Passage Tilburg

Glass, Steel

A number of large-scale projects are taking place in Tilburg to make the city centre more attractive.
One of these changes is a new connection between Heuvelstraat and Pieter Vreedeplein. Octatube was closely involved in the design and realisation of the spectacular new wavy roof. 

The undulating canopy is 55 metres long and consists of a diamond-shaped grid of steel strips and glass panels. The roof is more than 9 metres above ground level, and also floats a little bit above the adjacent buildings. On Peter Vreedeplein, the roof becomes a large canopy with a more closed appearance of aluminium sheeting and a number of small roof lights.

Smart solutions
New to this design are the connections between the mounting frames that form the canopy. We have designed the connections ourselves, so that there are no bolts in sight and there is no need to weld them on site. This is typical of Octatube's working method. We did not only design the constructive details, we also consulted with the architect and translated their wishes. In addition, we also have prefabricated as much as possible in our factory so that it could be installed quickly and efficiently at the construction site.

The challenge
The canopy was designed by architectural firm Rijnboutt. They are also responsible for the transformation of the former V&D building where Huson's Bay department store is now located. Rijnboutt has challenged Octatube to push the limits of cold twisting of the glass panels, in order to make the roof wave as much as possible. From a structural point of view, the maintenance load was an additional complicating factor. The wavy roof can be walked on for maintenance. At the start of the project, Octatube organised design workshops to ensure good coordination between the architect, the client and the main contractor.

Quote by Bonnie Snoek, senior project coordinator at Rijnboutt:
"What is striking in the collaboration with Octatube is that they are good at engineering complex constructions. Octatube prepares everything down to the last detail and works on projects with a lot of passion and pleasure. That is how we work ourselves, and that helps our collaboration. The Rijnboutt team visited the Octatube workshop in Delft. In addition to engineering, Octatube can also test the invented solutions in practice in their own workshop. This is a great added value. This way they have found a smart solution for an important detail of the design. The knotted joints between the different roof sections are designed so cleverly that the steel fixings are not visible. This complements the overall design and at Rijnboutt we very happy with it!"

Part of the canopy was completed in 2017 followed by the festive opening of the new section. At the beginning of 2018 the rest of the work began and now that is has been completed, new urban connections have been made, houses added and existing large buildings transformed. The city centre of Tilburg has become even more attractive to its residents and visitors.

(renders: Rijnboutt ©)

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