Managing the result
The architect as a person must be communicative and prepared for interaction. This means continuously being present in an integrating and organising role. It is important to create a balance between involvement with the complex construction process and a clear-cut individual contribution. This is the only way to produce a successful design that will impress demanding customers. Case: transavia.com headoffice
Architectenbureau Paul de Ruiter was selected by Schiphol Real Estate (SRE) to design a new office building for transavia.com at the corner of business park Schiphol East. When designing for a line of business like the aviation sector, which faces great social and political pressure because of its environmental impact, it is crucial to strive for a result that takes the interest of both the client and the public into account. It was therefore important to come up with a design that would highlight the communicative appearance of the building and its interaction with its surroundings. The building should also be sustainable and LEED Platinum certified, in accordance with the specific wishes of SRE.
COMMUNICATIVE The design for transavia.com illustrates how a building can contribute to the communication of a company with both the core business of Schiphol East and the features of the nearby woodland, Amsterdamse Bos. Its aviation-inspired shape and the name on the roof make the building recognisable from the air as well. The building’s style reflects the character of the full-service travel company and the sustainable techniques bear witness to the company’s awareness of its social responsibility. Its strategic and prominent location literally creates a recognisable positioning of transavia.com.
ORIENTATION The brief was to realise an optimal cohesion between the structural and urban design on the one hand and the architectonic, construction and installation-related aspects on the other. This required a shape and orientation that would allow the building’s optimal interaction with its surroundings. Furthermore, to make optimal use of natural daylight, a study was made of what would be the best position of the building as regards the sun. The study resulted in a streamlined building that perfectly fits with the urban design. Translucent façades allow daylight to enter the building from all sides and offer a great view over Schiphol and the Amsterdamse Bos. Because of its position on the corner of an important intersection, the building has a defining influence on the image of the area.
IDENTITY The streamlined shape of the building was inspired by flying and expresses the identity of transavia.com. The building is innovative, open and client-oriented, and reflects the social commitment of the airline by using sustainable and energy-efficient techniques to make it an LEED Platinum certified building. The building meets the international sustainability standard, offers a pleasant and friendly working environment and is instantly recognisable to the outside world.
TRANSPARENCY AND LIGHT The building is largely transparent. Vertical blinds on the south side - the inner curve - keep out the heat of the sun, while allowing daylight to flood the building. This enhances both the openness of the building and the quality of the working spaces. This is very important, because the latter is of great influence on the productivity and health of the employees. A pleasant and naturally lit workplace has a positive effect on the motivation and inspiration of the employees. By slightly lifting the building, cars can be parked underneath it. Large vents in the roof allow daylight and fresh air to enter the building, while bamboo adds a natural touch to the inner court.
FLEXIBILITY The flexible layout makes it possible for parts of the building to be used by different tenants. The size of the rented sections is easy to change. By placing the working spaces in the upper part of the building and the restaurant and meeting rooms in the lower part, a clear and functional division is created. This makes the upper part of the building an efficient working environment and the lower part a great place to meet, relax and step outside. The building’s generous length of 16.2 meters allows for a variety of office concepts and layouts. Tenants can choose between the more closed spaces on the front side, a functional central area or an open layout with small rooms for people to use when they need a quiet spot to concentrate. This flexibility is made possible through the transparency of the façade, which allows daylight to enter deep into the building.
LEED Platinum The ambition of the client, Schiphol Real Estate, and Architectenbureau Paul de Ruiter was to design a LEED Platinum certified building as a model for the future developments of the whole Schiphol East area. To realise such a building, it is not enough to reduce its energy consumption and CO2 emission; the building itself has to generate its own energy and compensate for its CO2 emission. This will be achieved by solar cells, active concrete core and cold/heat storage. Furthermore, steps will be taken to make sure that not only this one building but all future buildings at Schiphol East will compensate for CO2 emissions. SHAPE The shape of the building emerged as a response to its surroundings. On the one hand, the building follows the direction that is given by the IND office at the Piet Guillonardweg. On the other hand it lies parallel to the LVNL building at the Brugstraat. The position of the building is strongly aimed at two important viewpoints: the north side offers a view on Schiphol East and the runways, and the south side an excellent view over the canal and the Amsterdamse Bos. By giving the building a big northern and southern façade, only the latter needs blinds to screen off harsh sunlight, whereas the northern façade can be left much more transparent. This way, only minimal window treatment is needed to reduce the warmth of the sun entering the building. Finally, this also reduces the cooling load of the building.
Client Schiphol Real Estate Location Schiphol East, Netherlands Gross floor area 12.850 m² Volume 38.550 m³ Program Head office transavia.com Design July 2007 Start construction March 2009 Planned completion February 2010
Design Architectural office Paul de Ruiter bv, Amsterdam Project architect Paul de Ruiter Project team Noud Paes, Richard Buijs, Willeke Smit, Friso Gouwetor, Roel Rutgers, Willem Jan Landman
Adv. Construction ABT, Velp Building fysics Ecofys bv, Utrecht Adv. Installations Deerns, Rijswijk Noise management/ Fire safety DGMR Building Management Brains to Build Urban Plan Benthem Crouwel Architects, Amsterdam; NACO, Den Haag Urban design west 8, Rotterdam