Renovation shopping mall AH XL ClickBrick Oakwood | Nijmegen
© Wienerberger B.V.

One material with many lives

architectum issue renovation

Renovation shopping mall AH XL ClickBrick Birchwood | Leeuwarden
© Wienerberger B.V.

Renovation of Albert Heijn XL, Leeuwarden and Nijmegen

The Netherlands

Renovation shopping mall AH XL ClickBrick Oakwood | Nijmegen
© Vocus Architecten

Products used

Leeuwarden: ClickBrick in Birchwood; Nijmegen: ClickBrick in Redwood + Tuile du Nord 44, varying colours

One material with many lives

Few buildings have to change and adapt as frequently as those in the retail sector. When two Albert Heijn stores in the Netherlands were renovated, the architect chose to use recyclable ClickBrick bricks.

Visible sustainability

When redesigning two Albert Heijn shopping centres in the Netherlands, the VOCUS architecten team had to comply with a range of requirements: visible sustainability, a contemporary aesthetic, environmental responsibility and integration in the circular economy.
 
The buildings in Leeuwarden and in Nijmegen owned by the client Ahold have been adapted, changed and embellished several times over the decades. The client decided it was time for a new vision.

One-to-one reusability

“A robust building that is also pleasant to the touch. A spatially powerful design following the principle of the circular economy wherever possible. This is the synergy I was looking for”, says architect Michael Noordam, who assumed responsibility for project management at both locations. The two redesigned façades feature large areas filled with recyclable ClickBrick bricks; in Leeuwarden, they are combined with aluminium elements and in Nijmegen, with vertically mounted roof tiles. “All the façade materials we employed can be reused one-to-one”, says Noordam. This means that the materials comply with the sustainable concept and the client’s wishes. “We suggested designing the façade system so that it could be easily replaced or recycled”, explains Noordam.

 

"ClickBrick is a traditional product in a new form. The basic brick unit may be large compared to conventional bricks, but the format is still immediately recognisable.“ - Michael Noordam, VOCUS architecten

Large joint-free surfaces

The innovative ClickBrick system was ultimately chosen. “There are several reasons why we chose ClickBrick for the Leeuwarden and Nijmegen projects”, explains Noordam. “The dry stacking method was not the only deciding factor. ClickBrick is a traditional product in a new form. The basic brick unit may be large compared to conventional bricks, but the format is still immediately recognisable”.
 
ClickBrick is an ideal material for creating large surfaces free of mortar joints. The brick variants chosen for the two shopping centres have a lot of texture and rough surfaces, which creates a dynamic appearance. “For the façades, we were looking for a clear rhythm that could hold its own against the impact of logos and other visual elements”, says Noordam. 

One material with many lives

The shade Birchwood was chosen for the Leeuwarden project. In Nijmegen, where the building harmonises more closely with the surrounding built environment, the façades consist of warm red ClickBrick surfaces with areas clad with roof tiles in three dark tones: scorched blue, matt ceramic slate and anthracite. Time was a key factor in both refurbishment projects. “It was a great advantage that ClickBrick can be installed in any weather”, says Noordam.
 
However, the architect does not know how long the façades in Leeuwarden and Nijmegen will exist in this form. “Big changes are made about every five years in the supermarket sector. For example, if Ahold decide to replace the façades, the bricks could be reused for housing projects. That’s the beauty of ClickBrick as a building material: it has many lives. It lasts forever”. 

Renovation shopping mall AH XL ClickBrick Oakwood | Nijmegen
© Vocus Architecten

Facts & Figures

Project name: Renovation of Albert Heijn XL, Leeuwarden and Nijmegen, The Netherlands

 

Architecture   VOCUS architecten, Michael Noordam

Client  Ahold

Year of completion   2019

Category   Renovation

Products used   Leeuwarden: ClickBrick in Birchwood; Nijmegen: ClickBrick in Redwood + Tuile du Nord 44 varying colours

Renovation shopping mall AH XL ClickBrick Oakwood | Nijmegen
© Wienerberger B.V.

ClickBrick in Redwood - The Netherlands

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