Sustainability with a view

TEXT: ARNE ADRIAENSSENS | PHOTOS © LUUK KRAMER

The era of grey and uninspired office blocks lies behind us. The future is one of green, light and homely working biotopes. Architecture office EVA leads the way with its praised and awarded office building ‘De Curve’. Not only is it easy on the eyes, but it is also very environmentally friendly.

In the middle of a depreciated industrial area from the 80s, architect’s office EVA created a glass feat of sustainable engineering. “Our client wanted us to design a transparent building which is also sustainable and energy efficient,” says Maarten Terberg, architect and partner at EVA. “Glass and energy efficiency usually don’t combine well, but with the help of sun protection film, solar panels and many other techniques, we have created an A++++ building.”

This philosophy of building sustainably is rooted in EVA’s DNA. “To us, designing environmentally is evident,” says Jeroen Makkink, also partner and architect at EVA. “We aim to reduce our building’s energy consumption as much as possible and don’t stop there. For example, we also opt for screws over welding, since it allows us to reuse the materials in case of demolishing or remodelling.”

“Yet, the most environmental thing you can do is making sure your design is adaptable,” Terberg adds. “This way, people will never want to tear it down anymore. In all corners of the low countries, you find buildings who have been there for centuries and have adapted to many purposes throughout the ages.”

While glancing at De Curve, its soft, organic shape and the three determined metal belts stand out. “It is actually a two-story rectangle of which we have pushed, rounded and stretched some corners to create a terrace, accentuate the green panorama in the back and generate some supplementary shadow where necessary,” says Terberg. “The metal belt is the common thread guiding you throughout the structure. Inside, all necessary facilities like bathrooms and staircases are hidden in the building’s core, saving the natural light for the actual working biotope.” By implementing a bold design in an outdated business park like this, EVA has won the award for ‘office building of the year’ from Architectenweb. “Acknowledgement like this is always nice. Especially when it comes from fellow architects. De Curve proves that it is possible to breathe new life into a depreciated area like this. We hope many companies and architect’s offices will join forces to follow its example.”

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