Architects meet Architects

9 November 2016

Join us at Architects meet Architects on 15 November! An inspiring afternoon specifically for architects who want to be inspired by the unprecedented opportunities of aluminium detailing in design. In addition, attention will be paid to the 10th anniversary of magazine Aluminium In Praktijk.

Joost Roefs of Diederendirrix Architecture & Urban Development will conduct a lecture on, among other things, aesthetic aluminium applications in renovations and new developments.

View the full program and sign up on

Zuidas Architecture

7 November 2016

Amidst all the tower blocks and skyscrapers in Zuidas, OpZuid is refreshingly different. The small-scale complex with a handful of homes has an unusual, almost foreign flavour.

Green oasis
Situated between Gershwinlaan and De Boelelaan, OpZuid is an expansive green oasis amidst the urban grid of Amsterdam’s financial district. The two symmetrical blocks enclose a green courtyard garden, their terraced design opening out to the sun and to the Boelegracht running alongside. Connecting the two buildings are several extended balconies that interrupt the formal exterior shell of the north façade. The courtyard garden is a world unto itself. All the trees here are maples, while the planting of small shrubs beneath spans hues ranging from white to light yellow.

Read the full article in Hello Zuidas

Makeover started for TD building Eindhoven

3 November 2016

Since the beginning of this week there have been two large cranes at the TD [Technical Services] building in Eindhoven. The façade is stripped to make room for new balconies. The ash-grey plates on the outside of the TD building make way for lighter, wavy balconies. This transformation from ugly duckling to beautiful swan will take shape in the next six months. Demolition company Heezen started this noticeable work this week. Two large cranes will help this process over the coming months.

Rental apartments
About 160 high-end rental apartments of varying sizes will be built in the former Technical Service’s office building. Foolen & Reijs Vastgoed won the Amvest commission and bought the premises for 7 million euro from the city of Eindhoven. The ground floor will feature some facilities for both residents and visitors of the park: food and drink establishments with a terrace, a gym and physiotherapy.

The plan of architect firm diederendirrix has now been approved by the Environmental Quality commission. At the request of the city of Eindhoven and the neighbourhood, a fourth wing (in which also a supermarket was planned) to expand the premises will not be built, nor will there be more floors to elevate the building. Only the 10 metre high structure will be replaced by one floor of penthouses three metres high.

Read the full article in the Eindhovens Dagblad

Impressive industrial heritage

27 October 2016

Philips’ old factory buildings are characteristic of Eindhoven’s Strijp district. In the 1920s, the factory’s first major expansion was built in this district, which is located just outside the city centre. Building Anton was part of the expansion and together with three other impressive buildings in the same row it constituted a factory street where radios were manufactured. The buildings were connected by footbridges, so that the radio parts could be moved internally from building to building. This extremely introvert industrial enclave has slowly changed into an open, lively district in recent years.

Sensitive approach

The repurposing of Building Anton requires a sensitive approach. The characteristic, white factory building is part of the city’s genesis and is a listed building. For a while, the premises were used as a Philips office after the manufacturing of radios ceased at this location. In the 1980s it was provisionally patched up. Some ten years later the company withdrew from Strijp. The building had been empty for years when diederendirrix architecture & urban development started the project – to breathe new life into the building – in 2009.

Read the full article in Tektoniek

diederendirrix excursion

19 October 2016

The annual diederendirrix excursion 2016 went via Hostel Wadi Kasterlee, the Freinetschool Lille and the Abdij van Averbode to Antwerp. In Antwerp Team Stadsbouwmeester gave us an explanation on the urban development of the city, we also had a guided tour through ‘t Groen Kwartier.

On Saturday we visited Gate15, the ‘House of the Student’ and nursery (and dwellings) the Koekendoos. We gained a lot of inspiration! The photo is taken on the bridge which connects Park Spoor Noord with ‘t Eilandje.


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

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