Into its Component Parts: Office Building in Delft
When building according to the cradle-to-cradle principle, the building becomes a store of materials: its components should remain in a closed cycle as long as possible and be reused in other projects when the existing building is no longer used. With Building D(emountable), the interdisciplinary planning team at cepezed have erected an example of circular building. The four-storey cuboid was built in just six months on the old grounds of the Technical University in Delft. With its contemporary architecture and delicate, transparent appearance, it forms an interesting contrast to its surroundings, three historically protected brick buildings in the Dutch Neo-Renaissance style.
The supporting structure of the new building comprises a slender steel skeleton and ceilings of veneer timber. The columns and beams have not been welded, but joined with screws. The minimalist, ceiling-high insulated glazing is fastened directly to the beam with glazing beads. Opening casements with metal lamellae that are arranged between the glazed areas provide natural ventilation. The ceilings lie on profiles of 12-mm-thick curved, flat-rolled steel which are fastened to the columns of the supporting structure. These are covered with limestone honeycomb panels which in turn are clad with gypsum fibreboard. Flooring of recycled PVC completes the construction, in which the floor can be dismounted without damage. The air-conditioning conduits, which can be used to heat the building as well, have been left exposed between the visible rips of the ceiling elements, making them more easily accessible for maintenance, repair or disassembly.
Over 800 m2, the office building offers flexible work spaces without partition walls. The open levels and transparent façade work together to create many different angles of view both inside and to the outdoors. The sanitary and ancillary spaces are arranged as a closed core that faces north. Apart from the stairway, the building is a single fire compartment; this means that even the materials required for fire protection could be kept to a minimum. The Netherlands have set a target for all building activity to take place in closed material cycles by 2050. The demountable office building in Delft will surely provide inspiration.