The city begins in the new station

11 October 2016

The city begins in the new station

Now that five large new NS [Dutch railway] stations have successfully sprung up after a lot of distress for the travellers, hundreds of medium-sized railway stations will be renovated. What requirements does the station of the future need to meet? The architects explain.

The Nieuwe Sleutelprojecten [integral urban development projects at and around the stations of the high-speed train] – Arnhem, Breda, Rotterdam, Utrecht and Den Haag Central Station – are ready. Alright, almost ready; the sixth project – Amsterdam Zuid – will still need to be executed over the next ten years. These are the six stations where the – as yet still pending – high-speed train should have stopped. That is why Amsterdam Central Station is not included, although this station has been renovated extensively (and will be worked on again in the coming years).

The Chief Government Architect, spoorbouwmeester [architect for Bureau Spoorbouwmeester, an independent advisory body for design projects within the Dutch rail sector] Bert Dirrix, the NS and ProRail seize upon this milestone to celebrate today, with a symposium in Utrecht. The Chief Government Architect advises on architecture and the urban environment of state property, the spoorbouwmeester does the same relating to the railways. For the Sleutelprojecten, in which also the State invested, they joined forces; station and the station’s surroundings were designed as an overall plan. Today they look back on the results achieved, and look to the future.

Read the full article in de Volkskrant

Nelli Cooman: ‘Hoogeveen has shown courage’

7 October 2016

Former world-class athlete Nelli Cooman, together with alderman Gert Vos,  officially opened sports complex Het Activum in the Bentinckspark this afternoon. It was a smashing start, culminating in lighting the ‘Olympic flame’. The opening was impressive, but what impressed even more was the new construction. This led to many ohs and ahs during the guided tours.

Parachute jump

The sun comes out while the dancers of Tresor Dance Center give a dazzling show. Exactly at the same time, a parachute glides through the air above Het Activum. The duo jump, with alderman Gert Vos as turns out later, lands safely in the centre of the athletics track. Meanwhile, youngsters of various sports clubs are going around the track with two-time world champion and national sporting hero Nelli Cooman, who is holding a burning torch. The former world-class athlete and the alderman then light the ‘Olympic flame’ together.

Read the full article in the Hoogeveensche Courant

Philips Lighting nominated for Reynaers Projectprijs 2016

4 October 2016

Out of the 41 entries for the Reynaers Projectprijs 2016, ten projects have been nominated. Eisma Content Marketing is making a film of each nominated project, in which the architect explains his design. The ten films will be available for viewing on Reynaers’ website in November, so the public can vote. The project with the most votes will win the Reynaers Project Price 2016 and 2,500 euro. In addition, Reynaerds will donate 2,500 euro to a good architectural cause, to be decided in consultation with the winner.

One of the ten nominated projects is Philips Lighting, the transformation from office to more than 600 studios.

Read the article on

Activum makes the sports heart beat faster

22 September 2016

Sports centre Activum in the Bentinckspark in Hoogeveen will open soon. Newspaper Dagblad van het Noorden already took a look at the complex that cost just below 10 million euro. You can’t miss the youngest acquisition in the renovated sports heart of Hoogeveen, but you can miss its name. You’ll have to search for the designation ‘Activum’ on the big building, but on closer inspection you’ll see that the winning entry of a resident has been milled into the side.


The modern complex measuring about 6,900 square meters was built on hundreds of piles. “Yes, it was quite something”, municipal project leader Henk Koster says. “Just before it all started here in June 2015, there were problems with the piles in centre project De Kaap.” In the end, all piles were replaced there, because many piles were affected by the groundwater. “In consultation with the contractor, we chose for another type of concrete and for better pre-stressing of concrete.”

To keep the costs at 9.8 million euro (exclusive paving), some cut-backs were made in the execution. “This doesn’t apply to the sports centre’s floors, stands and the LED lighting”, alderman Gert Vos clarifies. The heart of the building is the impressive top-class sports hall with extension stands, named Het Station. “I already call it the Euroborg (stadium FC Groningen, editor’s note). They also have a passage behind the stalls there.”

Read the full article in Dagblad van het Noorden

In search of the power of existing buildings

19 September 2016

For diederendirrix architecture & urban development, it is all about generating quality when transforming existing buildings: for the building itself, for its users and for the environment.

Diederendirrix has offices in Eindhoven and Rotterdam, and is owned by Paul Diederen and Bert Dirrix. In addition, Diederen works two days a week as Professor of Transformational Design at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU), and he is a member of the Design & Monuments Advisory Committee of the Rotterdam planning authority. Dirrix has recently also started working as architect for Bureau Spoorbouwmeester, an independent advisory body for design projects within the Dutch rail sector. “Bert Dirrix and I have been working together for a long time”, Diederen says. “In addition to diederendirrix, we also run BureauEAU: engineering, advice and construction supervision for our own design agency and for external parties, such as property developers and building contractors. With this agency, we now take care of – among other things – the engineering and the construction supervision for the main building at the TU campus in Eindhoven.

We’ve also recently started an office in Rotterdam, which is more focused on design-based research and design competitions. We want to build, we want to be smart architects, not makers of icons. For us, a building has to suit its location, and suit its user.”

Roots in the city
Diederendirrix is known for its transformation projects. One of the most famous one is the ‘Witte Dame’, a landmark building in Eindhoven and home to The Design Academy. This former Philips factory was transformed into a centre for design and culture in 1998, making it one of the first transformation projects in the Netherlands. “Eindhoven has great transformation potential, because there are many old factories in the centre. Transforming existing buildings is particularly important, as the genius loci is always strongly present in this sort of buildings. The history of a place and what it means for the inhabitants adds an extra dimension. Even unaesthetic buildings have their roots in the city, their own place and significance. Besides, old buildings often have a beautiful construction and a special materiality. Whether it’s concrete or concrete gravel, which can also obtain its own quality.”

Read the full article in PI project & interieur

Brightlands Smart Services Campus opened

13 September 2016

Amid great public interest, Minister Henk Kamp for Economic Affairs opened the Brightlands Smart Services Campus in Heerlen in the company of, among others, Prins Constantijn as special envoy for StartupDelta.

The campus should grow into a breeding ground for companies and training colleges which focus on new forms of corporate service and ICT, particularly where data analyses can contribute to solving economic and social issues.

Apart from the initiators – the Province of Limburg, pension provider APG and Maastricht University – there are already numerous partners, such as Accenture, Conclusion and the Business Intelligence & Smart Services (BISS) institute. During the opening ceremony on 12 September new collaborating parties were announced, such as CBS, KPN and American Bank BNY Mellon.

Watch the video of the opening



Clubhouse with splendid view over the fields

9 September 2016

Diederendirrix has designed a new clubhouse for hockey club Oranje-Rood. The functional building is eye-catching because of its large canopy, of which the structure extends from the outside into the inside.

A new hockey club calls for a new clubhouse. Hockey club Oranje-Rood originated from a merger between the successful top-class sports club Oranje-Zwart – first division champions for the last three years – and recreational sports club EMHC. Its new pavilion was festively opened on 3 September.

High-quality view
The triangular building is fitted in on a wedge-shaped open area between the hockey fields. The pavilion is located on a plinth consisting of an overgrown slope on one side and a stand with 1600 seats on the other side. There are comfortable changing rooms and a physiotherapy room in the plinth, which meet the requirements of a top-class sport accommodation, according to diederendirrix. On the raised level the luxurious canteen is located. From the canteen and the terrace you can watch the matches on all of the club’s eight hockey fields. There is room for a business club on the pavilion’s level.

Read the full article on Architectenweb

Hockey club Oranje-Rood has ‘the coolest clubhouse of the Netherlands’

2 September 2016

The brand-new clubhouse of the Eindhoven hockey club Oranje-Rood will be festively opened this weekend. There will be a spectacular opening act on Saturday afternoon around 4.30pm.

The largest clubhouse of the Netherlands? No, this is not what the new accommodation of fusion club Oranje-Rood is. “We aren’t the country’s largest club either. But with our 2500 members we do belong in the top three”, Frans van Duivenboden says. The president of Oranje-Rood likes to take people on a tour through the new complex, which is already called ‘the ship’ because of its outward appearance. “So it’s not the largest clubhouse. But it’s definitely the coolest”, he repeatedly says.

And the president could be right. If only because of its enormous bar, its splendid view on both sides over the eight hockey fields that used to be belong to EMHC and Oranje Zwart, and its stand with 1600 seats. The club house will be festively opened this weekend, a week before the competition starts. The president promises that there will be a ‘spectacular opening act’ with a lot of noise, fire, and light on Saturday afternoon from around 4.30pm. Members as well as former members and other interested parties are welcome. Tomorrow there will be – among other things – a tournament for teams consisting of family and friends.

Read the full article in the Eindhovens Dagblad

Former Philips Lighting head office transformed

2 September 2016

Diederendirrix architecture & urban development has transformed the former Philips Lighting head office on the outskirts of the city centre into a residential building consisting of 616 lofts and penthouses. With its windows that slide vertically, each loft can be turned into a large loggia.

When transforming the former Philips Lighting head office, Diederendirrix chose to keep the structure of the building and the concrete staircases, but completely rebuilt the façades. The three wings of the office building measuring 43,000 square meters are filled with lofts and penthouses for mostly single starters and expats households. A supermarket, various food and drink establishments and shops, a fitness studio, and offices are located on the ground floor.

Read the full article on Architectenweb

Conference on Dutch office buildings 2016

30 August 2016

You will only find decision-makers from the Dutch office market on the stage of the Kantorencongres 2016 [conference on Dutch office buildings 2016]. They put forward their unique view on this market’s future, which is showing its first sign of recovery in years.

Last year, the sale and leasing of office premises increased for the first time, while the average prices went up. In short, the Dutch office market is picking up. There is business in the offices again. Therefore, it is time for an update on the state of affairs.

The Kantorencongres 2016 is a quality seminar with plenty of interesting speakers.

Diederendirrix gives you the latest

Paul Diederen, partner Diederendirrix architecture & urban development and Professor of Transformational Design TU/e, will be one of the speakers at the conference. He will discuss the opportunities of and factors for success in transformation and he will explain the possibilities of construction of new buildings. What are the implications for your organisation? And what does this mean for you as a person?

Where and when?

Tuesday 20 September 2016 in Novotel Amsterdam City, Europaboulevard 10, Amsterdam

View the full program and sign up via Vastgoedjournaal

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