The design seeks to create a vibrant, cultural public institution which can enhance the quality of the neighbourhood and is in response to the urban setting within this precinct of Amsterdam. The design further seeks to explore the different approaches and tools of sustainability to create an intervention of a built space which is in harmony with nature and the open space along with the urban surroundings. Further, the gallery is being created for the specific purpose of a sculptural gallery which would be both three- dimensional and vibrant. Keeping in mind the different artefacts of sculpture that will be exhibited here from time to time, the intention is of creating a design language which is minimalist and simple which becomes a very basic ,neutral setting for vibrant sculptures which will change from time to time. The building seeks to be a modern interjection into a highly culturally rich and design wise strong natured environment so the design language chosen is very simple and neutral.
I chose the site due to its open nature and access to an open, uninhabited courtyard and instantly had the idea to create a link to that. The existing building on the site was a very beautiful one and appealed to me. Hence, I decided to keep it and redesign the interiors to make the space utilitarian. The cafe is placed there and has access to the courtyard space which can be enjoyed by the users.
The design of the building is a minimalist, cubist one with the features that add character to the facade being the windows. The building is placed on the site in a manner where it doesn’t abduct the adjacent building. At the same time it has lovely views from all sides: the north side facing the courtyard space, the south side facing the beautiful typical, Amsterdam block elevation across the street, on the east side the corner of the buildings has a staircase with windows which look onto the retained building and the courtyard and the west side looks onto the Raamplein, a bustling road with cyclists and pedestrians surrounded by large vegetation behind it. The visitor enters the building and arrives at a large arrival square with the gallery building on one side and the existing building on the other. In the existing building a shop for the gallery is placed which looks onto the square. The visitor is immediately drawn to it due to its over looking show- window.
Inside the building the interiors have been designed meticulously with each space having been visualised and carefully thought out. The building has an atrium- like space which has a vaulted skylight on the roof which draws in light to all the levels. The spaces on the floors are arranged in order of privacy. The gallery is split on two levels on the bottom two floors. The floor above consists of the library which is the ‘gift to the city’ and the education space, both of which are connected to each other due to their linked nature. The top floor is where the artist studio and the office space are.
The building is a sustainable one with various features which make it environment- friendly: preservation of existing landscape and vegetation on site, inclusion rather than demolition of existing site features, use of low VOC materials in the interiors, utilisation of renewable energy, waste management, rainwater harvesting and minimising the use of ozone depleting substances. The building design is one in which ventilation is done through a hybrid system of natural and mechanical ventilation. Ample natural light enters the building due to the strategic placement of windows and heating and cooling of the building is done through a heat pump placed on the roof.
The primary structure is the thick load bearing masonry walls. The walls increase the thermal mass of the building which reduces the load on the mechanical heating and cooling systems. Timber purlins and rafters form a support for the floors. The roof has external grade full body vitrified tiles with solar panels facing the South. These produce enough electricity to power the building.
The predominant materials used are timber and brick. The load bearing masonry walls use bricks with Stretcher bonds while the structure is a Glulam timber one. Stainless steel has been used for some small details. There are white Stucco wall textures on the walls to make the spaces seem larger than they actually are.
The building has operable windows to allow cross ventilation.
Also, the building has a central ducted exhaust to handle ventilation for spaces where cross- ventilation cannot take place. The exhaust fan is powered by solar PV panels.
The central duct also acts as a fresh air supply duct. In the season where outdoor temperature is comfortable, this duct provides cross ventilation. This cycle of ventilation is called “Economiciser Cycle” and helps in saving heating and cooling energy consumption.
A damper opening draws up to 100% outside air when the outside air is more comfortable than the indoor air, thereby providing free- cooling. This helps in reducing active heating or cooling energy by 15-25%.
Radiant ceiling panels are installed in all rooms. Radiant cooling works on radiation and reduced fan energy which is generally used in heating systems.
Heat is generated using a heat pump which extracts the heat from air. Heat pumps are one of the most energy efficient technologies available.
Compared to any other heating system, this system requires the least space.
The longer sides of the building achieve North light and South light respectively.
The window to wall ratio is optimised to achieve daylight but minimise heat transfer. There is a balanced placement of windows on each facade and a window in each room and space to ensure the penetration of daylight.
Light shelves are placed below the windows to increase the penetration of daylight. Based on calculations these ensure that daylight enters the span of each space.
The artificial lighting provided is powered by solar PV panels placed on the roof.
The elevation windows analysis earlier on in the report shows how windows are placed in each room and are sized according to the light requirements of the room.
1. Preservation and protection of existing landscape and vegetation on site.
2. Designed to include existing site features: I retained the large building that was existing on the site, integrated it with my design and redesigned the interiors to make it a usable space.
3. Strategic placement of windows which achieves the following:
a. Reduced dependency on artificial lighting
b. Reduced dependency on mechanical ventilation
4. Use of low energy materials in the interiors:
Low energy material means energy that is spent while producing the material (embodied energy) is reduced. Due to use of of locally manufactured materials such as bricks and timber, energy is reduced as is fuel saved on transportation. There is a deliberate avoidance of imported materials.
Secondly, it is also related to the energy used in the process of production.
5. Renewable energy utilization:
Provision of solar panels on the roof will provide electricity for the building’s mechanical ventilation, lighting and heating requirements.
6. Rainwater Harvesting:
Suggestion to provide a rainwater harvesting pit in the garden space immediately adjacent to the building to allow rainwater run off from the two buildings to go.
7. Efficient waste segregation, storage and disposable of wastes:
For efficient waste management, various types of waste like dry waste, wet waste, e-waste and medical waste need to be handled and transported carefully to various vendors or treatment plants before dumping it into landfills.
For efficient waste segregation various types of bins have been provided at different levels and spaces of the building.
Waste collected in the building will be stored in the waste collection room on the ground level, and on a daily basis waste will be transported through various vendors to treatment plants.
Different dustbins have been placed in each space such as ones for dry waste, general waste and recyclable waste. In the education and work spaces dustbins for e-waste have also been placed. Above the dustbins there are no smoking signs placed as well.
8. Use of low VOC paints, adhesives and sealants in the buildin construction.
9. Minimise ozone depleting substances
Refrigerants present in heating and cooling equipments have CFCs and HCFs (Chlorofluorocarbons and Hydro Chlorofluorocarbons). These substances damage the ozone layer. Therefore, the idea is to use refrigerants which have low CFCs and HCFCs to minimise the affect on the ozone layer.
Architect- Anadya Kukreja