Unilever’s new office building is raised as a giant bridge structure, hovering above the Unilever Netherlands industrial complex. In doing so, this project makes for a unique example of intensifying area use on built locations. On the site of what used to be the Blue Band House, parking spaces have been provided for approximately 471 employee cars.
Surrounding this space lies approximately 3.400m2 GFA of office space on the storeys, with offices on the ground level only faced towards the wharf. The design is made by JHK Architects.
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Project information

Disciplines

Building structures

Place

Rotterdam

Client

Dura Vermeer Vastgoed

Architect

JHK Architects

Project size

15.700 m2 HFA

Start of project

de Brug 2002 / de Kade 2005

Completion

de Brug 2005 / de Kade 2007

Consulting services

Structural design, detail drawings and calculations
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De Brug (‘The Bridge’) consists of a four storey office building, each with a surface covering approximately 130 by 30 metres. The bottom one of these four storeys rests 35 metres above ground level, directly above the existing Unilever industrial complex. The total floor area amounts to 15.700m2 GFA.

The building is constructed as a steel structure combined with a steel plate concrete floor. Because the building rests on as little as three supports, the façades require large steel lattices. These give the building the appearance of an old-fashioned bridge structure, to which the building owes its name: ‘De Brug’, or ‘The Bridge’ in English. To minimize the steel structures’ proportions, lightweight concrete has been preferred over gravel based concrete as a pressure distribution layer on the steel plate concrete floor. A low-vibration and soil-displacing pile driver system has been used to lay the building’s foundations.