2_2_DiscoverBenelux_11_November_2014_Q9_Scan Magazine 1 06/11/2014 23:07 Page 53
Discover Benelux | Special Theme | Dutch Architecture & Interiors LEFT: The BP Rotterdam Refinery offices exterior blends in with their environment. TOP RIGHT: The atrium is cut out from the manmade dune. Photo: Roos Aldershoff. RIGHT: meetings take place in box-shaped volumes like 'sky-boxes'. Photo: Scagliola Brakkee.
It is of great importance when designing to consider the human senses. Van Bremen: “For example, the acoustics are very important. In an office environment, sounds should not echo. In a cathedral they should. And if you use sleek materials, you should be aware of the physical effects they have on the users.”
Sleek materials are perfect for another beautiful and totally different building GROUP A designed: the Booster StationSouth. A public utility building which covers a technical installation: a pump-engine for sluicing out sewage. This does not sound too charming, but GROUP A might just have turned this Booster Station into the first sewage utility building that people will actually admire when they pass by. It is located at a busy traffic junction, yet the area is a no man’s land that is structured by a layered infrastructural network where elevated metro lines, railways, roads and highways intersect and where passengers by car, metro, train or bicycle pass by. It is a perfect place for a closed futuristic architectonic piece of art that reflects the movements, shapes and colours of the environment. At the same time it shows its function: the incoming and outgoing ducts are revealed and at night the building’s tectonics come to the surface. The illuminated seams in the steel skin make the pump-engine look like a mesh-model. This building matches the vision of GROUP A completely: it is full of character, specifically designed for its user and purpose, and fits in with its surroundings perfectly. Knowing all this, it can hardly be a surprise that GROUP A has almost twenty years of experience in design at different levels of
city design. In this time they have been nominated for architecture awards, won design prizes and created numerous beautiful and leading buildings, many of which you unknowingly might have seen while travelling through the Netherlands. www.groupa.nl
The Booster Station South. Photo: Dick Sellenraad
Issue 11 | November 2014 | 53