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Stedenbouw magazine on Hourglass

A great publication in the latest edition of Stedenbouw magazine about the Hourglass project at the Zuidas in Amsterdam. Byldis supplied the sandwich facade elements for Hourglass, that consist of a natural stone outer sheet of Turkish Limestone and a concrete inner sheet including insulation system and aluminium frames complete with glazing. We also supplied the columns and beams and mounted the bubble deck floors.

Hourglass: seamless realisation through integral collaboration

Text | Jan-Kees Verschuure Images | Dam & Partners Architecten (artist impressions)

For the new office for legal advisor Loyens & Loeff and a Premier Suites hotel, initiators Maarsen Groep and Zadelhoff sought a customization concept that offers flexibility. The end result: an eighty-metre-high, shaped monolithic tower ensemble at the Zuidas, complete with an asymmetrical precast natural stone facade. Hourglass lives up to its name. Stedenbouw spoke to architect Haakon Brouwer and deputy director Dennis Mels of Dam & Partners Architecten about the steps taken from concept to realisation.

The facade elements were assembled in the Byldis factory as sandwich elements with concrete outer sheet and sandstone finishing layer, including insulation system and frames complete with glazing. The concrete building cores were first installed at height, and then the metres-high facade elements were installed per storey around the building, ending each time with the floor of the next storey.

Precast as quality argument

The joint seams in the facade are a maximum of twelve millimetres wide, so that they fit in 'seamlessly' with the organic asymmetry as defined in the design. The precast construction method does not focus primarily on speed of execution: there is hardly any repetition, says Mels. “Every panel is different, even for the supplier of the natural stone; every piece of sandstone is sawn diagonally. And installations such as the rainwater drainage system are such that they were designed in their entirety before execution.” This required early organisation and endurance from all parties. “This way of working is also intensive for the architects, but it’s how we like it. At Hourglass, precast is essentially a conditioned, controlled construction method within the framework of innovation and quality and based on mutual respect within the collaboration.”

Read the whole article in Stedenbouw here (in Dutch).


Curious to learn more about the Hourglass project? Read all about it in our Showcase Hourglass.