Architect: René van Zuuk Architekten
Location: Zilverparkkade D, Lelystad, the Netherlands
Client: Develop-Havelte, Lelystad
Design Team: René van Zuuk, Kersten Scheller
Master Plan: West 8, Rotterdam
Building Contractor: Ter Steege, Rijssen
Structural Ingeneering: Van Rossum, Almere
Project Year: 2002-2006
Budget: € 1,750,000
Site Area: 222 sqm
Constructed Area: 1,867 sqm
Photographs: Christian Richters
The project derives its romantic name (Silver Park Quay) from its location: the office cluster on the Zilverparkkade in Lelystad. West 8 designed the urban plan for the area in conformity with the current trend for condensed city-centres. With an idyllic wink to the 17th century Dutch canal-houses the offices are lined up shoulder to shoulder on narrow plots. In such a compact row with a strict layout the only elements to create a discriminating identity are the facades.
All four façade surfaces in the design are either entirely or partly covered with prefabricated concrete elements, symbolizing a branch-like structure. This blown-up filigree is the result of a study of infinite patterns. The works of the Dutch graphic artist Maurits Escher have been an unmistakable model. Specific skills are required to devise a repetitive pattern that, applied in a limited number of different concrete elements, constitutes a seamless entity. The craftsmanship needed to avoid the repeating units to be too obvious, has an analogy with designing rotation press patterns for textile and wallpaper.
The façade structure continues around the corners, providing the office building a recognizable identity distinct from the adjacent properties. The south and west elevation have a double layer façade with window-cleaners’ ledges in between. A profitable side-effect of these narrow balconies is their function as a barrier to prevent vertical spread of fire. As a result storey high panes of ordinary (non-heat-resistant) glass could be applied. The ledges also act as large sun protection slats. The branch structure provides an obscured vista from the outside, but from the inside the users hardly have any impairment of the view on the surroundings.
The concrete elements on the north and east façade are solid. The branch-pattern on these panels is applied in high relief en is highlighted by using two different shades of aggregates. The rear façade has an alternating structure of horizontal strips of textured concrete and windows, with a vertical cut splitting the building asymmetrically. This incision visualizes the zoning and subtly affects the repetition of the solid concrete panels.