Discover Benelux | Architecture | Inbo
Collaborative designs for sustainable living environments from the end user’s point of view
research facilities, and now offers synergy effects for countless knowledge-based businesses located on the site. Postma: “There are two particularly important design aspects that we apply without exception. One: the buildings are open and transparent, providing the researchers with a workspace in the middle of natural surroundings. Two: common facilities are centralised, promoting interaction, synergy and serendipity in a very natural way.” The facts speak for themselves. The High Tech Campus has the highest patent count per square kilometre worldwide. Inbo is currently working on the renovation of the visitor centre of De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB). Postma: “We are transforming the closed building into an open one, fitting with the core values of the DNB: stability and transparency. The combination of clear glass and the bronze framework results in a business-like but warm atmosphere, exuding a hospitable professionalism.” As part of the intelligent renovation scheme, the building support systems have been relocated into the underground basement level of the building. Freed of visible technical clutter, the near energy-neutral building will better fit into the protected surroundings of listed buildings.
The multifunctional character of the inner city of Amsterdam is pushing its way into the surrounding – formerly mono-functional – neighbourhoods. Inbo welcomes this contemporary urban trend. “Currently we have two high-rise housing projects under development on the Zuidas. Unusually for this business district, our buildings are characterised by an unmistakeably ‘liveable’ architecture. Both buildings share the urban typology of a high mixed-use plinth and a high level of detail at the top of the towering volume, but are very different in character,” says Postma. While the striking difference in architectural expression reflects the wishes of the different clients, the underlying professional approach is the same. “The apartments are extremely liveable, and enjoy breath-taking views and ample daylight. A generously dimensioned private outdoor space is a base quality of our designs here. The penthouse is really more like a townhouse with a 300 square metres terrace, towering over the city at an elevation of 80 metres above ground.” Designs like this are an exemplary result of teamwork. “At Inbo we work with twelve partners and forty architects, each with their own architectural signature. While respecting their individual qualities, the de-
sign professionals all share the wish and ability to collaborate. We work together within the team, but also with our clients and end users,” Postma explains. One of the means used for multidisciplinary collaboration is BIM: Building Information Modelling. “Together we work on one complete digital 3D model of our building. All facets of the building are in there. It has some great advantages, and provides us with a fantastic communication tool for collaboration. It is easier to present our ideas to our client, and for our client to get a clear image of the expected end result. Above all that, it allows the designers to work in more detail and more comprehensively,” he says. “It’s not just about the walls and the windows, but goes all the way down to the fittings of power utilities. Working with BIM helps us to intercept problems that, in a traditional design process, might not surface until the construction phase. We are now equipped to optimise right from the initial design stages.” www.inbo.com
Issue 12 | December 2014 | 57
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