gained a bold and iconic building: Fenix I. The original Fenix warehouse, built in 1922 for the Holland America Line, has been redeveloped and renovated for an extensive mixed-use program, including the Cultuur Cluster, formed by Codarts Circus Arts School, Conny Janssen Danst and Circus Rotjeknor. On top of the 100-yearold monumental Fenix warehouse, a new volume with 212 loft homes has been built. Fenix I excels in technical terms, the loft concept is exceptional in its size and from an architectural point of view, Fenix I has become an icon for Rotterdam.








7 24

From San Francisco warehouse to Fenix I The Fenix warehouses, located opposite Hotel New York and the Rijnhaven Bridge, were built in 1922 due to the considerable expansion of the fleet and number of routes of the Holland America Line at that time. The architect was Mr C.N. van Goor. The warehouse was called the San Francisco warehouse and was an impressive 360 metres long, making it the largest shipping terminal in the world at the time. The concrete facade was characterised by large loading decks. A special feature of the warehouse were the two railway lines running through the building, and the freight elevators that lorries could use to load and unload their goods onto the first floor. At the end of World War II, large parts of the quay were destroyed. In the early 1950s a fire (presumably originating in stored cocoa) caused substantial damage to the central part of the warehouse. In 1954, the warehouse was restored into two buildings and expanded and widened on the quay side. In the middle part, a square with canteen building was realised (the current Fenixplein and canteen Walhalla) flanked by the rebuilt warehouses, Fenix I and Fenix II. In the 1980s port activities moved westward and the warehouses fell into disuse. Since 2007, the city of Rotterdam committed to the restructuring and transformation of the Katendrecht district. The Deliplein in particular was an important part of this project. Over time Katendrecht transformed from a disadvantaged area into a trendy and most popular district, with numerous culinary, creative and cultural enterprises. Around 2009, Heijmans started planning for the development of the Fenix I warehouse. After examining the surrounding building volumes of the Rijnhaven, in consultation with the City Development Department, it was decided to add extra volume on top of the warehouse. In 2013, Mei architects and planners won the architectural tender for the redevelopment of Fenix I. figure 1 San Francisco warehouse in operation, around 1930 figure 2 San Francisco warehouse at Deliplein, around 1930 figure 3 San Francisco warehouse after World War Two and fire, around 1950 figure 4 Fenix I and II in operation, around 1955 figure 5 Scheme showing different time layers of Fenix I figure 6,7 Fenix l existing sitiation in 2016








9 Rijnhaven



Existing warehouse – Interlayer – New housing block The overall design for Fenix I consists of three main parts. First of all, it comprises the existing Holland America Line warehouse: 140 meters long and 40 meters deep, with 2 floors with 6 meters free height. This warehouse has largely been redeveloped and renovated for mixed use. On top of that an in-between layer consisting of a gigantic spaceframe structure separates the existing warehouse and new volume above. This interlayer has a clear height of 4 meters and accommodates loft dwellings adjacent to a large courtyard garden. And on top of this spaceframe a new enclosed building block arises, executed as a flexible concrete construction, with loft apartments of varying size and with 2.5 meters deep outdoor spaces all around. The gallery on the inside of the building block connects, by means of four elevators and staircases, to a public passageway on the ground floor, that runs through the heart of the original warehouse. Segmentation and fusion The design for Fenix I was aimed to merge old and new, instead of to create contrast. The primary principle of the design was therefore to connect the building and its immediate surroundings. For that reason, it was decided to heighten the building on the Rijnhaven side (9 layers on top of the warehouse) to match the size and scale of the buildings around the Rijnhaven. On the Veerlaan side, the new building volume was limited to four layers, in keeping with the lower surrounding buildings of Katendrecht.

figure 8 Fenix square, entrance Fenix docks and Culture Cluster. Right side (green)building: theater Walhalla figure 9 Sun scheme, section figure 10 Cross-section concept: adaptation of volume to environment / context and sunlight

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Fusion on the Rijnhaven side On the Rijnhaven side, the original warehouse is characterised by brute concrete, the presence of large loading doors, an elongated bulky loading deck and a long letterbox window. This facade, dating from the 1950s, is restored to its former glory. In line with the letterbox window, the new housing volume is connected by means of the interlayer with its dark, uniform front. Eight concrete residential layers with a ninth layer comprising prominent penthouses are built on top. The design results in a fusion of old and new, making the facade look grand and imposing. Fenix I relates to the existing buildings in the Rijnhaven area, both new and historical, like for instance the adjacent Codrico building.

figure 11 View of Fenix from the Rijnhavenburg figure 12 Entrance Fenix passage at the Rijnhavenkade

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Segmentation on the Veerlaan side The facade of the Fenix warehouse on the Veerlaan side was reconstructed to resemble its appearance in 1922. The plaster on the concrete facade was restored to its original state and the loading decks, which disappeared over time, were rebuilt. On the ground floor, the glass walls were moved back slightly in relation to the concrete construction to emphasise the gallery, where the trains used to pass through. The facade of the interlayer is characterised by a constant repetition of a dark facade elements and in its entirety is positioned slightly back in relation to the warehouse. The new housing volume above it consists of three layers and a setback of separate penthouse units. This creates a high-contrast segmented volume on the Veerlaan side that matches the streetscape. figuur 13 Facade on the Veerlaan side figuur 14 View at Fenix I from Deliplein figuur 15 Entrance of Fenix passage at the Veerlaan


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The muse frame An important aspect of the design is the sixth facade, this being the bottom side of the balconies. In the new housing volume, the consoles of the balconies have been executed with great attention and finesse. Their appearance is referring back to the Fenix warehouse. The balustrades of the balconies, which surround the entire building, are made of sandwiched glass and so-called “muse frames”: repetitive industrial steel frame elements, that invite you to lean on it and daydream, and which fit the character and the use of the port. In total no less than 516 muse frames were added to the facade. The courtyard of the enclosed building block is an oasis of calm, that contrasts with its surroundings. It was a conscious choice to use a gallery to access the loft apartments, as this encourages social interaction between the residents. The tranquillity of the inner courtyard is emphasised by the use of white concrete, combined with warm wooden facades, that go from a dark colour tone at the top to a light tone along the lower floors. The design of the balustrades incorporates integrated flower boxes, allowing plants to climb up along the galleries.

figuur 16 Muse frames in the facade figuur 17 Scheme of 516 muse frames figuur 18 Section of balcony with muse frames figuur 19 Robert Winkel at a muse frame

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The Fenix passage The Fenix passage is a new inner street, 40 meters long, that runs right through the building and connects the city side (Veerlaan) with the quay. This street is perhaps one of the most exciting spaces in Fenix, which best expresses the energy and kinetic intensity of the building’s past and present and exposes the different layers of time. From the passage, the residents reach the secure and transparent entrance to the Fenix lofts. By means of four glass elevators, the residents are led through the roof of the warehouse to the inner area, which is characterized by light, greenery and transparency and forms a strong contrast with the strong industrial structures of the dockyard. The dynamics of Fenix become visible and tangible through the many lines of sight that bring the different functions and activities together in the Fenix. Through huge glass fronts, people who pass by are offered a view of the 12-meter high practice and trapeze room of the Codarts Circus School. On the opposite side the passage offers a glimpse into the public parking garage. Through the glass skylight of the passage one can look upwards and a connection is made with the inner garden and green galleries of the Fenixlofts. figuur 20 Public passage, view at parking garage figuur 21 Public passage, view at Cultural Cluster figuur 22 BIM section of stairwell in Fenix passage

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Courtyard The inner area of the closed building block contrasts with the surroundings and is an oasis of tranquility. A deliberate choice was made to open up the gallery to stimulate contact between residents. The tranquility is emphasized by the gallery in white concrete, combined with a warm wooden facade, which changes from dark on the top, to light on the bottom floors. The design of the railings incorporates flower boxes as an integral part, from which climbing plants grow along the galleries.




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Fenix Lofts The residential volume on top of the warehouse comprises 212 lofts. In the interlayer, these apartments have a clear height of 4m. The impressive space frame structure of the steel table construction is unmistakably part of the apartment. The lofts in the interlayer have a harmonica facade on the Rijnhaven side and a private outdoor space opening out onto the courtyard area. The first three floors in the concrete volume above comprise about 80 rental apartments, with limited variation. The floors above that contain approximately 130 lofts, with a high degree of flexibility in size and lay-out. In order to realize this, the initial design phase included detailed research into the placement of shafts and meter cupboards. Therefor the floors of each apartment were individually prepared for construction with piping and armouring. The apartments vary in size from 40 to 300 m2 and all 130 lofts are unique. In order to optimise flexibility, the apartments have a ceiling height of 2.7m, and in the penthouses the ceilings are 3m high. All the apartments, also the rental homes, have large sliding doors and spacious, 2.5 m deep balconies with a glass balustrade, to make the most of the exceptional location and fantastic views. On the short side of the building block, where the building volume has stepped roofs, the penthouses also have spacious roof terraces. Mei architects has advised on the interior design for about 50 lofts, and about 50% of all loft owners chose to retain the brute concrete finish on the ceilings and columns resulting from the tunnel construction and formwork systems. The distinctive architecture as well as the exceptional residential product offered by Fenix I attracts residents and users with a similar mindset. This means that, even in a building combining rental and owner-occupied apartments, the gallery is open and contributes to the quality of living. The residents of Fenix form an inclusive community, where people live together and share their lives.

figure 23 Floor plan figure 24 Loft concept, flexibility

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Fenix Docks The existing warehouse, Fenix Docks, has a mixed-use purpose. Part of the warehouse was rebuilt to provide for an efficient public parking garage with 270 parking spaces. Along the quay, there are 5 quay houses, each with 2 floors with a height of 6m. These apartments have a free lay-out, are fitted with original loading doors and can be accessed directly from the Rijnhaven quay. In addition, Fenix Docks offers room to three wellknown cultural institutions, which together form the Culture Cluster: Conny Janssen Danst, Codarts Circus School and youth Circus Rotjeknor. Mei played a key role in mediating between the municipality of Rotterdam and these organisations, that are each active in (one of) the 3 Cs (culinary, creative and cultural). Mei developed inventive solutions to fit the various required spaces into the existing warehouse structure. The required column-free spaces, the requested free height for the training rooms, and the shared communal areas made this spatial integration a complex challenge. The result is a smart design with both communal and private spaces. Spontaneous meetings between the various organisations and users take place at various places, but there is also sufficient privacy. The foyer is such a communal meeting place, with a glass wall that provides a glimpse into the Codarts training room. The foyer is accessible from the Fenixplein on the south side of the building and gives access to the ‘docks’ and the ‘arts’ parts of the Culture Cluster.

27 figure 25 Fenix square, entrance to Fenix Docks, and Culture Cluster (Codarts and Conny Janssen Danst) figure 26 Axonometry Culture Cluster figure 27 Floor plan function layout, ground floor



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The programming of various companies on the quay of the Rijnhaven and the Veerlaan side, such as West 8 and the Fenix Food Factory, gives the building an active base. Along the quay, Fenix Docks accommodates various catering companies, including the Fenix Food Factory, which enhances the vibrant and public character of the quayside. In order to make both sides of the building easily accessible, Mei designed a passageway that runs straight through the building from the Veerlaan side to the Rijnhaven side. During the day, this passage is open to the public. Residents of the lofts above have access to their home via an entrance hall in the passageway. Glass walls in the passageway offer residents and visitors a glimpse into the Culture Cluster.



figure 28 Office space Conny Janssen Danst figure 29 Practice room Conny Janssen Danst figure 30 Office space Conny Janssen Danst figure 31 Practice room Circus Rotjeknor figure 32 Practice room Circus Codarts Circusopleiding

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A kiloton of steel The technical challenge of Fenix I is most evident in its construction. By placing an immense steel table construction, weighing approximately one kiloton (1 million kg), running it through the existing warehouse and giving it a separate foundation, the monumental warehouse could be largely preserved. Moreover, a considerable volume of living space could be added, which was technically kept completely separate from the warehouse. The new foundation of the table was carefully inserted in between the warehouse’s existing foundation blocks. The steel structure was fully welded in the works, which is a very exceptional method in the Netherlands. The new concrete volume (Fenix Lofts) was constructed by means of a concrete tunnel construction, with walls made of disc columns to create a high degree of flexibility. The combination of this steel table structure with a concrete tunnel construction on top is unique in the world.


figure 33 Fenix ​​construction scheme: foundation, former warehouse, steel table construction, concrete construction Fenix ​​Lofts, muse frames figure 34 Steel table construction in foyer Culture Cluster figure 35 Steel table construction visible at Circus Rotjeknor

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NATUURINCLUSIEF vergroende daktuin voor een gezonde comfortabele leefomgeving en vergroten biodiversiteit - filteren fijnstof

NATUURINCLUSIEF verticaal groene gevel m slim irrigatiesysteem, flora en fauna

AANPASBARE INSTALLATIES (TOEKOMSTBESTENDIG) installaties eenvoudig bereikbaar en aanpasbaar, dmv centrale rondgaande ‘ring’ (aorta)

VERMINDERE TRANSMISSI verminderen door luchtdich

EXTRA VERDIEPINGSHOOGTE aanpasbaarheid in programma en indelingsvarianten

FLEXIBILITEIT Hoofddraagconstructie dmv schijfkolommen ipv dragende gesloten wanden: maximaal aanpasbaar en toekomstbestendig ELEKTRISCHE VOERTUIGEN Parkeergarage met oplaadpunten elektrische voertuigen (fietsen en auto’s) KOELEN EN VERWARMEN warmte- en koudeopslag in de bodem VERMINDERING CO2 UITSTOOT door gebruik te maken van een warmtepomp

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EN IEVERLIEZEN transmissieverliezen hte schil

Sustainability Sustainability is an integral part of Fenix I, starting with maximum reuse of the existing building. The new building is future-proof and adaptable due to the extra storey height and can be flexibly partitioned because of a main supporting structure consisting of disc columns instead of walls and the central circular installation ring. The building volume and the facades have been optimised to allow daylight to enter the courtyard and the apartments. The glass facades offering prime views, are made of high-performance solar control glazing. Combined with the exterior sunshades and the balconies, solar heat entering the building is blocked and the need for cooling is reduced. The roof gardens and vertical green courtyard facades stimulate a healthy, comfortable and nature-inclusive living environment. They filter particulates from the air and the green roofs collect rainwater which can be reused.

NATUURLIJKE DAGLICHTTOETREDING gevels en bouwvolume geoptimaliseerd op daglichttoetreding. Optimaal benutten lichttoetreding en uitzicht. ENERGIEBESPARING doeltreffende LED verlichting

The building makes efficient use of energy by using LED lighting in the communal areas, has a mechanical ventilation system with high-efficiency heat recovery and applies heat and cold storage for cooling and heating of the building.

BUITENZONWERING warmtewering en beperken koelbehoefte door middel van zonwerend glas en buitenzonwering VERMINDEREN KOELBEHOEFTE verminder de koelbehoefte door balkons

WARMTETERUGWINNING VENTILATIE mechanische ventilatie met hoog rendement warmte terugwinning

THERMISCH COMFORT thermisch comfort geoptimaliseerd door hoog rendement zonwerende beglazing

CIRCULARITEIT materiaalbesparing door hergebruik bestaande gebouwen


The Making Of





SAWA, Rotterdam


Fully wooden residential tower at the heart of the Lloydkwartier 7 awards, amongst others: World Architecture Festival 2021 Iconic awards for Innovative Architecture 2021 Green Good Design Awards 2021 client: Nice Developers & Era Contour program: ca. 100 appartementen (middenhuur en verkoop) en commerciële/maatschappelijke functies team Mei: Robert Winkel, Robert Platje, Michiel van Loon, Leen Kooman, Nino Schoonen, Jelle Grunstra, Chris Idema, Ceylan Yazici, Fatima el Hadji, Juraj Biros, Roberto Magnanini, Katarina Jovic, Roxana Aron, Weronika Witkowicz Contractor: ERA Contour Construction: Pieters Bouwtechniek Consultant wood, innovation and sustainability: Aldus Bouwinnovatie Consultant biodiversity: Bureau Stadsnatuur & Piet Vollaard Consultant ecology: Copijn Consultant fire: Adviesbureau Hamerlinck Consultant wind: Peutz Building physics consultant: DGMR Building cost consultant: Maatwerk in Bouwadvies Location: Lloydpier, Rotterdam Visuals: WAX & Mei architects and planners

Mei architects and planners designed ‘SAWA’ for Nice Developers & Era Contour. SAWA is a unique and circular wooden residential building of 50 meters high, adding value to the neighbourhood and the city in the broadest sense. These “shared values” relate to CO2 reduction, enhancing biodiversity and creating a circular building with affordable housing for an inclusive community.


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Lloydkwartier The Lloydkwartier has a rich maritime past that goes back to around 1900. The Lloyd pier owes its name to the shipping company Rotterdamsche Lloyd, which built a terminal on the pier from where its passenger ships departed to the east of the world. The SAWA building owes its name to the stepped shape with generous green terraces, as a reference to Eastern rice fields and to the history of the site. The Lloydpier is one of the most water-rich neighbourhoods in the centre of Rotterdam. The district is characterised by a mix of architecture: from transformed monumental warehouses and old harbour monuments to unique new buildings. Thanks to the multitude of cultural and culinary hotspots, the proximity of the inner city and the parc, the tough character of the area and the view of the water, the Lloydkwartier has grown over the past 15 years from an industrial harbour area to a popular residential area.



figure 1 Impression of SAWA in Lloydkwartier figure 2 Ship departs from the Lloyd Pier


figure 3 Schiehaven around 1927 figure 4 Schiehaven around 2013



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“SAWA, also known as the ‘healthiest building in the Netherlands’, is thus an examplary project for new generations, an important step in the sustainability objectives and demonstrable proof that things can be done differently.” Robert Winkel, Mei architects + Nice Developers



Shared values SAWA is being developed in the heart of the Lloydkwartier district. Because of this location, by creating places in the design for encounters and by connecting to existing local initiatives, SAWA will be of added value for the entire district. The plinth of the building will contain various facilities, and the deck will act as a green connector between the building and surrounding green spaces (such as the neighbourhood garden), adding value for both residents and neighbours. The houses are accessed by means of a gallery. Despite the fact that the gallery is still considered unpopular by estate agents, for example, Mei is a great supporter of it and consciously opted for this form of access in order to stimulate contact between the residents. The success of this design choice has already proven itself in many other projects by Mei, such as Fenix I. The residential concept in SAWA is distinctive because of the various shared functions – such as shared mobility, handyman equipment and a vegetable garden – which actively create a community.




Core values of SAWA SAWA’s design is based on four key core values: CO2 reduction, enhancing biodiversity, and creating a circular building with affordable housing for an inclusive community: CO2 reduction In the context of the Paris and Glasgow Climate Accords, the European Green Deal, the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Rotterdam City Council’s targets for reducing CO2 emissions, the client and architect share the ambition to construct the building, including the main supporting structure, almost entirely in CLT. There are several advantages to building in CLT. First of all, wood stores CO2, thus reducing emissions. In addition, it is an excellent building material because, compared to concrete, it is lighter, faster, safer, more durable and also reusable. And above all, it increases living comfort. The wood is left in sight as much as possible in the houses and on the galleries and balconies. Only where the perception of the wood is minimal (storage, toilet, bathroom) will the wood be finished with plaster.


SAWA’s innovation lies in bringing together all the elements that help to build a 50-metre-high residential building whose main load-bearing structure consists of more than 90% wood. Together with a team of international experts, existing solutions are combined and innovations are devised to optimise the use of wood; minimise the amount of concrete and steel in the design; and solve consequent fire, noise and vibration problems.

figure 7 Set-up of supporting structure figure 8 3D facade section




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Circular SAWA is built using a modular construction system galery solutions (no casting). of wood, using dry, separable SAWA sets new standards in circular construction with a floor constructed from CLT topped with dry ballast instead of concrete. This makes the components in the floor fully circular and the materials can be detached and reused in the future (urban mining).


meter cupboard shaft (mechanical extraction, sewage, venting)

SAWA’s design is based on the Open Building principle: the main supporting structure consists of floors, beams and columns. This creates a high degree of flexibility and freedom of layout for both first-time buyers and future generations and contributes to the building’s future-proofing.

wooden post (gluelam)

The structure is made of Cross-laminated Timber (CLT). The trees used for SAWA come from sustainable production forests. For every tree that is cut down, three are planted again. The other materials used are as far as possible bio-based and have a material passport.

wooden girdir (gluelam)







figure 9 Modular and circular construction system figure 10 Open building principle for optimal flexibility



Biodiversity The migration to the city continues. Dutch cities continue to grow and the quality of life is coming under increasing pressure. The consequences of this urbanisation on the human ecosystem – such as flooding, heat stress and increased CO2 emissions – are becoming increasingly visible. At the same time, the habitat of birds, bees, butterflies and other insects is being severely curtailed by the increasingly crowded construction of cities and the petrification of the living environment. SAWA’s design marks a turning point in this development and contributes to a healthy living environment.



Biodiversity In cooperation with city ecologists and biologists, SAWA was designed to be nature-inclusive. For example, there are fixed flower and plant containers on the terraces and balconies. The planting is site-specific (depending on the orientation to the sun and the height in the building) and chosen in such a way that the plants provide food for the animal species. Nesting boxes will be placed on and around the building to provide a safe haven for birds and insects. In this way, SAWA connects to the existing ecological structures in the city and increases the biodiversity of the neighbourhood.



Inclusive With a mix of owner-occupied and rental properties ranging from 50 to 165 m2, the future residents of SAWA will form a diverse community and a reflection of the city. Fifty apartments, about half of the number of dwellings in SAWA, are intended for mid-rent. This makes it accessible to all income groups to live in SAWA, including the group of middle-income people for whom it is increasingly difficult to find an affordable home in the city.





Energy neutral SAWA is a low-installation building, with a healthy indoor climate and possibilities for future adaptations. The houses are equipped with cross ventilation and temperature plus CO2 controlled ventilation valves in the facade. SAWA is not only the healthiest building in the Netherlands, it is also energy-neutral. By using PV panels on the roofs in combination with “remote solar”, sustainable district heating and other sustainable measures, SAWA has achieved an EPC of 0. This makes SAWA as a building energy-neutral, both after realisation and during the construction process. After completion, SAWA itself generates the energy it needs for the communal facilities. The solar panels on the roof power the lift, the lighting in the galleries and the electric cars and bicycles.



“We build the city with love for the neighbourhood and nature. Pioneering in a sustainable, naturefriendly and social way. We develop SAWA from and for the neighbourhood. SAWA gives something back to the city.” Mark Compeer, Nice Developers


McDonald’s Coolsingel 44, Rotterdam

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World’s fanciest McDonald’s awards: BNA Best Building of the Year 2016, nominee German Design Award 2016, winner Iconic Awards 2015, winner ARC15 Detail Award, nominee client: McDonald’s Coolsingel 44 program: 300 m2 team Mei: Robert Winkel, Menno van der Woude, Michiel van Loon, Robert Platje, Ruben Aalbersberg contractor: BVR-groep, Roosendaal construction: Adviesbureau Roelen installation: Sweegers & de Bruijn facade: VPT Versteeg glass: Glasimpex fire: Grontmij interior: Niv003 photography: Jeroen Musch, Frans Hanswijk, Ossip van Duivenbode status: Completed in March 2015 location: Coolsingel 44, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

McDonald’s invited Mei architects and planners to design a new pavilion on this spot with a character in keeping with the (renewed) Coolsingel and the rich historical surroundings. After a very fast construction time of two months a spectaculair new pavilion now shines in the heart of Rotterdam.


Connection with the city The new building volume has been carefully detailed and articulated by Mei to open up views of the monumental post office behind it. As a result, the pavilion has the most compact possible core, with glazed façades all around. A fully transparent lobby, with entrances on three sides, makes it seem as though the public space flows through the building. Integrated power boxes The various power boxes for utilities and traffic regulation systems, always an eyesore on the street, are integrated into the building. Moreover, the incorporation of illumination into the façade will enhance safety on the street. Technical installations are integrated within the roof, which is designed as a fifth façade. To strengthen the connection between the pavilion and its surroundings, the outdoor terrace will feature the same furniture found in other public spaces in the city of Rotterdam.


figure 2 former kiosk figure 3 former power boxes on the street figure 4 transparency with the spiral staircase


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figure 5 design concept figure 6 exterior

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A shining pavilion — day and by night Just like the historical buildings in the area, the pavilion features a richly articulated façade, carried out in one single material: gold anodized aluminum. This warm and elegant-looking material is vandal-proof and enduring at the same time. As McDonald’s is open day and night (24/7), its appearance after dark is important. By day the building is inviting to shoppers, while in the evening it glows to attract the nightlife crowd. The skin of brass is perforated with heart-shaped openings to form a ‘veil’ around the glazed building through which illumination shines. With the application of various degrees of perforation, the brass façade depicts a crowd of people on Coolsingel. After all, the new McDonald’s is built for the people of Rotterdam, who now have yet another reason to be proud of their city.


figure 8 view from the Hotel Atlanta figure 9 The facade facing the former post office

figure 12 detail facade in the evening

figure 10 aerial photo of the facade and the former post office

figure 13 the pattern of the facade

figure 11 detail facade

figure 14 detail perforated panels

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figure 15 transparency of the building (Ossip of Duivenbode) figure 16, 17 interior first floor (Ossip van Duivenbode)

View of the Coolsingel Counter and kitchen are located on the ground floor. A one piece steel spiral staircase leads from the lobby to the seating area on the first floor. From here the visitors have a beautiful panorama view overlooking the Coolsingel. 103

De Generaal, Rijswijk


From an empty office tower to a beacon of light with unique homes client: Aertgeerts Bouwgroep, IBB Kondor, KondorWessels Projecten program: 200 appartementen, 23.631 m2 BVO team Mei: Robert Winkel, Michiel van Loon, Robert Platje, Ed de Rooij, Geert Krusemann, Yan Hang Lo, Anja Lübke, Roberto Magnanini, Kasia Ephraim, Frank Huibers constructor: IMD Raadgevende Ingenieurs contractor: IBB Kondor building physics: Peutz location: Steenvoordelaan, Rijswijk photography: Ossip van Duivenbode building costs: €18.700.000,realisation: March 2021

The oldest Jackblock building in the Netherlands, the former head office of the Dutch Tax Authorities, has been transformed into a residential building “De Generaal”. On the initiative of Aertgeerts Bouwgroep, Mei architects and planners designed an inventive plan to transform this centrally located office tower into a spacious, flexible and sustainable residential building with both rental and purchase apartments for a mix of residents, ranging from young people to seniors. A new inventive glass facade with floor-to-ceiling windows and expressive balconies gives the building a powerful appearance, offering residents exceptional comfort and astonishing views at the region.


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Jackblock-system The former office building on Steenvoordelaan in Rijswijk was designed by Jan Lucas van Lucas & Niemeijer. The first user of the building was the Ministry of Culture, Recreation and Social Work in 1966. Later, the Tax and Customs Administration and the FIOD moved into the building.


De Generaal was built according to a very innovative concrete construction system, the so-called Jackblock-system. A “Jackblock Building” is being built upside down. One starts with the roof floor, which is then pushed upwards by hydraulic jacks. Floor after floor is built in this way and jacked up until the building has reached the right height. De Generaal is the first building in the Netherlands to be built using the Jackblock-system. Currently there are only 10 buildings in the Netherlands that have been built according to this method. In the bicycle cellar of De Generaal, the original details and the features of this system (the Jack blocks) have also been left in sight after the transformation.

figure 1 historical photo of the former office building figure 2 the Jackblock-system in operation figure 3 existing situation in 2016


figure 4 visible Jack blocks in the transformed bicycle shed



a | bestaande gevel verwijderen

b | opdikken en aanhangen balkons

C | woningindeling

d | nieuwe glazen gevel met buitenruimtes


04 | transformatie


|DemeiGeneraal architects and planners

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From closed office façade to maximum transparent glass skin The arguments for preserving and redeveloping the existing office building were just as simple and strong. In addition to the cultural-historical value of the Jackblock building, the location, volume, and access offered good starting points. In addition, the column structure and the floor height of more than 3 meters offered a lot of flexibility. Homes of various sizes could be created without major interventions. The biggest challenges lay in the skin of the existing building: a high parapet, parts that can hardly be opened, no outside spaces and a relatively closed and poorly insulated facade. This led to the rigorous decision to completely demolish the existing facade.


During the structural investigation of the building, it appeared that the circumference of the basement under the building was larger than the circumference of the existing tower. This made it possible to thicken the building and thereby add square meters of living space on the floors above. The outer shell of the existing office tower has been completely removed and the existing storey floors have been extended. A new glass skin has been applied around the extended floor edges. This new facade, with glass fronts from floor to ceiling, was constructed using the same type of frame profile for the horizontal sliding windows at the location of the balconies, as well as the vertical sliding doors, bay windows and fixed glass. The uniformity in the profiles creates a subtle depth effect in the facade. Protruding balconies have been added to the end walls of the tower. The subtlety of the design of the facade profiles and the expressiveness of the balconies both contribute to a strong appearance, which refers to post-war architecture. The result is a powerful, distinctive and maximally transparent residential building, which enriches Rijswijk in terms of residential product and appearance.

figure 5 outer shell removed, floors extended figure 6 from closed facade to glass skin figure 7 the expressiveness of the balconies contributes to a powerful appearance






AUTO 15 min TREIN 15 min




AUTO 15 min




























































AUTO 20 min TREIN 25 min


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AUTO 15 min TREIN 10 min

New identity for Rijswijk The residential product in Rijswijk is characterized by a multitude of single-family terraced houses and gallery flats. Mostly built in the 60s / 70s, made of brick, with relatively closed facades. De Generaal is located at the foot of a 1960s shopping center, which will be redeveloped in the coming years. With the transformation of De Generaal, it was decided to offer an optimistic counterbalance to the current housing supply in Rijswijk, calling for a new era.



figure 8 situation: facilities around De Generaal figure 9 aerial photo situation De Generaal with behind it the shopping center In De Bogaard figure 10 old situation: no connection to the environment figure 11 connection to ground level: a tower in green with an active plinth







Unique residential product De Generaal offers space for almost 200 homes with porch access, with surfaces ranging from 70 to 100 m2 spread over 17 floors. 1/3 of the building consists of owner-occupied and 2/3 rental homes. It concerns two and three-room apartments with a lot of comfort and individual spacious balconies. With a floor height of 3 meters and glass from floor to ceiling, the apartments have a unique spatial quality. With floor-to-ceiling windows of local 5 meters wide, without intermediate pillars, the residents enjoy a fascinating view from Rotterdam to the sea. With these contemporary apartments for young couples and seniors, De Generaal offers a unique and new residential product for Rijswijk. Part of the ground floor is intended for commercial facilities, such as a catering facility. This creates an attractive and active plinth that improves the public space and the connection with the environment. Individual storage and a collective bicycle shed have been realized in the existing basement.

14 figure 12 fascinating view from the homes in De Generaal: over Leiden and The Hague to the beach. figure 13 apartment after completion and interior impression figure 14 plans of floor 11 - 16 and floor 17



De Generaal X Conny Janssen Danst After the completion of De Generaal, Conny Janssen Danst gave a unique performance in one of the apartments of the transformed building. The collaboration between Mei and Conny Janssen Danst is an ode to the cultural sector, which was hit hard during the corona crisis. During an improvisation session, the dancers brought the space to life. With the lavishly large windows and the astonishing view, De Generaal was the perfect setting for the almost cinematic dance movements of the professional dancers. The video can be viewed on our Vimeo account.


The Making Of



Cheese Warehouse, Gouda

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52 unique lofts in a national monument awards: Iconic Awards 2018 Innovative Architecture, selection Dutch Steel Award 2018, nomination ARC18 Development Award, 1st prize WAN Award Adaptive Re-use, nomination Archmarathon 2018, nomination client: White House Development BV program: approx. 5000 m2 52 Loft Apartments team Mei: Robert Winkel, Robert Platje, Martin van der Werf, Anja Lübke, Roy Wijte, Riemer Postma, Kasia Ephraim, Ed de Rooij, Marloes Koster construction: PBT building physics: DGMR cultural historic research: SteenhuisMeurs fire: Ralph Hamerlinck photography: Ossip van Duivenbode, Jeroen Musch building costs: € 6.500.000,status: Completed in August 2017 location: Westerkade 2, Gouda, The Netherlands

Gouda Cheese Warehouse – a national monument – experienced a spectacular transformation to a loft residential building. Mei architects took the initiative to start this successful development together with White House Development. A spacious atrium is created in the heart of the building, enclosed by 52 unique and sophisticated loft homes. Because of the innovative re-use of elements from the old cheese warehouse, like the original cheese boards, you can still experience the 100-year-old history of making cheese.












figure 2 after 1919 figure 3 after 1919

figure 6 after rebuilding 1929

figure 4 after1919 - 1,5 warehouse

figure 7 after extension 1949

figure 5 warehouse and offices in 1928

figure 8, 9, 10 historic images of the warehouse in use






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figure 11, 12, 13, 14 exterior 2014 figure 15 existing alley between two warehouses figure 16 existing transport platform east facade figure 17 existing staircase to office


figure 18 existing storage figure 19 cheese columns (cheese boards removed)


figure 20 ground floor (2014)



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23 Architectural interventions In order to achieve enough daylight and outdoor space, the positions of Loggias have been strategically selected on the existing Facade, while preserving the monumental values. The original alley between the two cheese warehouses has been transformed into a central atrium, allowing generous daylight to enter the building. This atrium has two entrances, on the Wachtelstraat and the Westerkade.

24 Dark alley transformed into a light atrium The original cheese warehouse of ‘De Producent’ is a national monument. Therefore the main changes of the transformation to loft homes are only visible once you enter the building. The removal of pieces of the floor and facades on both sides of the original ventilation alley, and the addition of a glass roof, creates a royal atrium. Four layers of loft apartments can be reached from here. Parts of the original alley facade have been remained up and running as a hoistway. The residents can reach their apartment through the two glass elevators which go up and down along the historical facades while experiencing the building to the fullest.

Some of the original outer walls have been left standing in the atrium and are being reused as elevator shafts. With two glass elevators that go up and down along historic façade walls, residents and visitors can reach the apartments on the upper floors and experience the history of the building. The 40 km (!) wooden Cheeseboards from the original cheese warehouses are now used as a wall finish in the atrium. figure21, 22 The atrium figure 23 impression new atrium between two warehouses figure 24 design-principle: existing alley transforms into atrium















houten kolom


lift S










opslag & technische ruimte


houten vloer



houten vloer


technische ruimte




staalkolom S





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plattegrond 2e verdieping




figure 25 existing floorplan - 2nd floor figure 26 new floorplan - 2nd floor





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figure 28 existing alley facade remains standing in the atrium

figure 30 section

figure 29 atrium with glass roof and glass elevator between alley walls



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Due to the strategic placement of loggias in the outer facade – maintaining the monumental rhythm of characteristic small windows – a diverse range of floorplans was possible. All loft apartments are different, they vary from 60 m2 to 180 m2, and are tailor-made to individual wishes. Upon purchase, every potential future resident received a personal consult with the architect. This was easy to organize, as Mei was involved with both the development phases as also with the sale process of the apartments. Worth mentioning is the fact that all lofts – before an unknown type of living in Gouda – were sold within three months.

figure 31 West facade figure 32 East facade (fragment) figure 33 Exterior - Westerkade

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34 Existing wooden floors as formwork To carry the weight of a million kilos of cheese, the warehouse had two separate construction systems. One for the building and one for the cheese. The original construction is re-used and maintained unfinished and visible in the loft apartments; steel columns, wooden and concrete ceilings and wooden attic beams. The existing floors are used as formwork for the new concrete floors, so the original wooden ceilings were able to maintain visibility and give the lofts a historic touch.


figure 34, 35 finished loft apartments with existing wooden floor as ceiling figure 36 loft apartment under construction figure 37, 38 loft apartment on top floor

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Meaningful Re-use For this transformation, Mei tried to preserve as many elements as possible out of the old cheese warehouse and gave them a second life in the new construction. The shelves, where cheese was ripening for over 100 years, are re-used as a finishing touch on the facades in the atrium. After extensive research, it turned out possible to treat the cheese boards with monomers to meet the fire-resistant requirements. The signs of the former use on the boards are still visible after this treatment. In some of the cheese shelves, wise lessons are carved, to give this idea of preservation an extra meaning. The sentences come from a goose board game that was found in the archive of De Producent. The attentive resident or visitor will be surprised by these references to the history of the cheese warehouse. Also, the original trays, which hung onto the shelves to manage the maturation process of the cheese, are being re-used; as house numbers. The topic Re-use in this project is not only for sustainability and cost-effectivity but gives an extra purpose to the building by keeping the 100-year-old history alive.


figure 39 fragment atrium wall finished with inscription figure 40, 41 original trays used for door numbers figure 42 Typical Dutch Goose Board Game (ca. 1960)


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The Making Of Watch the Making-Of video:






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Silk Factory, Naro-Fominsk, Russia


Revive former Silk Factory in Naro-Fominsk, Russia client: Ostov Group program: Mixed-used industrial site of 50.000 m2 including old factory buildings transformed in loft-style apartments and mixture of shopping, culinary, cultural and sport facilities team Mei: Robert Winkel, Michiel van Loon, Joost Wetzel, Oleksii Ananiev, Katarina Jovic, Remko Eppink location: Naro Fominsk, Russia

Mei architects and planners developed a grand innovative plan to transform the site of the former Silk Factory in Naro-Fominsk, a city two hours driving from Moscow, into a lively area. The program of 50.000 m2 is mixed-use, a novelty in Russia, and will turn the abandoned industrial site into a vibrant small city full of new energy. Loft-style apartments in the characteristic old factory buildings will be combined with a mixture of shopping, culinary, cultural and sport facilities for the families of Naro-Fominsk and visitors from the Moscow region. With this unique and promising plan, commissioned by the Ostov Group who already developed many successful projects in Naro-Fominsk, the Silk Factory complex will become the new historical city center of this pleasant town.






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Common memories are kept alive As almost every citizen of Naro-Fominsk has a history that is connected with the silk factory, the people are unanimously enthusiastic that this neglected site will soon be reanimated. The common memories will be kept alive and the memorable places will be saved. The existing buildings, such as the scutching building, the boiler house and the concrete building, are dilapidated but solid and all of them will be restored instead of replaced by new ones. New connections Mei’s transformation proposal is based on a series of strategic design interventions. Several architectural breakthroughs will bring light into the buildings and connect the buildings with each other and the surroundings, both visually and physically. The site will be opened up and connected with the beautiful surrounding landscape park on the other side of the river Nara. Three new city squares will breathe a pleasant intimate atmosphere and create many opportunities to organize events. The architects have also taken the tough Russian winter climate into account and equipped a covered pedestrian street so that people can comfortably enjoy a walk, even in rainy and frosty weather. The whole area will be mainly car free. Mei designed the public space in cooperation with Felixx, Rotterdam-based international renowned landscape designers. The programming will be organized by Liuba Devyatkina and Igor Dobrovolsky. Residential lofts The approx. 200 new apartments in the transformed factory buildings will all be Loft-style. The huge existing windows - more than 4 meters high - create a unique spacious and light loft feeling and will provide the apartments with great views around. Mei architects and planners is expert in transforming monumental buildings into residential lofts, with famous examples as Jobsveem Warehouse in Rotterdam and the Gouda Cheese Warehouse. Ostov Group’s decision to work with Mei architects and planners from The Netherlands was based on their extensive experience in transforming industrial sites, as the redevelopment of the former electricity plant De Schiecentrale and Fenix I in Rotterdam, a spectacular transformation project where loft apartments were placed on top of a historical warehouse, are perfect examples of.

figure 1 - 5 Historical photographs of the Silk Factory figure 6 - 7 Existing situation figure 8 Sitemap figure 9 Analyzes and possibilities; Silk factory as the heart of the city



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Design strategy based on development in phases The redevelopment of the Naro-Fominsk factory site will be realized in phases. The first building that will be reanimated is the so-called Scutching building. This impressive building is located along the riverside and therefor a perfect start to connect the site with the park. figure 10 Masterplan phasing

The Ostov Group intends to redevelop the site in an energetic way and expects the results to be visible in no more than 5 years.

figure 11 - 13 Stages of the masterplan


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figure 14 Impression atrium figure 15 Impression Scutching building, public space ground floor figure 16 Impression Scutching building, corridor figure 17 Impression Scutching building, lobby









figure 18, 19 Loft interior impressions figure 20 Impression interior 1e floor Scutching building figure 21 Impression interior 2nd floor Scutching building figure 22 Render long section figure 23 Render section


Kabeldistrict, Delft


Metamorphosis of former cable factory awards: Urban Design & Architecture Design Awards, 1st prize category Urban Design Concept, 2021 World Architecture Festival, shortlisted Masterplanning – Future Project, 2021 client: Kabeldistrict CV (cooperation between KondorWessels Vastgoed and Amvest BV) program: business, start-up work-homes, facilities, sports, catering, and apartments (360,000 m2) team Mei: Robert Winkel, Michiel van Loon, Rob Grim, Hugo Plat, Chris Idema, Oleksii Ananiev, Nima Morkoc, Remko Eppink, Max Brobbel, Anton Wubben, Lukasz Grela visuals: VERO Visuals and Mei architects and planners status: definitive urban plan location: Schieweg 15, Delft Building on existing qualities, activity and a rich industrial past, Delft Kabeldistrict (cable district) is a distinctive contemporary urban expansion in which on a large scale a historical business park is being transformed into a vibrant living and working environment. The visible fusion of old and new creates its own identity that contributes to a strong cohesion and connection between future entrepreneurs and residents. With a high degree of circularity and a layered integration of greenery and water, Delft is at the forefront of productive and sustainable area development. The Delft Kabeldistrict is the start of new developments on the Schieoevers in Delft. The municipality has the ambition to develop Delft from a knowledge city into “HighTech Capital”. The business park of the former Dutch Cable Factory offers the opportunity to contribute to a significant part by modernizing the existing business park, connecting it to the knowledge-intensive TU Delft Campus and also stimulating the innovative manufacturing industry. The ambition of the broad design team is therefore to create an attractive and distinctive business environment in order to create a vibrant living and



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working environment. With a broad mix of homes combined with business space for start-ups, scaleups and established businesses that are active in the innovative manufacturing industry, a future-oriented living-working environment is created in an urban density. The Kabeldistrict is distinctive for Delft, and even unique in the Netherlands on this scale. From 1914 to the present In 1914 the Dutch Cable Factory (NKF) was opened at the Schieoevers in Delft. After the war, the NKF grew into the largest cable factory in Europe. Around 1975, the NKF is at its top and is technically one of the world’s leading cable factories. 3

As a result of a stagnation in the market, Factory II eventually became vacant in 1999. From 2009, in consultation with the municipality of Delft, various small-scale entrepreneurs moved to the old Cable Factory and business start again. In 2017, Mei architects and planners has been commissioned by KondorWessels Vastgoed to design an area vision and urban development plan for the Kabeldistrict. Together with the municipality of Delft and an integral team of experts, the Provisional Urban Development Plan has been completed in 2019 and the design was enthusiastically received by the College and the Council of Delft. In July 2020 the agreement for the realization of the area has been signed by the municipality and Kabeldistrict.


5 figure 1 Aerial photo of the construction of the Cable Factory figure 2 Working in the cable factory figure 3 Business in and around the factory figure 4 Interdependence of art with industry (Piet Zwart) figure 5 Royal visit to the cable factory on 3 June 1958


figure 6 Cable transport from the NKF throughout the Netherlands




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Time layers The Cable Factory is part of the industrial past that Delft is proud of. The transformation of this area builds on this present quality by giving meaning to three different time layers. The first layer represents the old way of working, visible with the preservation of the Cable Factory. Endlessly long factory halls where the cables for the whole of the Netherlands were assembled and rolled up. This historical layer of time becomes intertwined with the contemporary layer: the new construction of new architecture for new people who are going to settle in the area as entrepreneurs or residents. The third layer is that of tomorrow. On a small and large scale, there is visible work on the future and innovation is central. The amalgamation of old and new creates a unique identity of its own and forms the soul of the new Kabeldistrict.



figure 7 Aerial plan area in Schieoevers Noord


figure 8 The address of the cable factory on the Schie figure 9 Long side walls of production and manufacture figure 10 Impressive steel trusses figure 11 Covered inner streets connect the halls with each other figure 12 Factory halls with a height of up to 15 meters figure 13 A patchwork of masonry shows the different time layers, adjustments and use

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Smart Tech activity Starting point of the urban transformation are the current entrepreneurs. In combination with circular placemaking, the district is being developed step by step into a productive district of regional significance, where there is room for Smart Tech companies from start-up to scale-up. One of the place makers is a tree nursery, to provide the future Cable District with full trees.



figure 14 Visible smart tech at the factory square figure 15 Smart start-ups that work together figure 16 Young entrepreneurs with good ideas


figure 17 Entrepreneurs in the current Cable Factory


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figure 18 Urban development model scale l 1:500 figure 19 Five layers of the plan area figure 20 Long lines of Schieoevers Noord

Connections A contemporary mobility strategy focuses on making new connections to the city through a bicyclepedestrian bridge. The region is connected by a new, optimal connection to the Delft Campus station. Except for company-related transport movements, the car does not return to the streets because parking is carried out centrally. At the same time, the focus is on the newest forms of partial mobility such as cable bicycles and partial bicycles. The street pattern has a hierarchy, varying from public yard to semi-public court. The addition of articulated volumes in multiple levels provides the desired compaction and a pleasant human scale and size. A small-scale center with facilities and culture will be built in the heart of the Cable District, whereby an existing storage vessel and chimney of the Cable Factory will be preserved. Along the Schie follows a large public park with a water square on the factory side with catering facilities in the evening sun. The park connects to the monumental enclave of the Kruithuis. Spoorlaan

contemporary middle and top layer

mixed base with green roof

car-free zones with water and green structure, and 3 squares

integration and transformation of the existing factory

connections in the city: railway avenue, heart line, schiepark and gelatine bridge


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fugure 21 Model plan area 1:500 fugure 22 Old situation fugure 23 Basis layer with mixed program fugure 24 Interlayer and top layer fugure 25 From Cable factory to Cable District

Concept design The development of the Cable District embraces and reinforces the character of the old factory and acquires a typical Delft atmosphere with compact, carfree streets and green courtyards. The structure of the existing factory has been taken as the starting point for the new district. The roof is taken off the factory. The characteristic steel lattice girders and facades are maintained and form typical design elements in the buildings and in public spaces. This creates a structure of half-timbered beams and long brick facades with strip windows. Within this construction, ground-level living / working homes are realized with roof terraces combined with a fine-mesh street pattern. Apartment buildings are placed on top of this layer in strategic places. The ground-level dwellings in the existing structure refer to the innercity Delft human scale, with the layer above showing more kinship with modern expansions of Delft, such as Poptahof on the west side of the railway and the TU district.




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figure 26 Impression figure 27 Mixed plinth: different functions in harmony with each other

Mixing This typological mix of small-scale residential-to-work homes and above-ground / high-rise buildings is used as a template for the new construction in the area around the existing factory. This creates a new unique city district with great cohesion.



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Nature inclusive The plan is designed in a sustainable and climateadaptive manner, including a layered structure of intensive greenery in public spaces, as well as collective and private roof gardens. Sufficient water storage is visibly included in the street fabric that matches the character of the factory.

figure 28 Example of public space figure 29 - 31 Elaboration of greenery integrated into various streets


figure 32 Example elaboration of sustainability measures in the construction fields



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Communities The user of the Cable District is central to the plan. The spatial structure has been carefully designed for a pleasant transition of buildings with different scales. Due to a strong mix of programs in the plinth, and compact indoor bicycle parking solutions, there is a high degree of social safety and comfort. With the creation of intimate places where encounters are possible, the human scale is strongly present. The plinth offers users privacy and security, with the “Delft sidewalk” contributing to a pleasant transition from private to public space and a dynamic street scene. The Cable District ultimately attracts people with the same mindset. People with the same mindset who come to live and work together are involved in the place. If you live in a collective garden you know the neighbors. The children play together in the street. You meet neighbors on foot to the train. In short; inclusive communities are being built in the Cable District.

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Tower E of SPOT, Amsterdam


Healthy living in residential tower with bicycle concept client: COD Real Estate B.V. & DUQER program: 23.800 m2 BVO (262 woningen, commerciële ruimten, buurtkamer, bikebar, sportschool, parkeergarage) team Mei: Robert Winkel, Joost Wetzel, Chris Idema, Katarina Jovic, Roberto Magnanini, Sophie de Ridder team Marc Koehler Architects: Marc Koehler, Mira Nekova, Mitchel Vrolijk, Teun Vosters contractor: Plegt Vos construction: Zonneveld Ingenieurs fire: DGMR installation: Valstar Simonis building physics: DGMR completion: 2022 location: Bullewijk, Amsterdam

Together with Marc Koehler Architects, Mei architects and planners designs tower E of SPOT; a large-scale redevelopment of Bullewijk office park in Amsterdam Southeast. SPOT will be a new, cosmopolitan neighborhood with an Amsterdam character. The masterplan consists of five alternately high residential towers with fantastic views of the city, and low-rise buildings at intimate squares and green streets. In total there will be 1,090 new homes, consisting of a mix of owner-occupied and rental homes with various living areas.



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SPOT is conveniently located, at the center of Amstel III and near the Bijlmer-Arena station, various arterial roads and only fifteen minutes away from the center of Amsterdam. The area from the Amstel to the AMC is part of the largest area transformation in Amsterdam and will be completely overhauled in the coming years. Working will make way for housing and roads will be transformed into parks. The currently uninspiring office area will soon be a vibrant new residential area with many different facilities. There will be pop-up and concept stores, stylish boutiques, creative workspaces, small craft places, schools, cozy cafes and restaurants, and many sports facilities. In the design of the public space, green avenues will be created where cyclists will have priority. In addition to that, some calming stops near the waterside will be created. The provisional design of tower E was developed in close consultation with client Revital (a collaboration between COD Development and DUQER) and the municipality of Amsterdam and has now been approved by the area’s Supervisor, Don Murphy. The masterplan was designed by KAAN Architecten. Tower E The concept of tower E concerns a powerful and quirky loft building of about 90 meters high, which will house a rich mix of residents in (starter) studios, apartments, and family homes. The building is based on the idea of Open Building (Habraken), in which a timeless frame offers room for change and variations in floor plan, facade and layout. This creates a flexible building that can grow with its future. The homes will become light and pleasant and the community feeling is stimulated by means of an innovative bicycle concept that is integrated in the heart of the building.

figure 1 SPOT overview impression figure 2 Structure tower E with light and green bicycle atrium


figure 3 Function layout: duplex houses with veranda, starter homes in the low-rise, family homes in the green in the Amsterdam layer and tower apartments with a view.


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Unique cycling concept for the community Tower E is the only SPOT building with an atrium in the low-rise building. This atrium has also become one of the most important parts of the design. Because the atrium in the masterplan was initially quite tight and the amount of daylight in the adjoining spaces limited, Mei and MKA have integrated a unique bicycle concept directly at this atrium as the beating heart of the building; the so-called Bikeparc. The Bikeparc contributes to the vibrancy of the building, acts as the connecting factor of the community, and promotes healthy living, by making it easier to take the bike every day. The Bikeparc consists of a stacked bicycle parking of four layers in the heart of the low-rise building. There will be assigned places to park the bicycle, but there will also be room for special shared bicycles, such as electric bicycles for when you really want to cycle far or large cargo bicycles, for example to go to the hardware store without having to own a car. Comfortable ramps and bicycle lifts provide excellent accessibility and residents of the low-rise buildings can literally park their bikes in front of the door. This creates a socially safe and pleasant garage. This concept also leaves room in the plinth of the building to really activate it with a residential program and facilities. A bicycle bar at the entrance of the atrium is a great meeting place for a cup of coffee or a repair on your bicycle. The bar will have a large glass wall at the entrance to the atrium, which at the same time serves as a lantern for the courtyard in the evenings, thereby contributing to social safety. Opposite the bicycle bar there will be a sharing wall, where the community can share tools, books, and toys with each other.


figure 4 Atrium with integral cycling theme as a social connector figure 5 800m2 bicycles on the ground floor, opposed to the same amount of bicycles spread over several layers. This leaves enough space for a lively plinth and the large construction depth is used optimally.


SHARE WALL in this showcase wall, residents can share things (eg books or toys), which can be opened with the building app. A pick-up point for packages can also be integrated here

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PARKING IN FRONT OF THE DOOR every address has appointed bicycle parking, so that as a resident of the low-rise, you always park on your own living floor. Residents of the high-rise park at 0 or 1 and continue to the lift. Comfortable parking for everyone!

LAZY STAIRS WITH BRUSH TRACK the lazy stairs at the atrium are basically used to avoid having to wait for the elevator down during busy periods (for example early in the morning). Brushes in the bicycle gutter brakes the bicycle, making it easy to walk you bicycle down.

BICYCLE ELEVATORS two cycling elevators at the atrium form a fast route up to the parking spots at the 2nd and 3rd parking level.

RAMP WITH STEPS the ramp with steps in the atrium provides a comfortable connection between 0 and 1, so you can easily park your bike at your own parking spot.

BICYCLE BAR in the bicycle bar you will find tools to repair or have your bicycle repaired, but you can also go for a cup of coffee. Access and use whether or not to combine with the communal room on the floor above.


CAR Automobilist


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Facade and composition An architectonic-quality plan has been drawn up for all low-rise buildings of SPOT, with a prescribed grid structure and stony appearance. This grid and appearance have been continued in the high-rise of tower E, resulting in a robust building. The entire building is constructed in chic concrete; an innovative and daring material that ages beautifully and gives the building a timeless, sturdy, and warm appearance. By applying texture and color nuances within a classic layout of substructure (consisting of plinth and green interlayer), middle construction and top, it becomes a contemporary whole in which the different layers are clearly defined.


In addition to details in the material, the composition will also be played with. The plinth retains the recognizable Amsterdam height of four floors. The transition between low-rise and high-rise buildings will be shaped by making the so-called ‘Amsterdam layer’ greener. This layer rises in steps, which ensures a pleasant building volume on the street and thus a more pleasant living environment at street level. Large planters are integrated in the setbacks. Green walls and roofs create the feeling of a second ground level as a transition between low and high-rise buildings.


The outdoor areas give definition to the different layers of the complex: on street level are the maisonette houses with urban veranda, the low-rise studios have loggias, the Amsterdam layer offers terraces between the green setbacks, in the tower are apartments with spacious balconies and at the top wind-free corner loggias with a phenomenal view. 9





Terras figure 6 Impression of tower E figure 7 Material figure 8 Grid figure 9 Construction of plinth, middle part and top figuur 10 Articulation through outdoor space


figuur 11 Balconies underline the verticality



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Sustainability and health Tower E will meet the most modern requirements in the field of energy and sustainability. In addition to promoting healthy living by taking the bicycle as a starting point, and creating social safety and health in the community model, the building will also get the label BENG; the latest requirements in the field of energy-neutral construction that will apply from January 2021. On the roof of the tower, a solar crown with which local energy is generated, will be placed. And in the facades, an open-close ratio of 50% is maintained, in order to find an ideal balance between daylight and heating. The many generous outdoor spaces, green roofs and integrated green Amsterdam layer ensure biodiversity and a pleasant living environment, where people will be able to live healthy and enjoyable.

figure 12 Impression of entrance to court figure 13 Impression


Bonner Flagge, Bonn, Germany


Transformation of flag factory into comfortable living-working ensemble coöporating architect: Gaus Architekten client: Cube Real Estate program: 30.000 m2 BVO (wonen en werken) team Mei: Robert Winkel, Robert Platje, Michiel van Loon, Leen Kooman, Joost Wetzel, Rutger Schoenmaker, Diana Dragan, Niklas Dauber, George Coleman, Jingling Du, Fatima el Hadji landscape architect: RMP Stephan Lenzen Landschaftsarchitekten construction: HZI ingenieure fire safety: Görtzen Ingenieure installations: PRÜTERPLAN GmbH building physics: Schwinn Ingenieure locally assisting buro: Architekturbüro Schommer location: Römerstraße 303–305, Bonn, Duitsland

The Bonner Fahnenfabrik, which housed one of the largest flag manufacturers in Germany in the last century, is an important part of the industrial history of the former capital of the Federal Republic. Commissioned by Cube Real Estate, and together with Gaus Architekten, Mei is transforming the iconic factory into a modern living-work ensemble, while preserving its historic charm. By retaining the architectural style elements of the factory - a shared ambition of client and architect - the special history of the factory remains alive. In combination with the addition of three residential buildings, a new attractive place is created for the people of Bonn to meet, stay, live, and work.



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Context The Bonner Fahnenfabrik is one of the most important foundations of Jewish entrepreneurs in Bonn. The company was founded in 1866 by Josef Meyer as a shop for decorative items and wallpaper. Over the years, demand for the production of flags increased and due to its success, the company moved in 1928 into the characteristic buildings, originally built as a barracks, at Römerstrasse 303-305. The main building of the current factory complex is a former three-storey barracks of approximately 110 meters long, with a protruding dormer window in the middle and two corner towers overlooking the courtyard. From the highway, there is a striking chimney on the southeastern tip of the company site, with the recognizable white letters “BOFA”. The ensemble is located directly on the A565 motorway, 450 meters from the Rhine. In the beginning, the complex stood free from surrounding buildings, but in the 1950s and ‘60s it was embedded and isolated from surrounding residential buildings. The transformation into a lively living-work area will reconnect the Bonner Fahnenfabrik to the adjacent part of the city.


figure 1 Historical drawing of the factory figure 2, 3 Existing situation in 2021





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A pleasant living environment User comfort, connection, sustainability, and atmosphere are key to the design of this redevelopment. The Bonner Fahnenfabrik will be a new central hotspot for residents and neighbors. To create the most healthy and pleasant living environment possible, the noise from the motorway is kept out and particulars are filtered. Facilities for shared mobility (such as a smart Bicycle Hub), possibilities for Urban Farming, and neighborhood-related small-scale facilities are at the service of residents, users, and residents. The program will consist of a mix of large and small companies, facilities, and a diversity of homes for different target groups.

figure 3 Bird view of BoFa in its environment figure 4 A central square for interaction



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Additional office space in steel topping In the plans for Bonner Flagge, the characteristic barracks will be transformed into an office building. The lower floors will be retained as far as possible, and the roof will make room for two new office floors; a glass incision layer and a steel added volume that hangs like an canopy above the original building. The construction for this is special: a steel table construction is placed through the original building, on which the new superstructure leans. On the roof of the added volume, space is created for water retention and lots of greenery to counteract heat stress. Modular micro-homes Other buildings on the factory site will make way for three new residential buildings, all with underground parking and some amenities, such as catering, on the ground floor. The largest building will consist of micro-homes: independent one-person living spaces for students and starters. The building will be constructed entirely of prefabricated Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) modules, including interior design. There will be a communal area with a launderette and a ‘living room’, where the community can get together to cook, eat or play pool. Adjacent is a communal terrace and roof deck. All micro-homes have their own kitchen, spacious bathroom, and balcony.

figure 5 Left new residential building, right original factory building with extension figure 6 Floor plan and 3D drawing of modular CLT microhouse



Research During the preliminary investigation, the entire complex was measured by means of a point cloud. As with many of Mei’s transformation projects, all the details of the building are uncovered and examined at an almost molecular level. This way, we know exactly what the construction can hold, where action must be taken, or what can be salvaged in the new design. At the Bonner Fahnenfabrik, this knowledge helps to preserve part of the historical content, so that the site can take on a new meaning.


MENU, Utrecht


From warehouse to market hall client: Lingotto Ontwikkeling B.V., Janssen de Jong Projectontwikkeling, 3T Vastgoed program: A mix of a market hall, restaurants, housing, boutique hotel, small business, Kennislab and bicycle parking team Mei: Robert Winkel, Michiel van Loon, Robert Platje, Remko Eppink, Danique van der Sande, Marloes Bier, Harro Fonk, Joud Alhajsaleh, Renata Tavares, Bente Bruijns, Jelle Grunstra, Chris Idema, Rutger Schoenmaker, Roberto Magnanini, Joost Wetzel building physics consultant: Cauberg Huygen fire consultant: Cauberg Huygen Structural engineer: Pieters Bouwtechniek Installation adviser: Huygen status In development Location: Kanaalweg 50, Utrecht

In the former bicycle depot in Utrecht, part of the redevelopment of Merwede, Mei is designing a market hall with catering, creative activity, and urban agriculture. Commissioned by Lingotto Ontwikkeling B.V., Janssen de Jong Projectontwikkeling and 3T Vastgoed, Mei will design the transformation of the depot building. The characteristic building will be preserved, and new qualities - such as a circular construction - will be added. Under the name ‘MENU’, this unique place will open up to its surroundings and become a vibrant centerpiece in the new urban district of Merwede.


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Seasoning for Merwede MENU is located on the site of the OPG (Mutual Pharmaceutical Wholesaler). A place that is currently characterized by a sandplain, piles and large warehouses, will be transformed within a few years into a dynamic, green urban district. To achieve this, much emphasis is placed on attractive placemaking and programming. MENU lends itself perfectly for this; the building is located at the beginning of the Merwedekanaal zone and will be largely publicly accessible, giving it a key function in bringing the neighborhood together. The building endorses the municipal action program “Making City Together, the Utrecht Way” and will be a dynamic place with a lively community and great appeal to (young) people, where creativity, knowledge and energy are shared.


Bicycle depot from the ‘80s The building to be transformed, designed by Aronsohn Raadgevend Ingenieursbureau, is a building that you don’t easily fall in love with; typical of the 1980s and an austerely, closed appearance. This can be traced back to its former function. Originally the building was used for the storage of medicines and from 2006 until June 2021 it was used as a municipal bicycle depot. Nevertheless, the building has extraordinary qualities, such as great heights and endless columns on the inside. After transformation, the building will have a cathedral-like spaciousness, making it excellent as a meeting place. Local food production Perhaps one of the most distinctive and innovative aspects about the building is the indoor integration of local food production. In doing so, the CO2 present in the building is well absorbed and utilized. Everything is fully air-conditioned and monitored, and remains in view of the visitor. The cultivated food is sold in the market hall, to local residents and the local supermarket. In this way we make local production part of the neighborhood and encourage interactions in the hall.


Figure 1 Existing situation, exterior and interior figure 2 Detail of existing facade: large infills, narrow band windows and small grain in window division figure 3 Urban Farm reference


The existing depot • Introverted building • Inside, lots of spaciousness because of 7m high floors • Forest of columns • Little daylight in the middle of the building • Two stability cores

Sharing unexpected emptiness with the city • Unexpected space and height by making large floor opening in the middle of the building • Impressive experience from the inside due to 14m high columns • Functional and open space along the facades • New openings in the facade provide more daylight • Dramatic light penetration through subtle cutout in the roof 208

1 + 1 = 3: Special tower block with timber houses • Several setbacks create the mountain landscape in volume and exterior spaces • The 1st setback runs all the way through with a readable roof edge of the depot • Use the setbacks to direct light, air and sunlight into the surrounding area • Hollowing out for a common deck on the depot roof

The column structure is continued in the new volume



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Two phases MENU will be realized in two phases. The temporary infill has workplaces, event space and catering facilities on the first floor and the roof. People can go there for locally produced food and a snack and drink on a sunny terrace. In the second phase, a circular addition is planned, which will contain about forty loft apartments. These will be placed as separate blocks on top of the existing building, creating a playful and recognizable form. New values In both phases, new values regarding sustainability and nature inclusiveness are taken into account, in line with the three core values of the plan: local, together, and for a better world. Application of this takes place at multiple levels. Recycling will be promoted wherever possible, waste streams will be regulated, there will be room for knowledge sharing and special attention will be paid to locally produced vegetables and plants. In practice, this means that in the temporary design as few interventions as possible will be made in the facade; only the facades will be replaced by reused glass copies. Access to the roof will be provided so that the entire existing building can be optimally programmed. In addition, a part of the roof is donated to the community, which can be used for their own initiatives. In the second phase, a circular construction will be placed on top of the existing building. With this, the existing building forms the foundation for the homes. The new additions are demountable, adaptable and future-proof. The loft apartments will have access to both a private terrace and communal roof garden, where there is space for the community to gather. The block-like construction of the elevation allows plenty of daylight to enter the apartments. This creates a natural and pleasant living environment. MENU’s programming also contributes to the three core values that this transformation represents. In addition to a market hall where locally produced food is offered, there is room for small manufacturing industries, co-working spaces, and a boutique hotel. Companies that are going to establish themselves here, can possibly become part of a circular economy whereby the waste streams are cleverly regulated. In this way, the waste of one company becomes the raw material for another. Moreover, there will be a general bicycle parking and a Knowledge Lab where information in the field of sustainability, circularity and innovation can be shared. In MENU everything comes together in one place - fitting the new generation.



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Program Housing Market place Restaurants Knowlegde lab Urban Farm Creative businesses Make industry Bycicle parking visitors Bycicle parking residents Installations, waste and logistics Boutique hotel

Figure 4 Impression after completion of phase two, with wooden elevation figure 5 Collage impression of market hall figure 6 Impression of loft flat in the upper storey figure 7 Impression hotel, impressive concrete columns in view


Tower 5 of De Caai, Eindhoven


New residential tower at former Campina factory site client: BPD Gebiedsontwikkeling program: 185 apartments team Mei: Robert Winkel, Michiel van Loon, Robert Platje, Chris Idema Status: Start construction 2022 Location: Kanaaldijk-Zuid, Eindhoven

Commissioned by BPD Area Development, Mei designed tower 5 of ‘De Caai’; an area transformation of the former Campina site. Where the most modern milk factory in the Netherlands once stood, the most modern city district of Eindhoven will be resurrected within a few years. The area will become a ‘living lab’ where innovation and design in the field of nutrition and well-being will be stimulated, as was the case in the area’s former function. Within the urban plan, Mei designs the highest residential tower with 158 homes, which will provide the area with an unmistakable identity, referring to the determining history of the place.



The Campina dairy factory had been located on the ultramodern factory site since 1961. After 55 years of activity, the site will be transformed from 2021 into a new district where living, working and recreation come together. The new users of De Caai live consciously; more sustainable and healthy living is implemented in all facets. There is a good balance between the dynamics of city life on the one hand, and a quiet, green outdoor area for relaxation on the other. Users can find each other in the conviction that everything can and should be made greener. Design concept Tower 5 is the tallest tower in a mix of high and low-rise buildings, with a signal function from the ring road. It is also the only building that is physically detached from the heritage, but – in line with all new construction in the plan – will be fully integrated with the characteristic historic factory buildings. In this way the historical significance of the site is preserved. The design of tower 5 shows a direct reference to Campina in the use of colors and materials: the milky white stone material and the round shapes, referring to the rounded roofs of the factory. The repetition in the facade is a recognizable element. Tower 5 will be a characterful building with a high-quality appearance that will soon set the tone for De Caai. New values Tower 5 will be green and consciously designed, in line with the values of the future residents and the overarching pillars of the plan. An expert has advised on the way in which ‘good’ material can be used, looking at, for example, detachability, sustainability, circularity, and production. In addition, the building will be nature-inclusive with various green zones, functioning as a visual connector, at ground level, plinth, and in the canopies. There will be specific planting for birds and insects, and porous material will also be used in the plinth for insects to nest. In this way, a contribution is made to strengthening biodiversity in the new city district.




DUWO plot 5A2 and 6B2, Amsterdam


Student housing with mixed plinth in Amsterdam client: DUWO program: 767 apartments for students and young adults team Mei: Robert Winkel, Robert Platje, Michiel van Loon, Geert Krusemann, Gerard Scheele, Danique van de Sanden, Marloes Bier status: Design phase location: Sluisbuurt, Amsterdam

In Amsterdam East, Mei is designing the first buildings in the development of the Sluisbuurt; a new urban district on the Zeeburgereiland. Commissioned by the DUWO Foundation, Mei will design two unique residential buildings on lot 5A2 and lot 6B2. The buildings will be part of a - for the Netherlands still unprecedented - metropolitan living environment in which high-rise is combined with a lively and dynamic ground level, and meeting and interaction are central. Plot 5A2 and 6B2, which will facilitate housing for students and young people, are located in the heart of the district and will serve as a catalyst for the further development of this green, sustainable neighborhood. Residential towers full of identity The residential buildings are given a strong, recognizable identity that residents are proud of. Instead of a monotonous and anonymous facade, the individual homes will be recognizable and identifiable from the street. The community is central in the buildings. There will be communal facilities and various collective spaces for meeting people. This idea is also drawn to the public space. Its location at the water makes it a nice place to stay - alone or with like-minded people.



Lot 5A2 In lot 5A2 - a U-shaped residential block - 242 independent studios of about 21 m2 will be realized, each with their own bathroom and kitchen. To stimulate meeting and interaction between the residents, various communal areas will be created, such as a meeting room, laundry room, courtyard garden and roof terrace. The social facilities and vistas in the plinth create a lively atmosphere. In the design of the facade, a human scale has been applied. It has been ensured that each studio can be pointed out from the street, so that the resident feels connected to the building. The facade is divided into horizontal layers with different textures of pigmented concrete a high degree of tactility, taking into account the distance at which the passerby experiences the material. On the inside of the residential block, near the communal courtyard garden, the facade consists of gold-colored, steel cladding with various vertical profiles. This gives the courtyard garden a soft and informal appearance that contrasts with the tough exterior.



Lot 6B2 Of the two buildings, Lot 6B2 is the tallest: approximately 70 meters. There will be 525 independent studios of about 21 m2. For this building, too, meeting and interaction between residents will be stimulated. The building will have two so-called “common rooms”, a laundry room, atrium, and communal courtyard. The residential tower consists of a high and a low building section, with a slender silhouette towards the city. Both parts will have their own distinct identity. The high-rise section has a rich and elegant appearance with a vertical orientation. Like lot 5A2, the facade consists of terracotta-colored concrete with relief. In contrast, the low-rise section consists of smooth, bronze-colored PV and aluminum panels. The roof is filled with lavish greenery visible from the quay, contributing to the nature inclusiveness of the new neighborhood.





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First phase of the Sluisbuurt The development of Sluisbuurt shows a mixed Amsterdam neighborhood with different types of buildings, to provide space for a broad public. In total, the plan includes approximately 5,500 homes and facilities, both commercial and social. The neighborhood, which includes up to 125 meters of high-rise buildings, will be geared towards cyclists and pedestrians and invites movement. It will be a healthy, modern urban district with a unique skyline on the IJ. In the first phase of the development, the ‘Campus on the IJ’ is central. Practically all the courses from Amsterdam and Diemen of the Inholland University of Applied Sciences will be combined in the Sluisbuurt in one building. Plots 5A2 and 6B2 accommodate a large proportion of the campus users. Together, the buildings form a sustainable open city campus that meets the contemporary needs of its future users. New values To match the enormous energy demand of the more than 750 self-contained studios with current sustainability requirements, Mei used innovative solutions in the design. For example, integrated colored PV panels in the façade, which effortlessly fit into the architecture. On the roofs, solar cells are placed on a raised frame, which hides the other roof installations from view, complemented by a rich mix of high-quality greenery. The green roofs are also used for water storage and reducing heat stress.

figure 1 Lot 5A2 figure 2 Lot 6B2


Spaardersbad Swimmingpool, Gouda


Unique loft apartments in monumental swimming pool client: White House Development program: 6 Lofts, 1320 m2 GFA team Mei: Robert Winkel, Martin van der Werf, Roberto Magnanini, Roy Wijte, Ed de Rooij, Zuzanna Gaszczak, Maxim Ross construction: PBT, Delft photography: Ossip van Duivenbode status: Completed in May 2019 location: Van Itersonlaan 10, Gouda, The Netherlands

One of the last remaining 1930s indoor swimming pools in The Netherlands, the Spaardersbad, is located in Gouda. The pool owes its name to the inhabitants of Gouda who together saved money during the crisis period (1933) to realize an indoor swimming pool. It is a unique building, created, preserved, and cherished with enthusiasm and cooperation. As one of the most visited swimming pools in the Netherlands in the last century, this pool retains personal memories of many generations of Gouda inhabitants. The transformation from swimming pool to residential building with six unique loft homes is based on the beauty of the original design and the rich history. The swimming pool has been preserved and serves as a communal courtyard, with which this monumental building has been redesigned in an exceptional way.







figure 1 the flag was raised in honor of the placement of the first frame figure 2 historic photo Spaardersbad before the opening

figure 5 the pool in 1992

figure 3 historic photo entrance of the Spaardersbad

figure 6 Spaardersbad current situation 2016

figure 4 historic photo pool

figure 7 current situation of the pool 2016


Dive into the deep The Spaardersbad has a unique history. In the early 1930s, several active members of the Gouda swimming club set up a “committee of action” to build an indoor swimming pool in Gouda. Everyone could buy a share of 360 Dutch guilders, and so the pool was realized. The original design of the pool was made by architect Wolter Bakker of the construction agency of “De Vereenigde Sportfondsenbaden”. The Spaardersbad was opened in January 1939 and it quickly became one of the most visited swimming pools in the Netherlands. Due to growing competition in the 1960s, the Spaardersbad was taken over by the municipality on November 1, 1972. Since then it has been extensively renovated twice. For example, the large skylight was closed, the high edge of the bath was demolished, and the changing rooms and staircase were moved to the basement. With the arrival of the new Groenhovenbad, the Spaardersbad was closed in 2013.


Municipal monument The Spaardersbad has been on the municipal monuments list since 1990. The swimming pool has a high historical value in use as Gouda’s first indoor swimming pool, where in the past 70 years almost the entire population of Gouda has learned to swim. Moreover, it is a rare example of a pre-war indoor pool.


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design concept

Open roof for light and air Green garden in the pool instead of water


Existing situation

New situation


High windows for better views

New in old From 2016, White House Development and Mei architects and planners developed a plan in close collaboration with the neighborhood and municipality to preserve this unique building and transform it into a residential building with “only” six unique homes around the original swimming pool. Before that time, there was already a lot of planning to redesign the pool. Repurposing it into a residential building with many apartments meant that due to the dire daylight, little of the monument would survive. Moreover, these plans would lead to high parking pressure in the district. The combination of the realization of only six houses and the addition of few parking spaces in the neighborhood ultimately saved the monument. The plan concept is based on three main interventions: adding only a few openings in the outer facade; opening the original skylight and adding a glass interior facade on the edge of the original bath also made the plan financially viable. The transformation of the Spaardersbad was a daring development for both client and architect because of the exceptional housing product that was designed in a provincial city such as Gouda. On the other hand, in theory that risk was also limited because in this case you only needed 6 buyers. The history of the building is still clearly visible in the transformed swimming pool. The original swimming pool has been preserved as a communal courtyard, which has been developed into a Mediterranean garden due to the microclimate that will develop. The roof has been opened where the original skylight was, to bring in light and air. The original steel roof construction was restored and brought into view. This construction continues in the houses, so that the special building history is also visible in the interior. The understated character of the horizontally masonry facade has remained intact. Only a few strategically added openings reveal the transformation the building has undergone inside. This way, the characteristic swimming pool facade has been maintained.

New inner facade as transparent as possible

Minimal openings in the outer facade












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figure 8 floorplans ground floor and first floor figure 9, 10, 11 facade and entrance

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Loft homes The loft houses in the Spaardersbad are all different due to their location around the pool. Except for two, the houses are accessed via wooden stairs and bridges that run above the swimming pool at the level of the first floor. All living areas are located on this floor. The high ceilings, which reach up to more than five meters, give the living space genuine loft quality. Moreover the restored steel construction contributes to the atmosphere of living in a loft. The high transparent interior facades around the courtyard provide ample daylight in the homes. The sleeping areas are on the ground floor, adjacent to the garden and bottom of the pool. In the original tiled walls of the pool, small round window openings have been made to connect with the inner garden in the pool. All houses have a private veranda adjacent to the green inner garden and a private garden at ground level on the outer facade. Characteristic elements are reflected in the interiors: original tiles can be found in various places; old dressing booths, clothes racks and banisters have been reused; and in one of the houses the diving board now functions as a bar. The result reflects the beauty of the monument’s original design and rich history on several levels. It shows the success of a transformation from the most visited and monumental swimming pool into a popular and unique residential building, where the new residents have proudly moved into their new Spaardersbad. Because of their choice to live in this unique building with distinct architecture and exceptional residential product, the residents are closely connected and form a close-knit community, where joy and sorrow are already shared.




De Verkenner, Utrecht

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The gatekeeper of Kanaleneiland awards: Archmarathon Award 2017, 1st prize Architizer A+Awards 2017, finalist Concrete award 2017, nomination client: Mitros program: 71 apartments 9 live-work units 15 care apartments team Mei: Robert Winkel, Robert Platje, Menno van der Woude, Roy Wijte, Michiel van Loon, Reinoud van der Zijde, Jelena Radonjic contractor: Era Contour construction: PBT building physics & fire: Peutz artist: Milou van Ham, Moniek Driesse and poet Tsead Bruinja visuals: Mei & WAX cost consultant: Basalt Bouwadvies photography: Ossip van Duivenbode (1, 4, 6, 8, 13, 14, 15), Jeroen Musch (2, 3, 7, 10, 11) status: Completed in April 2016 location: Churchilllaan, Utrecht, The Netherlands A new residential tower completed on Churchilllaan in Kanaleneiland, Utrecht, will give a big impetus to the development of this typical post-war reconstruction district. The new 50-meter-tall building acts as a gatekeeper to Kanaleneiland. The tower contains a mixed programme of housing: 71 private sector rental dwellings in the upper portion, 15 dwellings for autistic youths, and 9 live-work units in the base of the building. Client Mitros is particularly pleased: it is a wonderful building and all dwellings were rented before completion.


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n for the facade responds to the concrete galleryaccess blocks of flats in Kanaleneiland. In contrast to the horizontal articulation of these facades, the exterior of De Verkenner is predominantly vertical in design. Owing to the high noise levels on Churchilllaan, the facade here is closed in character, but the number of openings increases towards the top. The colour of the facade harmonizes with the brickwork facades of the new developments on Churchilllaan, but it is constructed of concrete. The brown concrete elements, each two floors tall, feature a surface texture and relief details. This effect is enhanced by the incorporation of 13,000 ceramic tiles, made by Royal Tichelaar, into the facade. Based on a design by visual artist Milou van Ham in collaboration with poet Tsead Bruinja, these tiles feature 16 different lines of poetry that lend the building an identity specific to the location. Sunny appearance On the sunny and noise-free southern side, the building is ‘hollowed out’, so to speak. As many dwellings as possible on this side contain an outdoor space. To allow for optimal daylight penetration, the balconies here are made of ultra-strong concrete just 7 cm thick. From the balconies, some of which cantilever three metres, residents enjoy a wonderful view of Utrecht and surroundings. A huge opening on the tenth floor frames this fantastic view.


figure 2 courtyard figure 3, 4 north east facade figure 5 design scheme - no extrusion, the building opens itself upwards








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High-rise apartments Apartments Grasboom live-work units, splitlevel Courtyard

Ground floor- 3rd floor

4th - 7th floor

8th - 10th floor


verdieping 11 - 16


16th floor

10th floor

plattegrond 10e verdieping









4th floor DE VERKENNER, Utrecht

plattegrond 4e verdieping








ground floor 253

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Scant attention is usually paid in Kanaleneiland to the finishing of the undersides of balconies and galleries, elements that are clearly visible to passers-by. Mei architects and planners therefore extended the facade finish beneath the balconies and galleries. The result is a very inviting building. By contracting the facade separately, Mei succeeded in realizing this unique facade.




figure 8 facade fragment at the height of the 15th floor figure 9 facade element figure 10, 11 underside of balconies and galleries figuur 12 one of 16 tile designs

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The materials applied to the inner facade planes contrast starkly with the outer facades, enhancing the plasticity of the building. Railings in yellow glass and champagne-coloured frames mean that, even when the weather isn’t great, De Verkenner still has a sunny and sparkling appearance that radiates throughout the neighbourhood. Roses & Concrete Artwork As an architecture office, Mei supports the inclusion of art in buildings. For the art project ‘Roses & Concrete’ at De Verkenner – 13,000 ceramic tiles with lines of poetry in the facade – Mei therefore commissioned visual artist Milou van Ham. She had previously added a layer to the ‘4 Worlds’ residential building by Mei in Spijkenisse. Here she incorporated hundreds of words that convey the identity of Spijkenisse in the facade and balcony elements. For De Verkenner, Milou worked with poet Tsead Bruinja. The 16 lines of poetry form a poetic reflection on friendships and relations. These mini-stories concern ordinary events and real people. They deal with living together in a house, a building, a neighbourhood or a city in the past, present and future. The ceramic tiles are inserted into the facade elements randomly. As a result, the way you read the lines and connect them to one another is different to a poem where the sequence is fixed. In passing, you can read the lines in isolation, separately from the other tiles. Together they form a varied and exciting composition.


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In residential tower De Verkenner, a unique combined living and working unit was realized. It is both the urban development criteria and the constructive design scheme of the building, that make the unit situated just above the entrance hallway highly adaptable to individual demands. The space has a height of 4 meters and contains a full glass facade, allowing for a more personalized, more flexible, and more mobile environment. The working space is situated on the ground floor and contains a private entrance door. There is a split-level storey provided for situating the bedroom, bathroom, and storage space. The office connects directly to the living area one floor above. An entresol storey provides access to the communal courtyard and roof terrace. Integrating function and design, this is a great example of an optimized space that dissolves the boundaries between the living and working world.

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NMBS, Brussels, Belgium


International architect selection for transformation and expansion of the NMBS headquarters client: IRET, AG Real Estate, IMMO BAM program: dynamische werkomgeving team Mei: Robert Winkel, Robert Platje, Michiel van Loon collaborating architect: ArtBuild status: tender submission, finalist location: Brussels

Commissioned by IRET, AG Real Estate and IMMO BAM, for an international architect selection, Mei designed a plan for the transformation of the headquarters of the NMBS (Nationale Maatschappij der Belgische Spoorwegen; the main Belgian rail company, SNCB), in which the historical values and appearance of the buildings are enhanced by the addition of a significant and new volume. The concept embraces the New Way of Working-mentality and can be adapted to future generations of users, thanks to a high degree of flexibility. The concept is therefore not limited to various workplace types on the office floors but will function as a dynamic system that inspires employees, visitors, and passers-by. The architect selection consisted of several rounds, in which Mei (together with ArtBuild) competed with OMA, Foster + Partners and David Chipperfield Architects until the final round. The tender was ultimately won by OMA. The NMBS is a landmark in Brussels and due to the renovation and expansion will become a special meeting and workplace for employees and visitors of NMBS. Its location at Brussels’ main train station makes this building, the new working environment for the NMBS, an anchor point in the network of essential national and international connections. Transport brings people together and offers them the opportunity to create new things together. The renovated building will play a central role in this.


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Embracing core values The starting point of the design is to preserve and embrace the core values of the existing ensemble, designed around 1950 by architects Petit and Blomme. This includes looking at the composition of the main volumes, facade, relief, use of materials, innovative techniques, and integration of art. The same values also serve as the basis for the new construction in the plan. In the concept, Mei proposes to preserve and strengthen the ensemble of the historic buildings (47, 48, and 49) by adding a new time layer in the form of a new building volume on top of the existing structure. The paradox between the heritage and the increase in scale of the RPA (Target Plan of Construction, proposed the city) is thereby emphasized. At the same time, the RPA offers space for the desired expansion of the S program by adding high volumes that match the scale of the South Tower. By adding new construction to the authentic Brussels urban layer, the metropolitan layer of the Brussels skyline and further developments at the station on this scale are anticipated.


figure 1 Impression figure 2 Details from the existing situation figure 3 Volume build-up appropriate to the existing and future metropolitan scale

150 m

90 m



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Matching and connecting The authentic NMBS building, building 47, has been designed in such a way that the facade, square, and Hollandstraat form one urban whole. By adapting this existing scale and size at the Fonsnylaan side, a fullyfledged street facade is created that connects to the opposite urban façade in a friendly way. The station plaza will be better connected to the city by making larger and better passageways. At the same time, this square will be in direct relationship with the new, spacious reception area of the NMBS. New green, illuminated atriums are introduced in the existing buildings, increasing the visibility of the entrances to the various buildings, and providing a connection with the existing World Streets. In addition, the atria subtly break the long facades of the existing buildings, adding a human dimension to the whole.

figure 4 Windows connect the NMBS with the urban fabric and the Zuidertoren figure 5 NMBS in relation to the environment (impression) figure 6 Impression of spacious reception area


figure 7 Adjustments to the existing heritage bring a human dimension to the long facade (impression)

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350 meter



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Identity through city windows In the entire ensemble, the scale and size of the existing facade elements are used as a reference for the new building. So-called ‘city windows’ characteristic meeting spaces for NMBS employees - are an important part of the facades in the new section. The windows offer a view at the railway and the city, and at the same time the themed period rooms behind the windows ensure the visibility of the NMBS and recognizability for the inhabitants of Brussels. As a result, the building does not become an anonymous office building, but it acquires its own identity. A lively plinth Light, air, and space are essential in the new plan to increase visibility and encourage a good reception for visitors and passers-by. This is achieved, among other things, by placing a large skylight on the existing access area of the metro zone, and by widening the entrance. Balanced and good lighting of the various atria is provided, which is also conducive to social safety. This idea is also applied to the closed walls along the track, which are opened up and fitted with showcases of contemporary ‘green’ art and lighting. The plinth at the visitor’s entrance will be an excellent place to display the story of the NMBS. The past is made visible by giving historical elements from the existing buildings a place, and the future of NMBS can be shown through an exhibition. The plinth also contains the entrances to parking garages for bicycles and cars and various commercial functions with extended opening hours, to provide local residents and NMBS staff with convenience.

figure 8 Impression of city windows in the facade figure 9 Program diagram



















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The Green Zone Brussels is one of the greenest cities in Belgium, but the greenery at this location certainly deserves some attention. Biodiversity is improved by adding a natureinclusive zone, the so-called ‘Green Zone’. This zone also contributes to the buffering of rainwater, noise diffusion and wind reduction, and the prevention of heat stress. The Green Zone connects to the existing green elements in Fonsnylaan. This zone will be built up step by step from the tree-lined square at the Zuidmarkt, where the Sunday market takes place, continuing over the rooftops of the existing buildings to Veeartsenstraat, with fresh plants in the slope. Between the new and existing buildings, this is supplemented with balconies and winter gardens. By making green roofs on all buildings, healthy outdoor spaces are always located a short distance away.

figure 10 Sustainalibily scheme figure 11 City functions: a public restaurant and winter gardens on levels 7 and 8, and winter and sculpture garden on level 9 (the NMBS plaza)


figure 12 View from Fonsnylaan, with connection to existing green elements


level 14

level 9

level 8

level 1

ground floor





The New Way of Working Today, work no longer takes place in one fixed place within fixed times of the day. Millennials and Generation Y want to fit their work flexibly into their daily schedule. To meet the wishes of the new generations, the heritage is carefully transformed into a contemporary and modern environment where the New Way of Working is implemented in its own special way; healthy, comfortable and future-oriented. The plan does more than facilitate The New Way of Working, it is an enabler that creates opportunities. Clear routes and compact building volumes provide overview and transparency. The workspaces are pleasant spaces with a warm atmosphere. The high-quality working environment is flexible, and the furniture is comfortable, adaptable, and inviting to work. The floors are characterized by these workplaces, informal meeting areas, closed meeting rooms, multifunctional spaces, and concentration workplaces. NMBS-plaza Healthy living and working are optimally expressed on the NMBS plaza; a square between the old and new layers. Facilities placed here (such as a nursery, judo room and fitness) can take full advantage of the outdoors. Space is made for picnic areas, relaxation, and outdoor events. A public restaurant with its own entrance will also be located here, so that all residents of Brussels and visitors to the city can enjoy the view over the railway and the city.

figure 13 Interior impression figure 14 The plan facilitates The New Way of Working: flexibility, clear routes and informal meeting spaces


Van Gendthallen, Amsterdam


From industrial production halls to a vibrant mixed-use area client: Eduard Zanen i.s.m. Peak development program: Living, working and recreation, 28.000 m2 team Mei: Robert Winkel, Joost Wetzel, Roberto Magnanini, Oleksii Ananiev, Katarina Jovic visualisation: WAX Architectural Visualizations status: finalist selection 2019 location: Oostenburg, Amsterdam, the Netherlands Innovation and dynamics are the leading threads running through the history of the Van Gendthallen in Oostenburg, Amsterdam. Built for the production of 40 steam locomotives and 400 train wagons for South Afrika, the environment of the building has always been busting and industrial. The complex consists of five connected halls, which were built in three stages between 1898-1910. The Van Gendthallen lost their original function in the ’90s and have been used for multiple purposes like the housing of Mediamatic Fabriek, Hans Ubbink, Stormer marine and a laser tag arena since then. In 2014 the complex was bought by its current owner, the stroller manufacturer Bugaboo. Objective of the assignment Mei was challenged to transform and revivethe five hallsand by integrating a mixed-use program. The assignment was to combine a meaningful and various programming, with functions like offices, companies, retail, restaurant(s), living, museums, hotel and an indoor harbour with the existing industrial complex. Inspiration for innovation According to Mei the Van Gendthallen can be developed to a unique and vibrant neighbourhood, where living, working, producing and relaxing come together. The goal of the design is to create a community of residents and users, that focuses upon innovation, and connects to the dynamic and advanced/progressive history of the building. The design aims to create an inspiring and green environment, which enables dynamics and movement.



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3 Connection to the city openbare ruimte SGN en VO Oosopenbare ruimte SOO The urbanPresentatietekening context of theVOVan Gendthallen, the tenburgeiland, is developed into a live and work area. light sources By means of two axes, the complex is connected to the urban fabric of its context and the city. This ensu- light sources res the building to become part of the public domain. One of the axes runs right through the third hall and is designed as a multifunctional inner courtyard. This area remains as empty as possible in order to emphalight sources size the spatial qualities of the hall. Future-proof Starting point in the design is to leave the historical ground of the building untouched and to preserve and highlight the monumental qualities. Elements like cranes, crane tracks, walkways, rails, and internal building volumes represent the different layers of the identity of the Van Gendthallen, that need to be preserved and strengthened. In order to minimise or even prevent demolition of the existing historical structure, the program is projected in cascading boxin-box volumes. In this way every rentable space in the complex has its own (green) terrace that stimulates mutual contact and contributes to the community spirit.By means of a modular construction method these volumes areflexible, expandable and reversible if necessary. The new building volumes are lighted in a natural way through the glass roofs of the halls. Sunscreens with various densities (originally used in greenhouse constructions) regulate the amount of sunlight in the building, in order to keep the indoor climate pleasant.


daylight from above

terraced volumes layered building volumes for daylight and ‘outdoor terraced volumes space’

terraced volumes preservation of spatial quality and experience

terraced volumes figure 1 terraced volumes

finished Van Gendthallen (start of 20th century)

figure 2 production of locomotive

terraced volumes figure 3 axis connect the building with its urban context



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Possible Energypack A possible extension to the design is the addition of a volume on top of the halls. Solar panels and wind turbines connected to this volume can generate sufficient energy to make the entire complex energy neutral.

figure 4 impression of the indoor harbour figure 5 impression of innovation industry figure 6 section figure 7 section including energypack

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Renovation of national monument De Lijnbaan, Rotterdam


Renovatie wederopbouw rijksmonument De Lijnbaan 1st prize architect selection 2014 client: Eigenarenvereniging Lijnbaan team Mei: Robert Winkel, Remko Eppink, Menno van der Woude, Roy Wijte, Ruben Aalbersberg, Kasia Domachovska contractor: J.P. van Eesteren construction: Pieters Bouwtechniek cultural historical research: SteenhuisMeurs photography: Bert Rietberg en Ossip van Duivenbode status: Completed in 2018 location: De Lijnbaan, Rotterdam

In 2014, Mei architects and planners won the architect selection for the renovation of De Lijnbaan. De Lijnbaan is world famous as the first car-free shopping promenade, designed in the Rotterdam post-war reconstruction period by the Rotterdam architectural firm Van den Broek and Bakema. With its beautiful luxury shops and co-designed shop windows, the ensemble has served as an example for shopping areas for years. In 2010 De Lijnbaan was designated as a national monument. Mei renovated this special shopping area commissioned by ASR Vastgoed and in close cooperation with retailers, owners, the municipality of Rotterdam, the Rotterdam Committee for the Visual Heritage and Monuments, and the Cultural Heritage Agency. In the renovation, the original quality and 1950s appearance were restored to approximately 800 linear metres of Lijnbaan’s facades. With this, De Lijnbaan has been restored to its former glory and meets the current wishes of shopkeepers and shoppers.



















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Living room feeling The canopies that connect the shopping premises with each other are the most characteristic element of the original design by Van den Broek and Bakema. Together with the ‘crossing canopies’, they connect the shopping area and frame the public space, creating a warm and homely feeling here, like a village in the city. Since its construction in 1953, more and more things have gradually changed, losing the unity of the ensemble. With the design of Mei architects and planners, the living room feeling has returned to De Lijnbaan. Later added elements have been removed, the old canopies are restored and, with the use of wood and warm materials, the original quality has been brought back.

figure 1 Lijnbaan around 1955 figure 2 monuments in the centre of Rotterdam: Rotterdam has a historical centre figure 3 existing situation figure 4 new situation: public space Lijnbaan as living room


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Renovation in detail Mei started the design process with a thorough inventory and architectural mapping of all existing facades. Extra attention was paid to the special corner and link buildings. The original wooden parts were still present in some of the buildings. These have been restored, not replaced. The observant passer-by will be able to recognize the differences between the cherished monumental wooden parts and the new wooden parts.


The glass canopies that were added around 1996 have been removed during this renovation. The original canopies have been restored and covered at the bottom and front with sections of durable Accoya wood. To minimize inconvenience to shopkeepers, the wood was installed as prefabricated panels. The lowmaintenance coating was also applied in the factory. The storey facades, designed on a characteristic fixed grid of 1.10 metres, were also tackled. The existing concrete trusses were cleaned and restored, and missing trusses were replaced. For this purpose, a special composite concrete ‘top-up truss’ was developed. The rhythm of the posts varies, just as in the original design. The setback between the canopies and the continuous façade beam at the level of the storey floor is also an important element in the design of De Lijnbaan. The concrete façade beam was restored by cleaning it, removing paint and repairing concrete damage. The alcove, too, was carefully restored along its entire length and fitted with netting to prevent pigeon nuisance in the future.

figure 5 Cross-section of the existing situation figure 6 Cross section new situation figure 7 Overview situation with canopies marked figure 8 detail cross section of canopies


Lijnbaan 77, Rotterdam

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Modern shop building with glass facade


client: ASR Vastgoed Vermogensbeheer program: retail 480 m2 BVO team Mei: Robert Winkel, Martin van der Werf, Menno van der Woude, Robert Platje, Roy Wijte, Reinoud van der Zijde contractor: Koers, Rotterdam construction: Pieters Bouwtechniek cultural historical research: SteenhuisMeurs material research: Lisette Kappers fire: DGMR photography: Ossip van Duivenbode completion: 2012 - 2013 location: Lijnbaan 77, 3012 EM Rotterdam

3 Lijnbaan 77 is located on the corner of Lijnbaan and Aert van Nesstraat. The first retailer to move into the building in 1953 was the silver smithy Kempen Begeer and Vos. Both the exterior and the interior of Lijnbaan 77 were originally designed by architectural firm van den Broek and Bakema based on their specific wishes.


In the new situation, Mei, commissioned by ASR Vastgoed Vermogensbeheer, modernized the interior and adapted it to the current retail wishes. In the exterior, the canopy that was later added along the Aert van Nesstraat has been removed and the original, wooden canopy has been reinstated. The warm, artisanal concrete in the facades has been cleaned up, making it fit in beautifully with the street scene again. The division of the façade on the first floor has also been restored and, with floor-to-ceiling glass panels without parapets, gives this shop building a beautiful appearance.

figure 1, 3, 4, 5 Lijnbaan 77 after renovation in 2013


figure 2 Situation in 2012


Lijnbaan 91, Rotterdam


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Bringing art back in the streetscape of Lijnbaan client: JD Sports program: retail team Mei: Robert Winkel, Robert Platje, Michiel van Loon photography: Ossip van Duivenbode artwork: Milou van Ham i.s.m. Tsead Bruinja completion: 2020 location: Lijnbaan 91, 3012 EM Rotterdam


Commissioned by JD Sports, Mei architects and planners designed the renovation of Lijnbaan 91, on the corner of Lijnbaan and Van Oldenbarneveltplaats. In a contemporary way, the characteristic 50’s details have been brought back in the design, just like with the previously renovated Lijnbaan 77. The façades of the building have largely been returned to the historic image of 1955. The shop front has been replaced by a new transparent front that follows the division of the Lijnbaan pattern of the storey facade. The Colorbel façade panels have been replaced by composite elements with the colour, material allowance and structure of the 1955 façade. The aluminium facades at Lijnbaan and Van Oldebarneveltplaats have been replaced by steel facades that follow the original grid pattern.



The various mezzanine floors in the building were removed, so that the building now has three equal floors: a basement, ground floor and first floor. The first floor is accessed by two escalators, which are placed in the existing void. Artwork TIME (“TIJD”) For the façade, a new artwork has been designed by text-based artist Milou van Ham in collaboration with poet Tsead Bruinja. The artwork is a playful reference to the original work that was lost in the 1970s. The new artwork is a glass appliqué; a technique in which mouth-blown ‘antique’ flat glass is glued onto a supporting pane of industrial factory glass. Each plate is uneven, which creates a beautiful relief. TIJD consists of 16 dark-coloured glass panels containing 16 Dutch four-letter words about time. The glass strip that was created over the façade can be read as a line of poetry.

figure 1, 2, 5 Lijnbaan 91 after renovation in 2020


figure 3, 4 Historical situation with original artwork


CreativRevier Hamm, Germany


From coal to culture; redevelopment of a former mine complex client: Entwicklungsagentur CreativRevier Heinrich Robert GmbH program: approx. 24.000 m2 mixed-use team Mei: Robert Winkel, Robert Platje, Michiel van Loon, Joost Wetzel, Diana Dragan, Niklas Dauber, Renata Tavares, Katarina Jovic, Jingling Du, Oliver Micek status: In development location: Zum Bergwerk 1, 59077, Hamm, Duitsland

In the former Heinrich Robert mine complex, one of the last producing coal mines in Hamm (Ruhrgebiet, Germany), Mei is working on the transformation of a number of national monumental buildings. The mining complex, which has hitherto been closed off to the outside world, will be transformed into an accessible and attractive new district under the name CreativRevier, where people will soon be able to live, work and recreate. For this transformation, which will include space for a hotel, workspaces, gastronomy and a health center, the aim is to preserve the character of the existing buildings as much as possible, while respecting the industrial past.





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Context The part of the complex that Mei is working on consists of five buildings that were built between 1900 and 1980. These buildings served, among other things, as a management building, pay hall, changing rooms, lamp rooms and warehouses. The complex has various special qualities, ranging from detailed brick facades to beautiful tiling and typical industrial elements. The three largest building parts have a monumental status and are impressive because of their large central areas and authentic details. The area is currently abandoned, but the mine was still in use until ten years ago. Bergwerk Ost was one of the largest employers in the region and as such played an important role in the city. As a result, the complex has acquired a special place in Hamm’s collective memory. It is clearly visible that the ensemble’s spaces are a succession of how the mine functioned above ground and how the miners moved through the complex. The whole contains a wide variety of types of spaces, such as the monumental “Lohnhal” and so-called “Kaues” where the miners could change, after which the clothes were efficiently and safely hoisted to the ceiling. This telling history will be included in the new plan, so that a new generation can enjoy using the area again.


The complex is located in a green area. It is remote from the city center but has great potential to become an attractive and vibrant area in its own right. The Heinrich Robert mine is part of a large mine landscape and part of the 400 km long “Route der Industriekultur”; a route that connects all former mining complexes in the Ruhrgebiet. By reopening the area to visitors, the CreativRevier can be transformed into an attractive and vibrant new hotspot in the Hamm region.

figure 1 existing situation; one of the Kaues figure 2 impression of Kaue in new situation figure 3 - 4 existing facades




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Connection In the existing situation, the monumental ensemble is very introverted. There is hardly any connection with the immediate surroundings and within the complex it sometimes looks very dark and labyrinthine due to all the renovations. Clarifying the internal routing and connecting the public space and interior of the complex will therefore constitute important interventions within the new plan. By opening up the complex, users of the area will be able to reappreciate the extraordinary buildings of the Heinrich Robert mine. Mei is developing a new routing as a backbone for this plan, perfectly connecting with the existing buildings, which connects the large spaces of the various locations. Winter gardens are fitted into these spaces as green lungs, which provide daylight and fresh air, but also form a landmark within the complex. The backbone forms a passage where there is room for exhibitions, display windows and meetings. Both large and small companies can rent places; varying in size, daylight and visibility in relation to the rest of the area. The spine also provides a connection to the higher and lower levels and the surrounding public environment. As a user, you part of the route and community in every part of the complex. The advantage of this is that vacancy in the corners of the complex is prevented, the community can function properly, and the complex will radiate energy again. In this way, with optimal future-proofness in mind, the flexibility of the plan is guaranteed.

figure 5 impression of loft apartment figure 6 section of Kaue figure 7 impression of health center



A sustainable plan By embracing the intrinsic cultural-historical value of the ensemble, a unique environment is created with room for a new program. At the same time, this contributes to sustainability, creates a pleasant atmosphere and costs can remain relatively low. The new green winter gardens serve as an intermediate climate and buffer, so that a smart and green plan is designed with relatively limited resources. The greenery is also a reference to the geological history of the place, as the coal originates from the remains of trees and plants. The roof will be fully insulated with PV integrated, creating the potential for energy generation on the roof. In this way, the complex can again provide its own energy, just like in the time of the coal mine. The possibilities for reuse of energy and - in keeping with the ideals of Cradle to Cradle reuse of materials that are already available, are also examined. Planning In 2020, Mei won the European architect selection for the redevelopment, set out by Entwicklungsagentur CreativRevier Heinrich Robert GmbH. Mei collaborates with Bahl Architekten on the design. The preliminary investigation was completed in May 2021, after which the design will be further elaborated for the purpose of the application for the environmental permit and changes to the zoning plan. This is planned for the end of 2023.


OMY Museum, Yrseke


Oosterschelde Museum Yerseke, Reimerswaal client: gemeente Reimerswaal program: museum, coffee shop, museum shop, ReimersWol selling point team Mei: Robert Winkel, Michiel van Loon

The municipality of Reimerswaal would like to renew the ‘Oosterschelde Museum Yerseke’ OMY and transform it into one of the most important places in Yerseke. In the museum, much attention will be paid to the unique oyster- and mussel culture. In addition, it is also possible to make the new museum an educational and interactive ‘experience’, for example based on knowledge and innovation in the field of aquaculture. With the disappearance of the public library in Yerseke, the OMY will also have a social function. Mei architects and planners has planned to transform the existing museum into a modern museum with clear routing and museum special quality with one architectural intervention. A glass bridge connects four existing buildings, without losing the identity of the individual buildings. The current ‘Oosterschelde Museum’ is housed in the former Town Hall, a 1914 National Monument by architect Rothuizen, and in the former police station. By involving the intermediate former house and part of the adjacent former library in the plan, it is possible to expand the museum and add a coffee shop, mmuseum shop and ReimersWol selling point to the program. In this way, the courtyard can also be involved in the museum. The glass connecting bridge depicts the intense relationship between Reimerswaal and the water in the elaboration and materialization. With this architectural intervention, the OMY and the Reimerswaal Municipality will also be on the map again for the cultural traveler. 303





figure 1 existing situation

figure 4 sting oysters

figure 2 national monument - former town hall

figure 5 concept

figure 3 oyster wells in Yerseke

figure 6 concept of cross-section






figure 7 glass connecting bridge figure 8 schematic map figure 9 glass connecting bridge



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in onderzoek: functie en positie




Gnome Parking Garage, Almere

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Parking garage, Block 11, Almere-Buiten awards: WAN Metal in architecture awar d 2014 - shortlist client: Stadsbeheer Gemeente Almere program: 14.500 m2 413 parkingspaces team Mei: Robert Winkel, Menno van der Woude, Hennie Dankers, Robert Platje, Pepijn Berghout, Maurice de Ruijter, Nars Broekharst contractor: Koopmans Bouw construction: Pieters Bouwtechniek Almere fire: Van Elst & Roelofs Plancoördinatie green supplies: Copijn garden & landscape architects photography: Ossip van Duivenbode (1), Jeroen Musch (2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11) building costs: € 5.400.000,status: Completed in 2011 location: Straat van Florida 1334 PA Almere, The Netherlands

The development of the Gnome Parkinggarage, a car park with a capacity of 413 spaces, forms part of the extension to the centre of Almere-Buiten. Plenty of greenery and an easily understandable structure are features of Almere-Buiten. In the field of architecture, many experiments with innovative materials and inventive structures have taken place here, and these are also features of the Gnome Garage.


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The special facade of the Kaboutergarage consists of perforated panels that were specially developed in cooperation with a manufacturer from the automotive industry and a facade construction company. By means of deep drawing techniques, figures of characteristic images of the province of Flevoland and the city of Almere, such as birds, windmills, garden gnomes and bird houses, were ‘pressed’ into the perforated facade panels. The relief of the panels gives the garage the appearance of an enlarged tin box during the day. The inside of the garage is flooded with daylight because the façade panels work like a veil. In addition to the necessary social safety, this also ensures pleasant natural ventilation inside the garage. In the evening, the façade acts as a luminous object, which also makes the immediate vicinity socially safer.

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Facade cladding For the façade of the parking garage, perforated steel sheets were ‘pressed’ into a shape using technology from the automotive industry (deep drawing technique). The perforation (40%) in the sheets provides natural ventilation and light transmission. The green lighting applied in the car park and the transparent façade create a special image in the evening. The figuration of the panels is inspired by images that are characteristic for Almere, such as reed beds, birds, garden gnomes and windmills. Greenery The special facade of the garage contains natural elements, such as integrated planters. Copijn tuin- en landschapsarchitecten took care of the planting of this facade. For each facade, specific plants were chosen to match the orientation of the facade.


figure 1, 4 panel design figure 2, 3 mould of automotive industry


figure 5 detail of test press panel




Toulon, France


Future of the harbour from Mayol to Pipady client: Quartus Ensemblier Urbain program: Site 3 (12.650m2 bvo): Hotel, office, restaurant / commerce Site 4 (25.850 m2 bvo): Living (apartments and senior housing), office, social facilities team Mei: Robert Winkel, Robert Platje, Michiel van Loon, leen Kooman, Geert Krusemann, Oleksii Ananiew, Roberto Magnanini status: Tender submission location: Toulon, France

Toulon is strategically located on a naturally protected bay, an ideal base for the French Mediterranean naval fleet. The naval port also fulfills an important role in the maintenance of the ships, and as a result has an industrial feel. In contrast, the city and port are located in a beautiful natural environment with a Mediterranean and Provençal ecosystem. This landscape has a distinct identity, which is part of the intangible culture of Toulon through its special relationship with the sun, the wind, the rare presence of water and the hills. In the current situation, only the old city center has a direct connection to the harbor front. Other parts of the city are closed off from the water by the (still) present harbor activities. In order to improve the relationship between the city and the bay and thus increasing the attractiveness for residents and visitors, a master plan has been made that provides for this. The objective at the urban level is to connect the adjacent neighbourhoods to the waterfront and to expand the public space along the harbour front. The character, continuity, and dynamics of the port of Toulon must be maintained. The master plan will be implemented in several parts. Mei architects and planners has created designs for site 3 and 4. Both plan areas have a strategic position between existing residential areas and the future development of the boulevard.



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Site 3: A connecting icon for the city: transformation and extension of a characteristic 1970s building The design aims to connect, create space, preserve existing characteristic elements, and provide the building with an expressive elevation with public terrace: a hotspot appropriate to the new zeitgeist, of which the inhabitants of Toulon can be proud.

Current situation Buildings marked in red make way for the new plan.

Retaining existing connections

On the first floor, space is created for public access. The building along the boulevard will be partly preserved and transformed, to preserve the expressive character of the existing 1970s architecture and reduce CO2 emissions. In the new building volumes, visual transparency is sought. A large canopy is placed as an additional volume on the existing building. This iconic canopy doubles the space and offers phenomenal views. The canopy provides a public shaded plaza on the coast and at the same time protects the large atrium from weather. Program site 3 The building will have a mixed-use destination. In the heart of the building there will be a planted patio, which as a green oasis will offer thermal comfort to the future users. This interior landscape will be visible from the street. Around the atrium, in the existing building, there will be offices and capsule hotels. On the first floor there will also be space for restaurants, bars, and stores, giving the area a lively and urban character. The canopy will house a 4-star hotel with suites and conference rooms. On the roof, a Mediterranean paseo will be developed, where Toulon residents can admire the view, meet each other, relax in the heart of cool spaces or on large sun terraces.

Creating new connections and broaden the platform

figure 1 Omgeving van Toulon

Add extra layer in the shape of a canopy 3

figure 2 Schets ontwerp voor site 3 figure 3 Fases van site 3



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figure 4 Building volumes site 3


figure 5 Section site 3 figure 6 Reference: Impression Fenixplein Rotterdam figure 7 Reference (Photoshop): atrium with mountain view figure 8 Reference (Photoshop): roof terrace with a view over the bay


figure 9 Map concept site 3

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Site 4 long section A-A

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Site 4: Strategic densification and optimization of public space The design will be part of the new promenade that will connect the Stade du Mayol to the cape of Pipady and connect to the beloved neighbourhood of Mourillon. In the current situation, the area is occupied by the fire station and a parking lot. In the new plan, the existing fire station and parking lot make room for a series of strategically placed buildings both offices and residential. These are placed in such a way that views and daylight penetration of the existing residential buildings are respected. The plinths of the buildings contain an urban program. This creates a mixed and lively urban district in the immediate vicinity of the bay.

Current situation. Red marked buildings give way to new buildings.

Activation of the street scene to the boulevard

Creating densification while preserving the view of the buildings behind it

Optimization of construction volumes: - letting in daylight - maximum green on the street - adding greenery to the facades


figure 10 Building volumes site 4 figure 11 Front view of site 4 from the quay figure 12 Top view site 4 figure 13 Phases of site 4 69 pp


133 pp

figure 14 Volume compared to existing buildings


Logements Bureaux Park Equipement intergénérationnel Parking mutualisés




Program of site 4 The program of the new district will be a smart mix of working, living and public space, ensuring an optimal use of space. All buildings, existing and new, benefit from views of the bay and access to the landscaped terraces and communal gardens. Underground parking will be provided under the gardens.


The daycare center at the southern base is a “pivot” between the existing neighborhood, the promenade, and the garden. The flexible plots make the plan future-proof.



figure 15 Sketch design of site 4 figure 16 Impression of site 4 with a view to site 3 figure 17 Reference: offices at the park | Funen, Amsterdam figure 18 Reference: office terrace | Acros, Fukuoka figure 19 Reference: Patio | Tomonoki-Himarware, Tokio




Sustainability The average lifespan of this type of building in France is only 50 years. Mei’s plans for sites 3 and 4 are designed based on a flexible design, which prepares them for future adaptations to use, climate change and energy measures. This allows them to be adapted, for example, from residential project to office and vice versa, without the need for structural modifications. This makes the buildings longer-lasting and future-proof. Large green oases make the area a comfortable living environment with a pleasant climate, even in summer, when temperatures can soar in Toulon. Green walls will have a semi-permeable coating, which is good for evaporation for plants and soil. The roofs will also have several layers of vegetation, and rainwater on the roofs will be collected and reused. The integration of green elements on the site helps to maintain biodiversity for plants and animals, and provides control over the (sometimes) powerful westerly winds. Research is underway to see how the wind can be used for natural ventilation, while minimizing disruption to the outdoor spaces, including balconies and accessible roofs. This ambitious plan for Toulon will comply with the latest regulations on environmental quality and sustainability, and strives to minimize its ecological footprint. With innovative designs, as much energy as possible will be generated locally and renewably, such as solar power and thermal storage.

figure 20 Impression green facade of site 3


figure 21 Impression harbor view with site 3 and 4


Citroën garage, Paris, France


Transformation of inner-city garage into ultra-sustainable community building client: Quartus Ensemblier Urbain program: Houses and public facilities team Mei: Robert Winkel, Robert Platje, Michiel van Loon, Leen Kooman, Nino Schoonen cooperating architect: Palissad Architectures location: Avenue de la République, Paris, France Many cities around the world have used the COVID-19 lockdown to introduce car-free infrastructure and improve the urban environment. In light of this development and in response to society’s mandate to combat climate change, Paris plans to cut half of its 140 000 parking spaces to make the city greener and more people-friendly. In addition, the City of Paris has undertaken a large-scale study to examine the transformation of inner-city garages. When the former Citroën garage on the - by Haussmann designed - boulevard Avenue de la République in the 11th arrondissement of Paris came on the market, Mei together with Palissad Architectures and Quartus Ensemblier Urbain made a design for the transformation of this garage. The aim of this assignment was to reveal the potential of this site and the larger task in general by giving the building a new purpose in a sustainable and circular way. Mei made a design with a combination of commercial spaces and bicycle program in the plinth, and housing above. The plan was presented in the form of a ten-point manifesto aimed at creating an ultrasustainable building for an inclusive community, with as many existing materials as possible being reused in a circular fashion. This design for the transformed Citroën garage provides space for people who want to live within the charm of the historic city, with the contemporary mindset of the new generation.




On all fronts, the design is in line with the objectives of Paris. Just as the bicycle has been given a leading role in the streetscape of Paris, so it will be in this transformation. The building will be largely provided with social housing (60%), and has a focus on the sharing economy, in which the community is making joint use of spaces, tools and mobility. The renewed Citroën garage shows that new values can be embedded in a historic building. The Manifesto 1. Create shared spaces, mixed program, and encourage democratization of buildings 2

2. Promote diversity The transformed garage lets the city in; literally and figuratively. On the ground floor, there will be a ‘Parisian’ passage connecting the street to the heart of the building. The plinth will contain a meeting place for the neighbourhood, with communal areas for locals and students, and a café. In addition, there will be a large public bicycle storage area and a workshop for bicycle repairs, which are unprecedented in France. For lively programming, shops and activities will be developed in the heart of the block. Combined with the mix of social housing and owner-occupied flats, an inclusive community is created.

figure 1 Overview of mixed use of basement and ground floor figure 2 Axometry


figure 3 Overview of housing differentiation: yellow is social rental, green is private sector





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3. Avoid soil sealing and increase biodiversity 4. Protect and enhance vegetation and create green islands


5. Contribute to energy efficiency and carbon reduction To contribute to more urban nature, the plan makes room for green squares and (roof) gardens. The rainwater will be collected and cleverly reused. The large opening in the garage’s south-western facade provides natural air circulation between the project and the adjoining block. Vegetation on the roofs and walls provides better thermal insulation and the creation of fresh, green islands with a pleasant climate - with pleasant humidity and lower temperatures. In addition, a communal vegetable garden will be created on the roof for the residents, and beehives, insect shelters and bird houses will be placed in various places. 6. Protect the heritage; design with respect for the immediate surroundings


7. Transform buildings and build in a circular way One of the most important aspects of the design is the way the existing buildings are (re)used. As part of the history of the neighbourhood, the existing silhouette of the garage is preserved. The foundations, basement and ground floor are also preserved, as are the steel beams. The demolished materials from the existing buildings are reused as much as possible in the new construction. As an example, the old, unusable floor sections from the garage are being ground up and used as ballast for the new floors. The new facade design is a reinterpretation of the Haussmannian composition method of grid and arched windows. The new volumes are built against the adjacent façades, with an opening to the gardens of the buildings behind. In doing so, the views of neighbouring buildings and their quality are taken into account. A challenging task because of the prevailing building envelope, with its strict rules on daylight ingress and distance from the facades.

figure 4 Sustainability scheme figure 5 New facade blends into existing environment figure 6 Haussmannian composition of the facade figure 7 Analysis of the building envelope





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limite de propriété



limite de propriété Hauteur Plafond

Avenue de la République





Existing situation

Removal of the floors

8. Promote an optimal, high-quality building site, with the least possible impact on the environment To ensure that construction runs as smoothly as possible within the constraints of the city and to cause as little nuisance as possible to the neighbourhood, prefabricated and modular (mainly wooden) elements are used. This method of construction has several advantages: it is a fast and sustainable building method; because the materials are finished in the factory, a very high quality is guaranteed; the construction method is low-noise, so noise pollution for neighbours is kept to a minimum. In addition, reusing the existing materials, such as wood and steel, has an economic advantage, as less transportation is required. 9. Design flexible, scalable and modular The new plan will be flexible in design. The Open Building principle - based on an open column structure without load-bearing walls - will be used so that the building can be adapted to the wishes of current and future users. The student residences can therefore be converted in the future into, for example, a hotel or a nursing home. The large bicycle shed can be transformed into a sports hall, co-working spaces, etc. This makes the building optimally future-proof. 10. Create collectivity and citizen participation The new building offers many opportunities to bring the neighbourhood together and activate the people. There is, for example, room for temporary exhibitions on the ground floor, and a spacious art gallery on the upper floors that is visible from the courtyard. The transformed garage thus embraces the local initiatives of the community in its own way.

Addition of new parts with re-use of existing elements

Opening of the roof and addition of wooden elements

figure 8 Impression seen from the Avenue de la République figure 9 Cross-section of the new situation



figure 10 Phases of the construction process


De Fabriek Delfshaven, Rotterdam

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Transformation of an old factory awards: Roterodamum Restauratieprijs 2013, 2e prijs Rotterdam Architectuurprijs 2013, shortlist juryprijs Rotterdam Arc hitectuurprijs 2013, 2e prijs publieksclient: Havensteder / Lingotto program: 3560 m2 team Mei: Robert Winkel, Menno van der Woude, Robert Platje, Martin van der Werf, Ben de Lange, Reinoud van der Zeijde, Pepijn Berghout construction: BAM woningbouw Rotterdam cultural historical research: SteenhuisMeurs photography: Ossip van Duivenbode, Jeroen Musch building costs: € 4.000.000 status: Completed in 2012 location: Mathenesserdijk 410, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

In the heart of the vibrant Delfshaven district on the banks of the Schie in Rotterdam lies a distinctive old factory complex that over the years had lost much of its sheen and vitality. Years of vacancy and neglect had thrown the ensemble of characteristic buildings, which had grown into one another, into an almost irreversible process of deterioration. The exterior of the former steam laundry has two distinctive fronts: to the street a row of traditional dike houses, and to the River Schie a factory-looking front complete with tall chimney.











The Delfshaven district is a charming mixture of social housing and elegantly monumental structures. People who live there want to stay there. And the same goes for those who work there. That is why the Stichting Havensteder decided to transform one of the most striking buildings – The Delfshaven Factory – into a multi-tenant complex for small, creative and individualist entrepreneurs. To make the most of the opportunity, they immediately sat around the table with concept developer Lingotto, Mei and the contractor, and together they set out to preserve this monumental complex. Much of the design work was done in real-time during the building process because surprises often came to light only after removing layers during renovation. The strategic design by Mei was based on preserving the existing aesthetic, cultural-historical and structural quality. The approach involved consolidating and strengthening these historical elements, which were then incorporated into the scheme for the complex’s conversion into a series of small-scale and flexible commercial units. The collapsed and dilapidated section was replaced by an atrium.


figure 2 The factory around 1926 figure 3 Historical photo of Delfshavense Schie figure 4 Mathenesserdijk around 1925 figure 5 Mathenesserdijk 2009


figure 6 Concept section

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figure 7 situation in 2009 figure 8 concept section figure 9 concept floorplan


figure 10 situation in 2009






figure 11 new window with view over the Schie figure 12 facade drawing of Mathenesserdijk figure 13 interior of souterrain figure 14 floorplan souterrain figure 15 floorplan ground floor


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The completed complex contains 36 unique commercial spaces and a large hall that can host a range of activities. Also included are amenities for the neighbourhood, including two restaurants, a yoga studio and a creative out-of-school facility for children. Commercial spaces are flexible in layout and can be joined together if desired. A central, well-lit atrium occupies the place where the original middle section had collapsed and now forms the dynamic heart of the four-level factory. The atrium serves a range of purposes: circulation space (including stairs and a lift), public space with shared amenities such as lunch areas, meeting islands and swinging seats. Daylight penetrates deep into the building through the new glasshouse roof. Glazing sections between the commercial units and the atrium create an openness and transparency that facilitates maximum synergy with other occupants and stimulates collaboration.

figure 16 facade drawing along the river Schie figure 17 facade at the river Schie figure 18 interior of atrium

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The atrium makes use of the characteristic facade openings that have been preserved. Additions such as the steel structure in the atrium are minimalist and feature a uniform colour palette to preserve the existing spatial quality. Bronze-coloured facades that harmonise with the streetscape characterise the new additions. Crowning the atrium is an industrial glasshouse roof that can be opened in the summer. Many of the materials used, such as plasterboard, steel and glass, are sustainable and recyclable and come with Cradle-to-Cradle certifications. The Factory responds optimally to the needs of local young entrepreneurs thanks to the functional and flexible rental units, as evidenced by the waiting list for new tenants. The success of neighbourhood amenities also illustrates the strong local anchoring in the Delfshaven district.

figure 19 former exterior house, now entrance toilets figure 20 Pancake restaurant in the Factory as a public function for the surrounding area figure 21 interior of atrium


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De Nieuwe Hallen, The Hague


Industrial heritage ensemble becomes dynamic living and working area client: Duijnstede Beheer BV program: working and living team Mei: Robert Winkel, Michiel van Loon, Robert Platje, Chiel Bikker, Roberto Magnanini, Geert Krusemann, Rene Bouman, Nino Schoonen, Roxana Aron, Oliver Micek, Rianne Reijnders visuals: Studio Monolot and Mei architects and planners location: De Binckhorst, Den Haag status: Environmental permit 2021

In the Binckhorst district of The Hague, Mei has been commissioned by Duijnstede Beheer BV to design the transformation of a characteristic industrial heritage ensemble: De Nieuwe Hallen. The industrial halls, commissioned by the municipality in the 1950s for the entrepreneurs of The Hague, played an important role in stimulating the local economy and employment. Now, more than 70 years later, the halls are once again being used for the people of The Hague. With a dynamic program, the transformed Nieuwe Hallen will contribute to living and employment in the area, in line with the lively character of De Binckhorst.



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1950 industriehallen haagse bedrijven

1950 industriehallen 2000 haagse bedrijven leegstand opslag en garages

korte termijn... 2017? impact economy | start ups en Q42 haagse ondernemers

Context 2000 At the start of this transformation, the Nieuwe Hallen leegstand were still in their original condition. The plan had a opslag en garages unique set-up with office buildings on the edges of the plot (representative function) and industrial buildings in the inner area. The buildings have been set up in such a way that a courtyard structure arises around the halls, distinctive in scale and size. In addition, the typical post-war characteristics of the ensemble, such as the prefabricated concrete trusses and coffered ceilings, give the halls a special quality. In the transformation, the existing qualities are used as much as possible. Liveliness throughout the day 2000 Together with Duijnstede, Mei developed this plan for a dynamic and healthy living and working environment. leegstand The transformation fits in with theopslag historical use and en garages existing quality of the industrial heritage ensemble, as well as the innovative character of De Binckhorst. The program consists of homes, small-scale creative businesses, catering establishments and an urban sports hall, which together will create a liveliness that will last throughout the day. The existing industrial hall will be converted into sub-areas for meet-ups and space for small-scale catering establishments. The lange termijn... 2027? rough character of the hall will be embraced, requiring limited investment in insulation and comfort. impact economy professionals

community van werken, recreëren en wonen

2000 leegstand opslag en garages

korte termijn... 2017? impact economy | start ups en Q42 lange termijn... 2027?

haagse ondernemers impact economy professionals community van werken, recreëren en wonen

figure 1, 2 Old situation around 1950 figure 3 Models figure 4 Scheme of existing halls

lange termijn... 2027? impact economy professionals community van werken, recreëren en wonen

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lange termijn... 2027?

impact economy professionals community van werken, recreëren en wonen




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The plan New-build volumes are positioned between the transformed halls, which match the existing surroundings in size and scale. The tower volumes are designed in a stepped manner. This provides light, air and space in the plan area and offers opportunities to create spacious green roof terraces. The positioning of the stepped volume is optimized for the best wind, insolation and noise results.


At ground level, the previously closed ‘island’ in the Binckhorst will be opened up to everyone. Greenery will be introduced in the public space between the halls and offer a solution for water storage. Around the characteristic buildings or locations are so-called Binckplaced proposed: attractive meeting places with their own identity, often situated alongside the water. For recreation throughout the day, sunlight in these places is optimized. The spots will also be equipped with greenery and accompanying facilities such as sports and playground equipment. In this way, they will add quality to the entire Binckhorst. Translated with (free version)A multifaceted mix of living and working ensures that there is activity in the area throughout the day. The lively character of De Nieuwe Hallen in combination with the versatility of the programme means that the district will soon be serving a broad target group. The specific character of the neighbourhood and the collective mindset of its users will result in a strong community.

figure 5 Volume model 1st phase figure 6 Volume model 2nd phase figure 7 Mass studies design process figure 8 Impression of public space figure 9 Examplary apartment with loggia figure 10 Overview of public space


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Bastille, Enschede


Transformation of Piet Blom’s ‘Bastille’ into a lively miniature city client: Universiteit Twente, Student Union program: 6.500 m2 design team: Mei architecten en stedenbouwers together with Beltman Architecten en Ingenieurs team Mei: Robert Winkel, Jack Bouwer, Michel Zaan, David Lesterhuis, Jane Nagtegaal, Meike Stoetzer photography: Luuk Kramer completion: 2004 location: Drienerlolaan, Enschede

Commissioned by Student Union, University of Twente, Mei has designed the transformation of the Bastille (1969). The renovation turns the university building into a ‘lively miniature city’ once again, as envisaged by architect Piet Blom in his original design. The characteristic speakers’ corner becomes an atrium, which makes interactions even more inviting. The plan translates design principles developed in the 1960s into contemporary user needs and spatial requirements.






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Structuralist labyrinth As a typical example of structuralism from the 1960s, the Bastille was shaped like a three-dimensional labyrinth of dark spaces, spread over three levels in sixteen different volumes. The facade had a closed appearance. Characteristic of structuralism, the building was formed by a structure of beams and columns, through which the program was woven. Visitors could find their own way through the building, with the possibility of getting lost in the labyrinth.


figure 1 Sketch design of Bastille by Piet Blom figure 2 Historical photograph of the façade figure 3 Scale model of the original building figure 4 Existing situation before transformation figure 5 Existing situation interior

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Overview and interaction The renovation, as part of Jan Hoogstad’s new campus masterplan, adds several larger spaces to the existing small-scale structure, in order to organize meetings on a larger scale and increase the readability of the building. To create an overview within the original architectural concept, the building has gotten a clearly recognizable entrance. Two new entrances on either side of the building are connected by an inner street and multifunctional atrium, which provides access to the surrounding spaces as a central meeting place. This heart of the Bastille brings daylight and air into the building and strengthens the visual relationship between the different levels. Thus, the Bastille once again becomes the living city as Piet Blom intended.


To prevent nuisance, the various functions in the building are separated according to their use. But at the same time, fitting in with the idea of the city on a small scale, interaction between the various users is stimulated as much as possible. It is precisely the variety of users and functions that make the Bastille a vibrant and lively building. For example, office spaces are not just separate office spaces, but form an integral part of the total student life on the campus. There are various public and semi-public spaces, such as the so-called plazas, where the users come together.



kantoor plaza



vergaderen plaza


9 figure 6 New atrium in use figure 7 Schematic representation of original tissue. Column structure can be continued indefinitely. vide vide


figure 8 New entrances lead to centrally located atrium


figure 9 Plaza’s, meeting rooms and office spaces are spread throughout the building figure 10 Two voids and the atrium in the heart of the building






Character of Bastille In order to accommodate the large number of users in the building and to make the traffic structure clear and safe, the layout of the building had to be thoroughly revised. The aim was to preserve the special character of the Bastille as much as possible. The structure of columns and beams has, of course, remained a visual element in the interior. The typical frontage layouts, such as around the void to the recreational area, have been wrapped in a new fire-resistant frontage. The new atrium is the modern translation of the “speakers’ corner”; a structuralist public square within the existing building that, unfortunately, was too dark and too much furnished to function properly. The atrium allows light and air into the surrounding spaces and creates a visual relationship between the different floors and functions within the building. By means of wooden folding walls, the atrium can be transformed into an enclosed hall for various events such as large student parties and concerts.


The ball is in the user’s court The student organizations that were to be given space in the building as a result of the conversion, have been involved in the design process. By delivering the building as shell after renovation as possible, it invites new owners to make the space their own - entirely in line with the ideas of structuralism.


Figure 11 Wooden folding walls transform the closed atrium into an open space figure 12 The original restaurant has been preserved figure 13 Stairwell


figure 14 Room completed in shell


Max & Moore, Amsterdam


Sustainable office complex in new city centre client: Being development and COD program: 11.000m2 (approx. 10.500m2 Office space / approx. 500m2 Catering facilities) Max: 7.200 m2 Moore: 2.800 m2 team Mei: Robert Winkel, Robert Platje, Michiel van Loon, Julius Kirchert, Max Brobbel, Frank Wapenaar, Andrea Nae, Remko Eppink, San Dino Arcilla, Roberto Magnanini, Geert Kruseman, Chris Idema, Nino Schoonen, Katarina Jovic, Jingling Du, Bas Coret, Anneloes Tilman, Sophie de Ridder contractor: Pleijsier Bouw, Nijkerk green design building: Moss.Amsterdam / Ginkel Groep landscape design: Delva landschaparchitectuur construction: Zonneveld ingenieurs fire safety: KVMC installations: KVMC (adviseur), Linthorst Techniek (installateur) building physics: KVMC (adviseur), Linthorst Techniek (installateur) building costs (estimated): 14.000.000 euro status: Under construction location: Asterweg 13 t/m 15, 1031HL Amsterdam (Buiksloterham)

Max & Moore, designed for Being Development and COD, are two high-profile office buildings for the pioneers of Buiksloterham. The creative, productive entrepreneurs who consciously choose an environment in which collaboration is central, and recognize themselves in words such as pronounced, robust, chic, and healthy. The core values of Mei are key to this: a healthy nature-inclusive environment, an aesthetic that fits the scale and history of the place, maximum flexibility and adaptive capacity for resilient and agile programming, creating a community and contributing to inspiring, local initiatives.



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Buiksloterham Buiksloterham, on the Northern IJ banks of Amsterdam, is metamorphosing into a new urban center. The business park is gradually developing into a living-working environment in which entrepreneurship is central. The area is raw, focused on the future as home to creatives, and many multinationals established their headquarters here. Max & Moore stands on the transition from existing activities to new, healthy, and creative working. This prepares the location on the Asterweg for a second phase, of which living in a pleasant environment is an integral part. Max & Moore is easily accessible via the A12 highway, the IJ tunnel is nearby, a pound will take you to Central Station, and Amsterdam’s city center just two kilometers away. Design concept Max & Moore consists of two building volumes that, in terms of architecture, match the typology and DNA of Buiksloterham: tough, sturdy, and robust. Max & Moore are related to each other but have their own character. They are like black and white, salt and pepper, big and small. Max stands strong on a double-height plinth and is executed in pronounced horizontal bands of black steel and PV panels. Moore is soft in composition and balances rough and refined concrete in white, light colors. They share features in the use of material and integrated PV cells that blend with the steel and concrete. Greenery is the strong connector between both buildings, with pronounced terraces, double-height winter gardens and green vertical curtains. Max will be a building volume of eight floors high with approximately 7,200 m2 of office space. Moore has five floors and approximately 2,800 m2 of office space. The buildings are connected to each other with shared facilities and a bridge. The catering and open workspaces in the plinth can be shared by the various entrepreneurs. In the plinth, facilities connect to public space and provide a lively program that will also benefit living. The facilities have pleasant, sunny outdoor spaces for terraces, as well as some nice spots at the water side.

Figure 1 Overview Max & Moore figure 2 Spaces for connecting green and people





Flexibility Due to the adapted column structure, the floors can be freely divided. The structure provides stability and is centrally organized so that the floors can be mutually linked or divided into smaller workspaces. With extra high ceilings and a lot of glass all around, there is maximum contact with the outside, you can see the water and there is as much daylight as possible. The flexible design ensures a high degree of user-friendliness and makes it possible to accommodate a wide range of offices. The building is also adaptable over the years.




Figure 3 Ground floor plan figure 4 Plan of the first floor figure 5 North-eastern view


figure 6 View south-west figure 7, 8 Sections






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In- and outside With Max & Moore, Mei strives to create a healthy and nature-inclusive working environment, in which sustainability has a high priority. Nature has therefore been fully integrated in the design, and a strong green design has been developed together with Moss. Roof terraces, double-height patios, vertical green facades, and pergolas alternate between the various spaces. Nature is used as a connecting factor between the different floors and both buildings. The greenery contributes to biodiversity and present urban ecology, while at the same time it supports healthy working. The outdoor areas provide all floors with fresh air and the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors. The roof terraces of Max and Moore are connected on the second floor by a green pergola bridge. On the ground floor, the boundaries between inside and outside blur by bringing together the green elements of the building and its surroundings. For example, the facades of Max have green curtain walls that connect the ground level to the roof terraces. Behind the green facades are split-levels, where beautifully filtered light flows in. These green facades also provide temperature control in the rooms behind. In the curtain wall plinth of Max, where catering facilities and an “urban livingroom” are located, the boundaries between inside and outside vanish. Three transparent overhead doors of more than seven meters wide will be installed in the plinth. These can open vertically, so that inside and outside are connected. The interior with concrete floor connects to the rough concrete Stelcon slabs outside, which are reused from the existing situation. In the eastern roof terrace of Max, several insect hotels will also be installed, and in the north façade of Moore, twenty bird houses will be integrated in the vertical ornamental concrete.

Figure 9 Green diagram Figure 10 Flexible layout






















Deze overzicht is bedoelt als een algemene materiaaloverzicht.

01 Roestvast staal 02 Tapijt zwart


08 Gepoedercoated RAL9005 zwart 09 PV wit


15 Prefab ruwe beton (Wanden en kolommen)Prefab ruwe 16 Prefab ruwe beton (Plafonds)

Integration of the latest techniques Fitting a new society that wants to live more consciously, sustainability is one of the most important pillars at Max & Moore. The entire plan has been designed to be energy neutral (EPC = 0) and will receive a BREEAM Excellent sustainability certificate. Innovative PV cells have been designed that are fully integrated into the facade and are part of the architecture. With a carefully chosen open-close ratio, the facade design contributes to limiting installations and the required cooling capacity. The complex will also receive a STES installation, so that the building can be cooled or heated using heat or cold extracted from the ground. These measures reduce the need of fossil fuels for energy generation.

Overview of materials used 01 Stainless steel 02 Carpet black 03 Carpet light grey / aluminium 04 Galvanised steel 05 Brut aluminium 06 Painted / powder coated RAL9010 white 07 Painted/powdercoated RAL7009 grey-green 08 Powder coated RAL9005 black 09 PV white 10 PV black 11 PV green 12 Lightweight concrete (facade/entrance) 13 Fluted concrete (floor) 14 IHWG concrete (core walls bg-1e) 15 Precast raw concrete (walls and columns) 16 precast raw concrete (ceiling) 17 Precast green ribbed concrete

Figure 11 Facade fragments Max figure 12 Facade fragments Moore



Mobility Because the building is adapting a sustainable green living environment, the adjacent outdoor space is a car-free zone. Parking is possible at the outer edges of the area and will be solved underground in phase 2. The outdoor space will be provided with intensive greenery, together with the qualities of the Tolhuiskanaal (canal), to create a pleasant living space. All bikes are taken out of sight in a generous, high space between Max and the existing PHBM building. There is room for no less than 264 bicycles and 37 electric scooters. Moore will also have a special garage for 18 e-bikes. The public space is activated by the central location of the shared bicycle entrance between Max and Moore. The bicycle garage is also in direct connection with the ground floor of Max and Moore. Special attention has been paid to the bicycle space by providing it with light and visibility with a consistent slat grid. This means that all technical installations are integrated and hidden from view at the same time. The grid roof provides beautiful light, good ventilation, and a spacious feeling. At the same time, this roof enhances the spectacular water view from Moore, between the 30-meter high Max building and the existing PHBM building. De lokale start In the run-up to construction, the site was used by pop-up venue Oumuamua; a place where work, food and culture come together. Oumuamua was created partly through the partnership with Robert Winkel. It is a local initiative that Buiksloterham deserves.



LLoydquarter, Rotterdam

The history of the Lloyd district goes back to around 1900. Increasing industrialisation and a rising volume of goods led to the construction of new docks such as Schiehaven, St. Jobshaven and Parkhaven. The stevedoring firm Müller & Co gave Müllerpier its name. The firm Blaauwhoed built the St. Jobsveem warehouse and the St. Jobsilo for storing products from the colonies. The Lloydpier took its name from the Rotterdamsche Lloyd shipping company. It built a terminal on the pier from where its passenger ships departed for the Dutch East Indies. In 1951 the Kota Inten moored at Lloydpier with on board 900 military personnel from the former Royal Dutch Indies Army (KNIL) and their families. The Arrival marks the start of the Moluccan community in the Netherlands. Around 12,500 Moluccan (Ambonese) people were transported from Java to the Netherlands on twelve ships. The first Dutch electricity power plant, the Schiehavencentrale, found a home in the Lloydkwartier. The area blossomed. But activity declined in the decades after the war. Port activity shifted westwards as bigger ships needed more and deeper space for loading and unloading. In 1996 the Schiehaven- Müllerpier, as the Lloydkwartier was then called, was home to just a few port-related businesses. The disused Müllerpier was used as a venue for festivals.

The remarkable area is now the site for the construction of a unique piece of Rotterdam with new next to old and new inside old. The district will have between 1750 and 2000 dwellings, many of them overlooking the river. The architecture is sturdy and spectacular, and in harmony with the character of the former dock area. Scores of companies, most of them in the commercial creative sector, have since moved into the redeveloped port buildings. Schiecentrale is home to firms in the audio-visual, film, animation, ICT and artist sectors; De Nieuwe Maaskant houses architecture offices; Blaauwhoedenveem houses architecture and design offices. Other arrivals include Kühne en Nagel in the former office of Rotterdamsche Lloyd and the imposing College of Shipping and Transport. The city in the city is turning into the focal point for the audio-visual and ICT industry. Entertainment opportunities are aplenty thanks to the big sports and events area (Lloyd Multiplein) and numerous cafés.






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Schiecentrale 4b

Multimediahotel Stroom


Kraton 230


SAWA (in development)


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→→ →→ →→ →→ →→ →→ →→

Loft apartments Office spaces Supermarket Sports hall Television studios Children’s daycare Parking garage

→→ Hotel →→ Restaurant

→→ Multi-company building

→→ RTV Rijnmond

→→ Office spaces

→→ Loft apartments →→ Restaurant →→ Loft apartments →→ Office spaces

Sports fields Tuin op de Pier →→ Communal garden

Schiecentrale Timeline Development

90s from inaccessible harbor area to accessible industrial heritage → breeding ground for small creative companies → temporary use → partial demolition

around 1995 - 2000 from placemaking to first sustainable developments → further development of creative businesses (RTV Rijnmond, recording studio halls, etc.) → arrival of the first amenities for short stays (hotel restaurant Stroom) → transformation office spaces (25KV)


from 2000 a flourishing new cityharbor

addition transformation endurable strenghten endurability

→ public parking → fitting residential program, the first lofts of Rotteram → flexible office spaces → extra amenities (supermarket, daycare, etc.) → design public space and the quay will get new meaning → studio halls to indoor playground


Schiecentrale 4B, Rotterdam

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Harbour building to live, work and relax in awards: Rotterdam building quality prize 2009, nomination BNA Building of the year 2009, nomination Job Dura prize 2008, shortlist client: OBR Ontwikkelings Bedrijf Rotterdam ( Rotterdam City Development Corporation), Woningstichting PWS (PWS Housing Association) and Proper Stok Rotterdam program: 55.000 m2 living/working units, offices, garage, quayside dwellings, supermarket, gym and semi-public deck team Mei: Robert Winkel, Robert Platje, Hennie Dankers, Eelco Dekker, Frank Aarssen, Jack Bouwer, Erwin Verhoeve, Maurice de Ruijter, Bart Spee, Jack Hoogenboom, Mirjam van Dam, Joanne Wienk, Leah Wiederholdt, Meike Stoetzer, Richel Lubbers, Michel Zaan, Jane Nagtegaal construction: PBT, DHV building physics: DGMR MEP: Grontmij Bravenboer & Scheers material research: Aldus Bouwinnovatie wind conditions: Windsafe fire: Ralph Hamerlinck cost consultant: Bouwhaven photography: Ronald Tilleman, Jan Paul Mioulet, Jeroen Musch, Kees van Pelt, Ossip van Duivenbode building costs: € 42.000.000,status: Completed in 2008 location: Lloydpier (Lloyd quay), Rotterdam, The Netherlands


Schiecentrale 4B is the final block in the redevelopment of the former Schiehaven power plant and surroundings. The combination of office space, residential units and live-work units brings even more life to an area that in recent years has blossomed to become the hub of the creative industry in Rotterdam. Schiecentrale 4B consists of a spectacular new building that wraps around the north-western sides of the old Schiecentrale plant. Like a small city, the new complex offers a variety of housing types that cater for self-confidant people active in the creative industry and who are attracted to the harbour atmosphere that the area still breathes. The scale and size are in keeping with the metropolitan docklands context. The shape chosen for the slab means that every residential unit enjoys views of both the River Maas and the city of Rotterdam.

View The most distinctive feature of the project is the height of the building, a 50-metre-tall slab that stretches for a length of 130 metres and rises above the former electricity power plant. The 11-floor structure contains office space and live-work units that are accessible from a gallery faced in a specially woven stainless-steel screen. Attached to the gallery are storage units, which are normally hidden away in the basement, but are now positioned opposite the front doors as eye-catching objects. All spaces on the west side of the building are fitted with glazed facades. From here, occupants enjoy a spectacular view of the River Nieuwe Maas and the port. Floor-to-ceiling harmonica doors front the live-work units and can open to turn the apartment into an enclosed and sunny terrace.

Programme The new building contains 55,000 square metres of programme, 7000 of which is office space. There are also 156 live-work units whose floor-plans can be arranged as desired, and twenty ground-access quayside houses each with 3.5 floors. Additional amenities consist of a supermarket (2000 square metres), a gymnasium (600 square metres), 400 parking places in a supervised garage, and a semi-public deck of 3000 square metres. A sun terrace, podium, playground and lunchtime supervision facility for schoolchildren complete the programme.








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Facing the river only, the quayside dwellings feature glazed facades that allow for optimal use. The rear of these popular dwellings adjoins the car park, turning them into a reinterpretation of the drive-in house: you drive into your home as it were.


The free floor-plans of the living units allow residents to determine the arrangement of rooms. On account of the high level of flexibility, all technical installations in the spaces, and also on the facades of the building, are surface mounted. The complex has the character of a pure dock structure interwoven with the technology of offshore and process industries. The design strategy adopted by Mei embraces mistakes by the contractor, which are inevitable when many hands are involved in work. The result is a sturdy building that deliberately accommodates imperfections. Schiecentrale has enjoyed considerable praise and international media attention. Self-confident residents have made their home in Schiecentrale. So too has Mei: in the summer of 2013 it relocated to the 16th floor at the top of the building. Visitors are always welcome in our office, and we would be delighted to guide anybody interested around the projects on the Lloydpier.

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Flexible The shared objective of the clients was to realise a compact building complex in which the various programme elements were interchangeable. This mainly concerned the living-working units and offices in the High and Low Plate (floors can be used as either office or living-working space but this also applies to the supermarket, gym and parking garage in the lower structure). Another aim of the clients was to turn the Schiecentrale into a campus. This meant that a carefully considered mixture of programmes needed to be projected onto the complex. The economic situation, future uncertainties in terms of usage, sound-proofing of structures next to existing studios and speed of completion led to the decision to construct the new building with a concrete skeleton and non load-bearing walls. This project was awarded the IFD Demonstration status. On account of the great flexibility, all technical installations in the spaces as well as on the façades are carried out as ‘assembly’. The complex exudes the character of a typical port building in which technology from the offshore and processing sectors has been integrated.







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figure 7 open construction for flexibility figure 8 framework high plate

figure 11 schematic view completion

figure 9 framework high plate with divisions

figure 12 flexibility

figure 10 completion

figure 13 staircase


kantoren dek gymzaal supermarkt buitenschoolse opvang

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ontsluiting accessibility

parkeergarage parking garage

woon-werk units units living/working

accessibility ontsluiting parking garage parkeergarage live-work units woon-werk units offices kantoren deck dek gym gymzaal supermarket supermarkt day care buitenschoolse opvang

kantoren offices





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functions ground floor




functions first floor



functions fourth floor

functions sixth floor accessibility Ontsluiting quayside houses Kadewoningen live-work Woon-werkunits eenheden offices Kantoren parking garage Parkeergarage gym Gymzaal supermarket Supermarkt day care Buiten-Schoolse Opvang day - semi public space BSO care semi-openbare ruimte deck Dek gallery Gaanderij supporting functions Ondersteunende functies


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25kV, Rotterdam

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Re-use of a former transformer house 1st prize architect selection awards: Sustainable Building Prize, City of Rotterdam 2001, 1st prize National Steelprize 2000, nomination client: Ontwikkelingsbedrijf Rotterdam program: 7.000 m2 , 45 working units team Mei: Robert Winkel, Machteld Wijnands, Kees Gajentaan, Richel Lubbers, Tim Knip, Rob van Houten, Karolien de Pauw photography: Ossip van Duivenbode, Luuk Kramer, Jeroen Musch building costs: € 2.750.000,status: Completed in 2001 location: Lloydpier, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

In recent years Schiecentrale, the former electricity generating plant on Lloydpier in Rotterdam, has developed into the centre of the creative industry of the city. In and around the original building of the former electricity power plant a lively creative industry, ranging from studios to workspaces for almost all related activity, has blossomed. The generating station dates from the early years of the last century. The Schiehaven station was a large brick structure that contained a battery house, canteen, porters lodge, transformer house, turbine hall and boilerhouse. The complex fell into disuse in 1990. Mei architects and planners played an important role in transforming Schiecentrale and its surroundings into the audio-visual centre that it now is.


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Glazed panels Mei architects and planners turned the originally introverted and blank transformer house, which is part of Schiecentrale, into a transparent structure that houses various businesses: the 25kV building. The transparency of the new structure was achieved by removing the originally blank façade over the full length of the building. In its place is a steel frame faced entirely with glazed panels. Housed in the new volume are all supporting facilities for the adjacent 46 office spaces such as toilets and pantries as well as stairwells, the lift and a corridor that provides access to the offices. Because all daylight enters the building through this zone, even the toilets and pantries are made of glass, albeit translucent glass for privacy reasons. The stairs are dimensioned as lightly as possible to that as much



daylight as possible can enter the building. Space for encounter The voids in these service zones also function as air channels. Slats at the bottom and top open in the summer to ventilate the offices. What’s more, the buffer zone has a positive effect on the energy performance and building physics of the structure, an achievement that was rewarded with the Rotterdam Sustainable Building Prize in 2001. The corridor between the offices and the service spaces, such as the pantries and toilets, is a shared zone that functions as a space for encounter. The occupants of the different offices can forge new plans here and that can lead to in new collaborations. The former sombre block is now a successful address for modern firms involved in one way or another with the audio-visual sector. The transparent glass façade gives the office building a contemporary appearance, while the typically industrial character of the building has been preserved.

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figure 11 construction principle pantries figure 12 Scheme concept 25kV building Other proposal: smaller rentable surface, dark passage zone, inefficient staircases


figure 13 Scheme concept 25kV building Our proposal: new and light zone outside the existing building. Larger rentable surface



figure 15 scheme transport of warmth


figure 16 scheme smoke- and heat discharge and fire proof demand



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SCHIECENTRALE | 25kV – aanzicht & plattegrond

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Kraton 230, Rotterdam


Office building for RTVRijnmond, including 3 studios awards: National Steel prize 2008, nomination BNA Building of the year 2008, regio Delta, nomination Geveltotaal Architecture prize, 1st prize Dutch Design Prize 2006, nomination client: Ontwikkelingsbedrijf Rotterdam program: 12.000 m2 team Mei: Robert Winkel, Jos Schäffer, Jack Bouwer, Paul-Peter Kuper, Alex Pastoors, Bart Spee, Judith Egberink design team: Mei architects and planners, Studio Job (figurations façade panels) and Bureau Strijkers (interior RTV Rijnmond) photography: Jeroen Musch building costs: € 12.000.000,status: Completed in 2007 location: Lloydpier, Rotterdam, The Netherlands


The new headquarters of local radio and television station RTV Rijnmond is phase 4a in the redevelopment of the Schiecentrale on Lloydstraat in Rotterdam. The building, which houses not only RTV Rijnmond but also other firms, forms the heart of the audio-visual sector in Rotterdam along with Schiecentrale, the 25kV building, STROOM hotel and restaurant, and the new building of phase 4b. The sturdy character of the RTV Rijnmond building by Mei Architects en stedenbouwers, both in scale and appearance, is a direct reference to the large size of the Schiecentrale, a former electricity generating station, and to the imposing ships that used to dock on the quay nearby. The façade of the building is made of rusty brown cast-iron panels that are decorated with maritime and audio-visual motifs designed by Studio Job. The window openings in this cast-iron section extend over two levels. The ground-floor façade facing Lloydstraat is a transparent wall of glass below two cantilevered levels faced with steel panels. That gives this section of the building the character of a large awning that directs attention to the entrance and studios of RTV Rijnmond.



Factory floor The entrance leads to a large hall containing studio spaces where regional radio and TV programmes are produced. Grouped around these studios are all the supporting spaces such as canteen, editorial spaces and server room. The studios hanging in the space and the big void give the setting the character of an industrial factory floor where news rather than harbour products are processed. The two floors clad in metal panels are supported by two striking V-stanchions whose tapering legs come together on the studio square. Spanning on top of the stanchions are two large lattice girders 45 metres in length. The whole setting has the character of a container crane placed indoors. Other structural elements also recall the industrial port activities of days gone by. The structure is made of steel H profiles. The exposed sturdy bolt connections combine with the rusty façade to give the building a subtly well-used appearance. Projection screen The structure of the building and the square are clearly visible from the street through the glazed façade. The images of current news on the big projection screens on the square are the first things that grab attention. The circle of news processing is thus complete: news comes from the street, is then processed in the building and is then visible again from the street. The building has a total floor area of 10,000 metres.



The façade has got a special own identity, consisting of cast iron panels with a pattern related to the history and future of this location: an old port area in Rotterdam. The façade material was inspired by manhole covers and is allowed to rust (Flowing rain water with rust which will not end on the street or on the glass façade was taken into account). The colour will change over the years from orange to dark brown. The façade consists of approx. 4,000 panels, 90 cm by 45 cm each, casted into handmade wax moulds. There are eight different designs which are arranged in a variable pattern. The iron panels are hung with a special designed hanging system. 1



figure 1 inspiration image, manhole cover figure 2 fabrication wax mould figure 3 cast iron panel figure 4 rust façade panels

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figure 5 model figure 6 section figure 7 plan ground floor figure 8 plan third floor


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Hotel Restaurant STROOM, Rotterdam

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Re-use transformer vault client: Ontwikkelings Bedrijf Rotterdam program: 2.500 m2 hotel-restaurant photography: Horizon Photoworks, Luuk Kramer, Jan Paul Mioulet building costs: € 3.175.000,status: Completed in 2004 location: Lloydpier (Lloyd quay), Rotterdam, The Netherlands

The transformer house, containing the STROOM hotel and restaurant, is part of the former Schiecentrale in Rotterdam. After the former electricity generating plant has been adapted to accommodate audio-visual firms, two large television studios were added and the 25kV building was completed. Then it was decided that the complex needed a restaurant and a hotel. Both are now housed in the former transformer house of the power plant. To house the restaurant and hotel, Mei architects and planners enlarged the transformer house with a glazed extension at one end. The existing tall spaces are earmarked for a brasserie and a nineteen-room hotel. The stairs, the offices and the hotel suite are located in the glazed extension. These clearly visible elements give the transparent side façade a lively appearance. Rooflights


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The existing façade on Lloydstraat consists of a large, closed brick plane broken only by a small glazed addition. The industrial character of this façade was preserved by not punching any large windows through it for hotel rooms. Instead, the hotel rooms receive daylight from above through rooflights, and the starry sky is visible at night. Thanks to their 4-metre height, the hotel rooms consist of a lower level, containing an extensive bathroom that includes a sauna, and an upper level containing a comfortable bed with high-tech audio-visual equipment within easy reach. Beamers and wide, adjustable projection screens allow hotel guests to read the newspaper the full width of the room and thus determine their own ‘view’ from their room. Grand café 447



The hospitality section consists of a grand café, a lounge, a multimedia hall and a restaurant with open kitchen. An outdoor terrace and a roof terrace complete the picture. These amenities add to the Schiecentrale an ideal venue where creative entrepreneurs can meet and exchange ideas and where visitors to the Schiecentrale can spend the night. 448

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Jobsveem, Rotterdam

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Re-use of a National Monument awards: Dutch Renovation prize 2009, nomination Dutch Building prize 2009, nomination Rotterdam ‘Building quality’ prize 2008, 1st prize Job Dura prize 2008, Jobsveem on shortlist Steel prize 2008: 1st prize BNA building of the year 2008, nomination client: BAM Vastgoed + BAM Volker Bouwmaatschappij program: 21.000 m2 99 loft apartments + 10 penthouses 3500 m2 commercial and café space designteam: Mei architects and planners and Wessel de Jonge Architecten team Mei: Robert Winkel, Robert Platje, Jos Schäffer, Bart Spee, Jane Nagtegaal, Nars Broekharst, Tim Knip, Richel Lubbers, Jojanneke van den Bosch, Anja Biel photography: Jeroen Musch, Peter Kooijman, Luuk Kramer building costs: € 20.000.000,status: Completed in 2008 location: Rotterdam, The Netherlands

The former warehouse and national monument Jobsveem, also known as St. Job, on the quay of the Lloyd Pier in Rotterdam, has been changed significantly. The warehouse was originally a substantial industrial building. The design by Mei architects and planners breathes new life into the old warehouse. Since its completion in 1913, the former warehouse had been extremely introverted in character. This closed character was intended to protect the stored goods from too much daylight, rain and wind. The structure involved the use of construction methods that were very advanced for their time.




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The large-scale stacked structure with concrete galleries and loading bays is an example, as is the stacked structure of timber floors and cast-iron columns filled with concrete. The levels of Jobsveem are characterised by long floors (130 x 25 m) with cast-iron columns of different heights and conditions. The warehouse is an important national and municipal monument because the function of loading and unloading resulted in a uniquely expressive façade of concrete loading decks on the side facing the water.


figure 2 historical picture figure 3 old situation figure 4 old situation figure 5 new situation


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Daylight The conversion of the warehouse into apartments and commercial spaces was an opportunity to bring daylight into the building. The unique character was preserved while three glazed atriums allow daylight to enter. They provide the adjoining dwellings with views. The concentrated intervention of the atriums preserves the characteristic appearance of the warehouse. The light courts of glass and steel emphasise the monumental components that have been carefully restored in the warehouse. Located in the atria are the main staircases, lifts and entrances. They are lively, light spaces where residents can meet one another. These courts can also combat heat and smoke when needed. In warm weather, and also in the event of calamities such as fire, the glazed roof opens and a light breeze blows through the atrium.


figuur 7 main staircase figuur 8 main staircase


figuur 9 model glazed atrium



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Roof landscape The floors could be organised as desired because of the absence of bearing walls. The same flexibility can be found in the apartment plans. The roof had to be removed because of its poor condition. Inserted in its place is a new floor that crowns the building like a shed. Housed in this new roof landscape are ten penthouses for which special large glazed sliding panels were developed. Located on the ground floor are the commercial spaces that are imposing in appearance owing to the 6-metre floor-to-ceiling height. Space for restaurants and cafés is created in two places on the ground floor. The other spaces are reserved for creative companies. Located behind the big loading bay doors on the ground floor are glass doors that open out towards the quay. Owing to safety and light-control factors, steel frames are filled with mesh woven from stainless steel and can move up and down like lift gates. Old and new meet here.


figure 10 interior penthouse figure 11



figure 12 roof construction




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figuur 13 first floor figuur 14 fifth floor figuur 15 section


figuur 16, 17 interior



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