Bijlmermeer, Kleiburg building
Housing / housing ensemble
Housing / housing ensemble
Kamiel Klaasse, Pieter Bannenberg, Walter van Dijk, Xander Vermeulen Windsant
Concrete by reinforcement
Concrete is a relatively brittle material that is strong in compression but less so in tension.
To increase its overall strength, steel rods, wires, mesh or cables may be embedded in concrete before it sets. This reinforcement, often known as rebar, resists tensile forces. By forming a strong bond, the two materials are able to resist a variety of applied forces, effectively acting as a single structural element .
In this case, the concrete can be made by mixing the components directly on site, or it may be transported from a production plant in concrete-mixer trucks.
This method has the disadvantage of leaving the concrete exposed to the elements while it is setting. Whereas, with other methods, the environmental conditions can be controlled during setting, providing greater control over the outcome, with cast-in-place concrete a series of tests and protocols are necessary to verify its final strength.
In its design, the element should account for aspects such as modulation, finishes, transportation, anchoring, installation on site, junctions between panels, the creation of openings and the relationship between the panels and joinery. The element may also be given characteristics that can improve the thermal insulation of the façade, for example. In that sense, they are often part of an industrialized system that offers a variety of responses to different construction situations and maximum versatility in terms of architectural solutions.
The aesthetic possibilities of concrete in prefabricated façade panel systems are endless in terms of size, shape, color, texture, hardness and a wide range of features.
- textured walls
- wooden formwork finish
- stamped concrete
- exposed aggregate concrete, colored concrete, etc.
Beams are the horizontal load-bearing elements of the frame. Columns are the vertical elements of the frame and act as the building’s primary load-bearing element. They transmit the beam loads down to the foundations.
State of Conservation
In 2016, refurbishments were finished on the Kleiburg building, one of the largest buildings in the Netherlands. Through this process of renovation and reinvention, the building, designed in 1960, not only reversed the process of physical deterioration and functional obsolescence, it also reverted a very negative social perception. The intervention won the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture - Mies Van Der Rohe Award, the most prestigious European architecture prize awarded for built work.
The surrounding neighborhood is comparable to many others that sprung up on the outskirts of large European cities at the time: inspired by the principles espoused by the CIAM, they implemented an urban model that, in some cases, accentuated the dynamics of segregation, pockets of poverty, and a marked loss of social prestige.
In the Biljmermeer neighborhood, a residential area of Amsterdam, the model was pushed to the extreme, with massive buildings built to contain an immense network of hexagonal cells, above an entirely undeveloped urban space. The Kleiburg building is the sole reminder of a neighborhood that was even more dense, as most of the other buildings have been either entirely or partially demolished. In its current layout, the building is more than 400 meters long and 11 floors high, and it contains more than 500 apartments – all behind a vertical structure of concrete screens.
The successful renovation project was buoyed by 25 years of public efforts to dignify of the neighborhood through the construction of public space and social action. The project is based on an innovative approach to housing management: the initial intervention consisted in renovating the structure, façade, building services, access points and common areas, leaving the interior of the dwellings unfinished and the typologies undefined. In a second phase, buyers could acquire the desired amount of living space, both horizontally and/or vertically, and each dwelling became a unique and independent architectural project.
The renovation project by deFlat / NL Architects + XVW architectuur was awarded the EU Architecture Prize Mies van der Rohe Award.
Kleiburg 504-601, Bijlmermeer
North Holland 1104 EA Amsterdam
Fundación DOCOMOMO Ibérico