Transformationeel demands Smart Architect

7 June 2016

To successfully transform existing properties, architects not only need to have knowledge of architecture and construction techniques, but also of the economy. Architect Paul Diederen, who was appointed Professor of Transformational Design at Eindhoven University of Technology last month, states this.

During the opening of the Real Estate Market Transformatieplein at the Real Estate Meeting Point Provada, Diederen outlines what can be improved to enhance the transformation process. He himself, as part of architect firm Diederendirrix, has won his spurs in transformation: his firm transformed several buildings in Eindhoven area, such as De Witte Dame, a former Philips factory that was repurposed as a library and a museum of architecture. At this moment they are still working on the transformation of another part of the 1970s Philips heritage – the former Philips Lighting head office, which is converted into 600 lofts.

According to Diederen, important lessons can be learnt. “Too often, the three players in transformation – government, market and research institutes – are totally separate from each other. But for a project to be successful it’s important that there is better cooperation.” This certainly also applies to his own profession, he acknowledges. “It may not sound sexy, but it’s really necessary that architects understand the economics behind a building. And with this I mean that they should know the big picture. No, architects must really know the process. So what’s the value of a building? What are the investment costs? What life span are we talking? We need a Smart Architect, who at an earlier stage has insight into a project’s success chances. After all, not every building can be transformed.”

Read the full article on deArchitect


New world demands new solutions

7 June 2016

Although architect firm Diederendirrix can serve the whole of the Netherlands from Eindhoven, Bert Dirrix (61) still chose to open an office in Rotterdam. The entrepreneur explains why.

  1. The profession changed
    “Our profession has changed since the crisis. Previously, architects were responsible for the entire construction process, now we’re entrepreneurs who bring parties together. We have to be able to flexibly switch between, for example, landscapers, economists and housing providers. This requires market research and expansion. Therefore, we’ve been thinking about a second office for years. For this purpose we went on a business trip to China, but the culture is too far removed from us.”
  2. Transformation
    “We thought of Rotterdam, because the city is going through a similar transformation as Eindhoven. There are also a lot of existing buildings that will be repurposed and we focus on these. There’s also a practical reason: business developer Theo Hauben and architect Tomas Dirrix of Diederendirrix live in Rotterdam. They’ve already built up a network of young entrepreneurs, designers and other creative people. We as a company get new energy from this.”
  3. Experimental
    “Our new office is intended for experimentation, exploration and innovation. We’re going to immerse ourselves in constructional issues for which we hardly have time at the moment. The new world demands new solutions. We want to discover what’s going on out there and we’re open to everything.”

Read the article on deOndernemer


Paul Diederen opens Transformation Square at Provada

2 June 2016

Paul Diederen, the newly appointed Professor of Transformational Design at Eindhoven University, opens the Transformation Square at Provada.

Prof. P.J.R. Diederen was born in Didam, the Netherlands, on 23 January 1959. He studied architecture at the Technical University in Eindhoven, where he graduated in 1986. In the same year he and his classmate Michel Schutgens started an architecture firm in Eindhoven. Together with Bert Dirrix he founded Diederendirrix Van Wylick Architects in 1999, which has been called diederendirrix architecture & urban design since 2005. The firm is especially active in the Netherlands and has received numerous nominations and awards for its new construction, renovation, and urban development projects.

Diederen performs the opening ceremony with Harm Tilman, chief editor of the Architect on Tuesday 7 June at 10:30 am. The Transformation Square is located in hall 9, stand 11 in the RAI.

Paul Diederen appointed professor at the Eindhoven University of Technology

19 May 2016

The Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) has appointed engineer Paul Diederen as Professor of Transformational Design. He will take up his post at the Unit Architectural Urban Design & Engineering of the Department of Built Environment as of the 1st of June 2016. Paul Diederen specialises in the transformation of existing property. The appointment as professor is for two days a week. He will also continue working as a partner in diederendirrix architecture and urban design in Eindhoven and Rotterdam.

Prof. E.S.M. (Elphi) Nelissen (Dean of the Department of Built Environment): “Because of his years of experience as an architect, Paul Diederen is right at the heart of real-life practice. As a Professor of Transformational Design, he will be dealing with the relationship between current design practice and education. More specifically, he will focus on
re-evaluation of buildings’ usability in cities after World War II.”

Sustainable improvement of the city
Postwar cities do not always have an obvious historical value, like buildings from earlier dates do. As 69% of the buildings in the cities was erected after 1944 – the peak between 1971 and 2000 – it is urgently needed to focus on exactly these relatively young buildings.

Economic and social changes leave many buildings empty or call for a different purpose for buildings. With programmed adjustments, architectural improvements and good urban development foundations, the city can be carefully and sustainably improved. Collaboration with the market and the public sector is vital. This calls for a different way of teaching and doing research.

Paul Diederen: ”When transforming the existing city, feasibility – and not manipulability – is essential and with that, knowledge of the context, the program, the process and the revenue models of the client and user. I look forward to handing on this knowledge and expertise to a new generation of architects.”

Read the press release: Paul Diederen appointed professor at the Eindhoven University of Technology


Work on Groene Toren Eindhoven will start in May

2 May 2016

As from May, the renovation work of the Groene Toren in Eindhoven will be visible on the outside. The striking building on the Vestdijk is converted into half hotel, half apartments. The façade on the Dommelstraat gets a new, large digital screen which extends from top to bottom. A third party will display Eindhoven promotion and advertising on this screen. Currently, the property is being emptied inside. The renovation will convert the former office building into a hotel with 132 rooms and 100 apartments.

Read the article in the Eindhovens Dagblad

Construction at Strijp-S Eindhoven continues with Block 59

2 May 2016

Construction of the second floor of Blocks 61 and 63 along the tracks at Strijp-S in Eindhoven has just begun. However, there is such great interest in these dwellings that developer SDK Real Estate (Stam en de Koning) continues while at it. The daughter company of Volker Wessels hopes to begin the construction of Block 59 – between the blocks under construction and the parking garage on the Philitelaan – around the construction industry summer holidays. The details are still being discussed with the Design & Monuments Advisory Committee of the Eindhoven planning authority, which must approve the design of Timo Keulen (diederendirrix). Thereafter, the license can be granted.

Read the article in the Eindhoven Dagblad

diederendirrix opens office in Rotterdam

20 April 2016

In April 2016, diederendirrix architecture and urban design opens a second office in Rotterdam. Setting up the new office is a natural step owing to the firm’s growth and the increasing number of projects in the western part of the country.

Investing in the organisation is important in order to properly respond to the growing market and the changing needs of commercial parties and governments. diederendirrix has grown strongly in recent years and has a solid economic foundation. This offers opportunities to invest in a stable future for the company. For diederendirrix, the second location is a base for developing new activities and to broaden the firm’s portfolio.

“In recent years we have seen an increase in the number of projects. To reinforce this upward trend, we now choose to open a second office in Rotterdam. We consider this a great opportunity to not only add fresh energy and dynamism to our firm, but to also go more into depth with themes that are important to us.“
Bert Dirrix (architect / partner)

 “The metropolitan region of Rotterdam-The Hague will face some challenging tasks in the coming years. Given our experience in transforming existing buildings and former industrial areas, our knowledge of social property and our broad portfolio of house-building, we see plenty of opportunities to contribute to the sustainable development of Rotterdam and the region.“
Paul Diederen (architect / partner)

Tomas Dirrix and Theo Hauben manage the new office in Rotterdam. The focus is on research and development within the firm’s main themes, such as transformation, housing and education. The office is located in the renovated Shell Tower on the Hofplein in the heart of Rotterdam, near Central Station. You are more than welcome to visit us. Please call Tomas (+31 628 747450), Theo (+31 624 546811) or the main number to make an appointment.

Read the press release

Business club members of Oranje-Rood visit new clubhouse

14 April 2016

Today, architect Paul Diederen gave the members of Business Club Oranje-Rood a tour of their new clubhouse. The construction of the clubhouse will be completed in June 2016.

The triangular building with rounded corners is located on an open spot between the hockey fields and accommodates a canteen and changing rooms. The large canopy made of laminated wooden joists in a triangular grid is striking. The structure extends from the outside into the inside and creates a special interior.

Inside and outside as one

12 April 2016

In Eindhoven everyone actually agreed:  the vacant former Philips Lighting office on the Mathildelaan – built in 1973 – was an ugly building. With a redecoration and new champagne-colored aluminum window frames diederendirrix managed to transform it into a treasure for the city. How do you transform a giant of an office building of 40,000 square meters, surrounded by parking lots and freestanding buildings, into a vital part of town with 616 lofts? “First we completely stripped the building,” architect Paul Diederen of diederendirrix architects says. Commissioned by Foolen & Reijs Real Estate, the Eindhoven-based architect firm transformed the office into a residential building for single households, young starters or expatriates.

Read the article in the Cobouwspecials

IKC Zalmplaat opened by Klokhuis presenter

12 April 2016

The brand-new Integrated Child Centre (IKC) Zalmplaat was already put into use on 29 February last, but the official opening took place on 22 March. Maurice Lede, presenter of children’s television program Het Klokhuis, told the children about his work. The ‘official’ opening took place between 11:30 and 12:00. The winners of the competition ‘design a new logo for the school’ unveiled the new logo. And balloons were sent up.

The municipality of Rotterdam and Dura Vermeer signed the contract for the construction of the new Zalmplaat School in November 2014. Construction started in June 2015 and the school was put into use in February 2016.

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