|Title||The Dara Building (Grote Koppel), Amersfoort, Netherlands|
The Dara Building in Amersfoort, Netherlands, makes a significant contribution to FAT Architecture’s on-going research into the creative potential of historical reference and repetition, in combination with digital and prefabricated construction techniques to generate new meanings in architecture. Griffiths was the lead architect on the project. Its design responded to a number of questions: How can a modern building integrate with and extend the meanings of an historic context? How can differentiation and variety be achieved using repetition? How can precast concrete construction be used to create expressive popular iconography and communicate cultural values about architecture? Can an art-based architectural practice be successful in a market driven environment? Its methodology included numerous site visits to understand the site’s complexity and latent potential, discussions with local planning authorities to get a sense of the Dutch legislation and regulations for historic contexts and typological research, drawing on the traditions of baroque influenced, gable fronted Dutch architecture. A variety of programmatic solutions, spatial permutations, and the three-dimensional complexity of the building and its surroundings were tested through extensive physical model making and other forms of digital visualisation. The innovative external wall and window panels of the building were generated by drawing and re-drawing, then interpreting these design motifs in digital format, which were then transferred directly to Dutch prefabricated concrete manufacturer, Hibex. The architects then collaborated closely with the manufacturer to produce the building’s signature prefabricated façade panels. The building has been favourably reviewed in the architectural media, including in Building Design, Blue Print and Domus. It is regularly featured in lectures and exhibitions about the work of FAT delivered nationally and internationally including at London Metropolitan University in 2009, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis in 2009 and the Strelka Institute in Moscow in 2010.
|Date||01 Jan 2009|