Peter Zumthor

De Meelfabriek . Leiden

photos: demeelfabriek . tracked by Cristoph Vogl
The Meelfabriek is an industrial complex of several large buildings that produced flour from different types of grain, brought in by boats on the canal. It grew in different phases from 1883 until 1988, when production was closed down for economical and political reasons.
The cluster of buildings sits on a bastion of the mediaeval fortification of Leiden, originally an open strip of land surrounding the city, which was in the course of the 19th and 20th century gradually developed into an industrial belt. In the late 20th century most of the buildings on the industrial belt were dismantled, following the cities policy to establish a green belt of parkland.

The developer Ab van der Wiel bought De Meelfabriek complex in 1998 in order to preserve and redevelop it. The complex has now become the major remaining piece of Leiden’s industrial past. It is both a historical landmark of the city and an important document of the industrial heritage of the Netherlands.
The brief of the competition was asking for proposals to bring new life to the complex which was laying dormant since 1988, inaccessible to the public. The complex was to be opened to the public, acting as a core and offering new urban energy for the surrounding neighbourhood. New functions were to be found and a concept for the preservation of the valuable parts of the historical monument was to be proposed.
The competition was won by Atelier Peter Zumthor & Partner from Switzerland. The same office then went on to develop the Masterplan in collaboration with the authorities of the City of Leiden and the Rijksmonumentendienst, the Dutch department of cultural heritage . In October 2007 the Masterplan was approved.

The Meelfabriek complex consists of industrial building types from different periods: brick-shell, concrete frame, steel frame, mushroom column, solid plate structures and numerous honeycomb clusters of silo shafts in various sizes. Which parts of this impressive collection should be preserved? Which parts can be removed or changed in order to give room for new life to come?

There is beauty and strength in the physical structure of the industrial buildings which were designed to carry heavy loads. Therefore we propose to preserve and respect the structural integrity of all the industrial building types of the complex. After their redevelopment, the structural anatomy of each building from the elegant steel frames to the forest of concrete columns and the batteries of cathedral-like silo spaces will remain visible and play an important role in their new architectural expression. They will give each building a strong identity. Old industrial power as a background for contemporary life.

Except for the oldest building of the complex, the “Ketelhuis” which is made from load bearing brick walls where facade and structure are identical, all other buildings will get a new skin, a custom made facade. This is because the barely heated non-insulated old industrial spaces were enclosed by delicate facades with single-pane windows which are extremely difficult to keep.

The historic Meelfabriek complex is a collection of individual buildings, each with a specific function. This concept is maintained for the redevelopment. Each building will get a specific new function and will be designed to have an individual architectural character based on its existing structural anatomy.

The development of all of the buildings in the new complex will be an ongoing process and will be phased over time. Notionally, it will begin with the Loft Apartment and Atelier Buildings, the SLS Apartments for Students, the Meelfabriek Park, a portion of the underground parking, and followed by the Greenhouse Apartment Towers.

Meelfabriek Hotel

The 7600 m2 Meelfabriek Hotel offers 67 special rooms of 9 different sizes.

The rooms are cut into the honeycomb structure of the main silo building, occupying interconnected shaft spaces. Floors and ceilings are new additions, which house all necessary modern amenities, such as the lighting, heating, ventilation and bathing facilities. The walls of the silos stay pure. Precise cuts form windows and doors. Catwalks cut through sequences of tall silo shafts and lead to the hotel rooms. Daylight enters into these deep passages of circulation through large openings from the top of the North façade.

The lobby sits within the colonnade on the ground floor, beneath the silo structure. Covered access to De Meelfabriek underground parking facilities is provided. The hotel operates spaces for meetings and seminars in the adjacent Workshop Building. There is direct access to the lobby of the Meelfabriek Fitness and Spa.

Spaces to hang out, to have breakfast, to wine and dine, overlook the city on the top floor of the hotel. The rooftop restaurant for exquisite dining on the adjacent House of Fashion and Design can be reached directly by a skybridge.

House of Fashion and Design
The former waterfront silo tower will offer, after its transformation, 2000 m2 of retail space for fashion and design, with a shared lobby and waterfront cafe on the ground floor. The building offers two tall atriums, one dedicated to design, the other to fashion. Smaller vendors are organised around these two elegant showrooms. The floors inbetween these atriums offer spaces for shops of intermediate size.

The tower is crowned with a fine restaurant of around 150 seats with panoramic views over the city. The kitchen of the restaurant also serves a separate function room for private dinners and events. A skybridge high above the Harbour connects the restaurant with the rest of the complex. The restaurant caters for hotel guests and professionals working in the complex. Visitors from outside access the rooftop restaurant directly via a special elevator on street level.

Meelfabriek Fitness and Spa, Meelfabriek Café and Restaurant
A 4100m2 Fitness and Spa is spread over 6 floors within an existing “forest” of industrial concrete columns and slabs of the former Meelmagazijn. This atmosphere is continued onto new rooftop pools and fitness floors, providing new spaces to exercise and relax with views onto the Leiden.

The 350m2 Meelfabriek Café at street level and the 690m2 Meelfabriek Restaurant on the first floor of the former Meelmagazijn address both the canal and the Meelfabriek Square. Covered access to nearby underground parking facilities is provided for the whole building.

Loft Apartment Building

The former Molengebouw, an elegant steel frame structure will be transformed into exquisite loft living. Spacious apartments for sale, of between 150 and 250m2, each with its own generous loggia, are spread over six floors and overlook the new park. The apartments will be individually customised by Atelier Zumthor & Partner according to the wishes and needs of the buyer.

The new glass facades provide maximum daylight for the living spaces and permit views out to the centre of Leiden. A deep low ledge along the façade provides intimacy from the inside: a window seat, a ledge for books, places for plants. Direct access to the underground parking from the apartment is available.

Loft Atelier Building
Seven, 450 m2 floors of open and flexible atelier spaces of varying, generous heights occupy the existing elegant steel framed structure, the former Riffellokaal. Available to rent, they can be used by doctors, lawyers, graphic designers, architects, marketing agents, and so on. Each floor can be subdivided into smaller units by the tenant, using custom made Atelier Zumthor & Partner designed furniture and partitions. Space on the ground and first floors for a special food market or similar venture will serve residents and employees of the complex and surrounding neighbourhood.

New glass facades overlook the city. Direct access from the building to the underground parking is provided.

Studio Building
The intimate scale of the existing Schoonmakerij, a concrete frame building with handsome concrete columns and beams, provides space for 7 new and unique studio office rooms of 250m2 each for rent or sale. Access to the building is via the generous lobby on the ground floor, that overlooks the new Meelfabriek Harbour to the East. Covered access to nearby underground parking facilities provided.

Workshop Building

The oldest building in the complex, the Ketelhuis, is transformed into 6 floors of 170 m2 flexible workshop and seminar spaces with a shared foyer on street level. Classes for art, poetry, theatre, languages, seminars can be accommodated. The vaulted top floor has the quality of a small theatre of about 100 seats. It lends its self well to intimate screenings or performances.

Managed by the Meelfabriek Hotel, the floors of the Workshop Building will be available to rent on a regular basis to local organisations, community groups, and businesses. Covered access to nearby underground parking facilities are provided.

Student Housing

The Western part of the Meelfabriek complex facing Waardgracht is dedicated to around 50 apartments for students and managed by SLS Wonen.

The apartments are distributed across 8 different buildings of 3 and 4 storeys which respect the scale of the adjacent neighbourhood. Together, the buildings give a frame to the West and North sides of the new Meelfabriek Park. The volumes of the buildings are cut to create various entrance courtyards, which open both to the centre of the park and to the street as well as gardens which open only inward to the park.

The apartments are organised to the left and right of a central staircase, and are glazed on three sides. In this way each apartments has the form of a big bay window which looks either to the park or to the street. There is a deep and low ledge on the inside that accompanies the glazed facade strip, providing intimacy. All apartments profit from their proximity to the surrounding trees.

Greenhouse Apartment Towers
Along the Oosterkerkstraat there will be two new towers containing a number of two storey greenhouse apartments, enjoying the views of the surrounding city. One tower stands on Meelfabriek Square, housing a flower shop on street level, next to the entrance lobby. The second hosts a children's daycare centre on street level and a lobby facing the new Meelfabriek Park.

Each apartment in these towers is developed around a double height greenhouse space. Living with big plants!

Rooms will offer views of the city in two or more directions. The apartments will be customised by Atelier Zumthor & Partner according to the wishes and needs of the buyers and will come in sizes ranging from 2 to 4 bedrooms, with ample space for living, dining, cooking and so on. Each apartment will have an open loggia providing generous outside living.

3 comentarios :

30 de noviembre de 2010, 10:54 valentin dijo...

where do you find this documents?

30 de noviembre de 2010, 11:06 afasia dijo...

credit for this one, as remarked, is for Cristoph Vogl:

20 de diciembre de 2010, 23:07 Anónimo dijo...

las nuevas aquitecturas son un nuevo especimen de realidad wuao......... genial que imaginacion

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