Gasometer - Naaldwijk
For the refurbishment of the Gasometer in Naaldwijk, we manufactured the bent components of the floor for the new level. An attractive project to which we were glad to make a contribution.
The wet telescopic steel gasometer on Verspycklaan in Naaldwijk in the Westland municipality is a nationally listed monumental building. Until the 1950s there were many gas plants and gasometers in the Netherlands. But after the discovery of natural gas, which gained more and more territory, many of the gas plants and their associated gasometers were demolished.
A gasometer was part of a historically exceptional industrial steel production technology and it was a tool for gas production and storage. The only witness to this unique period in the industrial past is an access gate, an office building or a gasometer. The gasometer in Naaldwijk is an example of this.
From gasometer to office
Naaldwijk’s gasometer is not in its original condition. Originally there were two steel tanks with guides (a steel framework structure). One tank for water. This is the present tank. And one for the gas. It was removed in 1967. The gasometer has a diameter of 14 m and a height of 7 m and is entirely constructed from steel plates 5, 6 and 7 mm thick riveted firmly together. Even the floor is built up out of riveted steel plate.
The roof is a dome with a shallow curve that is also completely closed off with steel plates. On the top, like a crown, there is a circular walkway that can be reached via a very steep straight staircase. The foundation is a concrete slab with beams on a 2 m grid of piles.
Perceptible and visible
With the alteration of the gasometer into a modern office building, the question arose of how it could be modified without diminishing the original steel and round closed-off character, but rather keeping it visible and able to be experienced. The volume and the area of the gasometer in Naaldwijk, of which the existing area is 150 m2, can offer space to an officof 250 m2. This was achieved by building in an extra floor.
The openings in the exterior were made by removing panels. Where these were removed, they were replaced by curved glass window units for daylight and a view, and there is a large flat-glazed frontage at the entrance. The confrontation between the round steel gasometer with its visible steel plates and rivets and the straight entrance façade visualises a transition that automatically draws the visitor and user inside, granting them at that instant a glimpse into what in the past always remained invisible, the interior of the gasometer.
Inside, the curve is kept visible by the voids alongside the steel structure of the intermediate floor. This steel intermediate floor was constructed from an IPE 400 edge section with in between H sections with a composite decking floor. The IPE 400 is anchored to the floor and is supported on the curved edge by HEA 100 columns. In the middle stands a round steel column to reduce the span and to keep the depth of the floor limited.
The existing steel outer wall was painted in a silver metallic colour. The round inner wall was provided with a fire-resistant false wall behind which PUR foam insulation was injected. The wall was painted, like the exterior, in a sliver metallic colour. In the outer wall there are openings, roof lights, with fixed glass.
Inside, the steel structure is kept visible in accordance with the original industrial character, and painted white. The roof lights are realised in steel and fixed glass. The floor of the ground floor has a dark red floor covering combined with a silver-grey epoxy poured floor.
The furniture on the ground and first floor is made of MDF and painted in a dark and bright red colour. All other additions such as cupboards and tables are realised with a high-gloss and matt white HPL cladding.
Facts & Figures
Architect: HET Architectenbureau, Naaldwijk
Design: Rene Hoek and Vincent Dekker
More info: http://www.hetarchitecten.nl/