Architect: Mei architects and planners
Product: 13.000 ceramic tiles , provided with poet lines
A new residential tower completed on Churchilllaan in Kanaleneiland, Utrecht, will give a big impetus to the development of this typical post-war reconstruction district. The new 50-metre-tall building, designed by Mei architects and planners, acts as a gatekeeper to Kanaleneiland.
The design for the facade responds to the concrete gallery-access blocks of flats in Kanaleneiland. In contrast to the horizontal articulation of these facades, the exterior of De Verkenner is predominantly vertical in design. Owing to the high noise levels on Churchilllaan, the facade here is closed in character, but the number of openings increases towards the top. The brown concrete elements, each two floors tall, feature a surface texture and relief details. This effect is enhanced by the incorporation of 13,000 ceramic tiles, made by Royal Tichelaar B.V. Based on a design by visual artist Milou van Ham in collaboration with poet Tsead Bruinja, these tiles feature 16 different lines of poetry that lend the building an identity specific to the location. Scant attention is usually paid in Kanaleneiland to the finishing of the undersides of balconies and galleries, elements that are clearly visible to passers-by. Mei architects and planners therefore extended the facade finish beneath the balconies and galleries. The result is a very inviting building.