atelier van berlo has transformed a pure, brute, raw and heavy industrial complex in eindhoven — in size and volume completely unsuitable for office use — into a comfortable, breathing, spacious, fresh and young work environment. completed in collaboration with eugelink architectuur and de bever architecten, ‘the innovation powerhouse’ is an ecosystem for the innovative industries. a center of creativity, a hyper-modern, multi-tenant building where different companies meet, inspire and stimulate innovation.


all photos by tycho merijn

 

 

situated on strijp-t, the out of use power plant is an iconic building, a landmark of eindhoven and built in four stages, from 1953 till 1972, the power plant used to provide philips factories with power through coal, gas and later oil. design-driven innovation agency van berlo initiated the transformation, while in search for their own new headquarters. they envisioned a unique working space, an open ecosystem focused on collaboration, something more than just new offices. it would be a home for different innovative companies, universities, partners, clients, and visitors to work together and create the innovations that shape the future.

 

 

the two main points of departure for the design were to maintain the building’s innate architectural qualities and to incorporate this vision of open innovation. to create this vibrant center, the architects created a clear-cut in the building, a straight line through the heart spanning, among others, the original 5-meter wide central backbone, where the cole chutes still hang at 28-meter hight. next to this central backbone, the roof is has a full-length skylight, bringing light into the otherwise dark center of the building and revealing the magnitude of the old heavy concrete structure. in addition, this skylight gives a peek at the façade, allowing all who see it experience the sheer height of the midpoint.

 

 

due to a change in power fuelling, the original design was never finished. since there was no longer a need for cole chutes, the 5-meter wide part was never finished. inspired by the original drawings, the architects added a steel vertical garden to the central backbone, giving the building its originally intended symmetrical look. this vertical garden with meeting rooms, a glass elevator and emergency exit follows the lines and rhythm of the original architecture.

 

 

the open, transparent and green appearance hints at a new sustainable green energy production. the symmetrical look is finished by a glass extension at the back of the building. it follows the lines and rhythm of the structure, but through a minimalistic detailing and modern materials, it indicated clearly a new phase for this impressive construction. the other interventions, such as small windows in the offices and the main entrance, are kept small to ensure that the monumental industrial character of the building stays visible. within the renovation, there was also great attention to sustainability. 

      

project info:

 

type: transformation
phase: complete
location: eindhoven
client: geva
architects: atelier van berloeugelink architectuur & de bever architecten
interior: atelier van berlo
photography: tycho merijn

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