To optimise the energetic footprint and architecture of The Connection, the building was reversed without further ado. The back became the front and the roof became a solar power plant.
Energetically and visually optimised: The Connection
A former telecommunications building on Binnenrotte Square in the centre of Rotterdam in the Netherlands was to be turned into a showcase project for sustainability and architecture. The client’s vision included photovoltaic systems and energy-efficient installations without gas connections. The name of the renovated building – The Connection – references its previous history. It used to serve as the telecommunications building of the PTT, the state postal and telegraph office of the Netherlands. The back of the building faced Binnenrotte Square: "On this side, the building was full of telephone switchboards", explains architect Jeroen Schipper. "Now it's an open façade with deep niches, French balconies and a power station on the roof."
Aesthetic power plant on the roof
"The challenge was to turn the back into an attractive front", says Schipper. A further objective was to optimise the building in terms of energy consumption, and not by using visible devices, but rather as unobtrusively as possible.
The Wevolt X-Roof complete solution was chosen for the purpose. This is a waterproof, fire-resistant and wind-resistant energy roof from Wienerberger. The entire roof became a single surface with a strikingly clear and modern look. "It combines maximum efficiency with an exclusive aesthetic", says the architect.
In keeping with the cityscape
Looking from Binnenrotte Square to the south of the building, the façade and roof appear to be colour-coordinated. The black of the balcony parapets and window frames blends in with the warm red of the brick façade and is echoed by the roof. "We opted for the black Wevolt X-Roof energy roof.
This colour harmonises well with the classic anthracite tiles on the other roof surfaces", explains Schipper. Only particularly attentive observers will recognise the power plant on the roof. With this project, the planners want to show that the energy revolution can be part of existing architecture without altering the cityscape. The façade renovation earned the building and the planners a nomination for the Brick Award 2022.
Facts & Figures
Project name: The Connection, Rotterdam, The Netherlands