Aectual B.V.
Naritaweg 14, 1043 BZ, Amsterdam (NL)
Circular canopy for Dutch House of Representatives by Zecc

Bart Kellerhuis is creative director of Zecc Architecten and responsible for the temporary accommodation of the Dutch House of Representatives, more commonly known as ‘Tweede Kamer’. Zecc created a custom version of Aectual's Weave panels to design a unique circular canopy for the building. Bart explains to Aectual co-founder Hedwig Heinsman about the role that circularity played in the design:

Bart, of course we all know that you and your firm deservedly won ‘Dutch architect of the year 2020’, but next to that, what defines Zecc Architecten?

We’re a ‘building bureau’; in the sense that we very much focus on the act of building, and we’re comfortable with working at all kinds of scales, from transformations to interiors tot housing. We believe in ‘make-ability’ and look for elegant technical components and material solutions.

Is this why you were selected for the temporary Tweede Kamer accommodation?

Yes, it was very honorable. The Rijksvastgoedbedrijf (Central Government Real Estate Agency) looked for an architecture firm that was relatively young but also experienced with public buildings.

Bart Kellerhuis, creative director Zecc Architecten

And the refurbishment is temporary

Yes this immediately made us wonder what opportunities does that bring? Can we be more experimental? Yet at the same time it’s an important governmental building and everything needs to be super safe, secure and tested. We focused on themes as innovation and recyclability and decided that we really wanted to make a statement at the entrance right away, and that resulted in a circular canopy. We liked the idea that the building is really a showcase of Dutch innovation.

Had circularity always been part of the brief?

Circularity and smart use of materials was a part of the design brief, and the reason that the Aectual panels can be shredded and reprinted into new products was also one of the drivers to work with you. The building’s transformation was designed with a long term vision in mind, allowing for flexibility.

And you had a vision about specific columns…

Yes, the columns are part of the fundamental identity of the building. They truly carry the building, connecting the roof and the floor and make it a whole. By making the columns curvy and soft we wanted to break with the rather boxy and square character of the building. And when we started to look for a circular material and innovative approach to create these soft surfaces we actually quite soon ended up at Aectual. There instantly was a mutual click since the team at Aectual speaks the language of the architect which made it easy – and fun- to work together. This really led to more quality; together we designed the surface solution based on custom fit Weave panels and the plan became better together.

Do you see yourself working together with Aectual in the future?

Yes, when an interior design opportunity arises, I’m all in for it! Of course, this should not be the sole purpose, but I’m always aiming to combine a sensible traditional approach with innovative design. When there is an intrinsic need in a project, such new products simply manifest themselves. And.. the collaboration together with Aectual was fun, it was a great match!

Learn how to create your own weave panels here

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