On the Danzigerkade (DK) in Amsterdam three remarkable buildings were realised for the European headquarters of Tommy Hilfiger & Calvin Klein. The parent company, Phillips-Van Heusen Corporatie (PVH), has opted for the design of MVSA and all three buildings have a different look and use. Given the location, each design is inspired by the theme of water. The first building has the sleek lines and glossy finishes of a sailing ship. The middle building, DK125, has a layered yet fluid shape inspired by a waterfall. The third, a high-rise office complex, has a graphic facade that reflects wave movements. Octatube was approached by Herenbouw to create a specialistic canopy for DK125.
DK125 will become the social hub of the campus. To encourage interaction, the building is designed as a series of landscapes with abundant lush greenery. On each floor you will find wooden decks and gardens. A split level roof terrace with meeting, lounge and sports facilities make it an inviting and varied meeting place. At the heart of the building, daylight floods the atrium. The roof is a small aspect of the overall design but an important part nonetheless. After all, daylight creates an open, bright and pleasant environment.
Twisted and curved glass
Octatube was contracted because the roof is very distinctive; nobody could make it. The glass is both curved and twisted, which is unusual. If you pull one point up from a quadrangle and hold the other three in place forcibly, the glass twists. In theory, the edges of the panel will always remain straight, but due to its own weight at the edges, the panel will bend a bit anyhow. This creates torsion and curving in one glass panel, which had to be studied carefully.
For Octatube it was a challenge to see if we could make something so exceptional. That is why we made a mock-up to see if the design would work geometrically. We chose a corner part where the torsion is greatest and the edges are slightly curved.
If you twist a panel and then lay it flat again, the geometry changes. The panel takes on a different shape. This was visualized in the digital model as well as through real life tests. These tests are performed to verify if it works as expected. Fortunately, our expectations turned out to be correct and we proceeded with the prefabrication.
We spent 3 weeks on the construction site, because most parts were prefabricated. The roof consists of a steel frame with rolled steel beams. The cross-section of the steel changes by rolling because you flatten the rectangular cross-section a little bit. This posed challenges for the production and therefore had to be measured and adjusted regularly. The entire steel frame was produced as large as possible, transported in 3 parts and further assembled on site. The windows were cold twisted and bent on site.
The special roof was completed by Octatube in October 2017. The construction is now complete and the furnishing of the interior is in full swing. It promises to be an inspiring meeting place. Who wouldn't want to work, lounge or work out at this top location along the banks of the IJ?
(Photos facade © Suitable Images)