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Halo / DHV Architects

DHV Architects shared with us their latest project. “Halo” is located in The Afsluitdijk, a major causeway located in The Netherlands. The Afsluitdijk is a major icon of Dutch engineering and is about to embark on a new future. Climate change forms the backdrop for sustainable development at the Afsluitdijk, whereby the Netherlands will once again push the boundaries of technological advancement.

More images and architect’s description after the break.

Halo is projected on the Afsluitdijk as an infrastructural instrument for realising sustainability. The design addresses the unique qualities of the dike, improves them and makes them visible and accessible. The design consists of a floating structure which adjoins the infrastructure at Breezanddijk. The entire programme has been incorporated into the fully flexible floating structure. The architecture is prominent and at the same time reserved. It is an icon of sustainability for Friesland.

Halo’s identity is inseparably linked to the identity of the Afsluitdijk itself.

1. There are similarities between the dimensions of the design and Breezanddijk. The wind, which always plays a prominent role at the dike, is literally represented on the external façade and generates energy at the same time. The sturdy support columns highlight specific qualities of their surroundings – the air, the water, the birds, water levels and the tide.

2. Halo is an infrastructural design; it is a museological-like route, a bridge between salt and fresh water and a direct representation of the subject at hand – sustainability. The Afsluitdijk, as a feat of water engineering, has multiple infrastructural and water engineering elements – a motorway, a cycle path, longitudinal dikes, multiple scour sluices, parking places and a work island. With this in mind, Halo is a welcome addition.

3. Dudok’s monument is an eye-catching structure at the Afsluitdijk. It has a great deal of symbolism and acts as a reminder for the need and the historical development of the dike. Halo’s striking image also catches the imagination. The floating rectangular structure symbolises a framework of intensive sustainability and creates an iconic image which represents the need for a sustainable future.

Spatial awareness and use

1. The panoramic views epitomise the feeling of space at the Afsluitdijk. This quality is exploited by lifting the programme in a floating framework supported by sturdy columns. The natural soil remains intact and enhances the feeling of space provided by the broad horizon.

2. The floating structure creates a noticeable spatial bond between the Waddenzee and IJsselmeer, between salt and fresh water and between culture and nature. The stunning views can always be savoured. Not only at the Afsluitdijk and at its surroundings but also on the ever changing water experiments in pond harbours (blue energy, cross-over bridges for fish, water purification etc).

3. Halo will be an attraction for people visiting by car and is designed to generously receive these visitors. A slow-traffic route connects the existing infrastructure of Breezanddijk with the driveway in the building. This driveway acts as a museologicol route and provides the necessary parking space.

4. Motorway users will pass underneath the Halo. The road that passes under the structure offers motorists a quick glimpse of the activities that take place inside. On average, thoroughfare takes around 6 seconds. Both docks will remain open for small marine vessels.

5. Halo offers space for all imaginable purposes, including research, durability tests, parking, hotels, conferences and a museum. It is an all-round environment which represents innovation and lasting development. The design has a footprint of 560 m² and a total gross surface area between 24,000 m² and maximum 40,000 m², depending on spatial density.

6. The support columns serve the floating structure in a unique manner. The columns lead to building components such as reception halls, toilets, elevators, stairways and lifts. They also act as spatial orientation points for users. Between the columns one finds all-round spaces that can be refurbished and easily modified depending on intended objectives and purposes.

Sustainable flexibility

Halo clearly distinguishes between non-changeable components – the building’s primary structures – and changeable flexible components. Basic energy for the structure is provided by the eye-catching outer facade. For the columns, sustainable energy is supplied via specific environmental factors, which means the columns can also not be modified. The floating structure offers space for all functional comforts, and can be furbished with total flexibility. This flexible refurbishment can be witnessed on internal facades of the framework. If functions are incorporated into the floating structure, then they will be based on energy autarchy. This may be realised via the very latest sun panels or, for example, via the latest passive house principles. Thus innovations and technological developments within the lifespan of Halo can be implemented in the most efficient and visible manner – and why not every 500 days.

Sustainable beauty

Halo has been designed as a spatial backdrop. All necessary building functions and the outer facade have been incorporated into the permanent set-up. This helps to safeguard the beauty of the Afsluitdijk.

Cite:Sebastian Jordana. "Halo / DHV Architects " 04 May 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/58687/halo-dhv-architects/>