There was a lot of interest when the Dutch Design Awards were announced and handed over in Eindhoven on Saturday 19 October. In the Spatial/Exterior category this prestigious award went to Bierman Henket Architects of Esch. The firm won the prize for its extension to the De Fundatie Museum in Zwolle, which was completed in 2013. One striking and fundamental part of the extension is an ellipsoidal construction on top of the building, clad with 55,000 tiles made by Tichelaar.
This construction is popularly called ‘the eye’. The extra volume was essential if adequate space was to be provided for exhibitions, the permanent collection and the museum’s many visitors. It was Zwolle town council that commissioned Bierman Henket Architects to extend this former courthouse, built in 1840. In 2011 the architect Hubert-Jan Henket contacted Koninklijke Tichelaar Makkum to discuss the possibilities for ceramic cladding.
55,000 wedge-shaped tiles
Henket had a ceramic skin in mind that could merge naturally into the sky. After a series of tests, the option chosen was a cladding in wedge-shaped tiles with a white glaze, alternated with light-blue accents. Koninklijke Tichelaar Makkum produced a total of 55,000 tiles and applied them using an extremely precise procedure. The area clad in ceramic tiles totals 1,340 m². The De Fundatie Museum was able to reopen on 13 May 2013. The ceremony was performed by Princess Beatrix. Since its reopening, the museum, in its new splendour, has attracted more than 100,000 visitors! To the project.
‘Convincing proof that traditional materials and contemporary architecture combine perfectly’
Having won the Dutch Design Award, Bierman Henket Architects wrote on its website: ‘The result proves that traditional materials and contemporary architecture combine perfectly. The extension to the De Fundatie Museum plays an iconic role in the town of Zwolle. The tactile nature of the skin enables the striking volume to merge subtly into the skyline of the historical town centre.’
Award for Onix Architects too
Koninklijke Tichelaar Makkum also offers its congratulations to Onix. This firm from the north of the Netherlands received a Dutch Design Award in the Spatial/Interior category for its design for an almost surrealist staircase that enables one to climb the thirteenth-century tower of a small historical church in Uitwierde. Koninklijke Tichelaar Makkum is currently cooperating very closely with Haiko Meier of Onix on ‘De Cloud’ student housing in Utrecht. Here too the choice was for a ‘skin’ of ceramic tiles, which were developed and made by Koninklijke Tichelaar Makkum. Go to the project.
A platform for Dutch design
The Dutch Design Awards ceremony ushered in the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven. The most important award, the Golden Eye, went to the fashion designer Iris van Herpen. Other winners were the Heijmans construction company (Best Client), Femke Herregraven (Mini Young Designer Award) and Arne Hendriks (Future Concepts Awards). The Dutch Design Awards are an initiative of Eindhoven city council, the BNO professional association and Capital D, and are intended to provide a platform on which the best of Dutch design can be appraised and displayed every year.