Unique ‘Arts and Crafts’ FAÇADE for a Residential Tower

This unique art and craft tower contains a mixed programme of housing: 71 private sector rental dwellings in the upper portion, 15 dwellings for autistic youths, and 9 live-work units in the base of the building.

Robert Winkel

A residential tower on Churchilllaan in Kanaleneiland, Utrecht, will give a big impetus to the development of this typical post-war reconstruction district. The 50-metre-tall building, designed by Mei architects and planners, acts as a gatekeeper to Kanaleneiland.

Ceramic Design Ideas-Arts and Crafts

The tower contains a mixed programme of housing: 71 private sector rental dwellings in the upper portion, 15 dwellings for autistic youths, and 9 live-work units in the base of the building.

Ceramic Design Ideas-FAÇADE for a Residential Tower

“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. It looks like brick but is actually made of Concrete. The tower contains a mixed programme of housing: 71 private sector rental dwellings in the upper portion, 15 dwellings for autistic youths, and 9 live-work units in the base of the building.”

Ceramic Design Ideas-FAÇADE for a Residential Tower

‘Slow Made’ Facade Gives De Verkenner An Identity

Ceramic Design Ideas-Mei Architects and Planners

The design for the façade responds to the concrete gallery-access blocks of flats in Kanaleneiland.

Ceramic Design Ideas-Robert Winkel

The facade is ‘slow made’ with consciousness regarding local materials and production techniques. The colour harmonizes with the brickwork façades of the new developments on Churchilllaan, but it is constructed of concrete. The brown concrete elements, each two floors tall, feature a surface texture and relief details.

Facade Gives De Verkenner An Identity

This effect is enhanced by the incorporation of 13,000 ceramic tiles, made by Royal Tichelaar Makkum - the oldest company in the Netherlands and world-famous for its ceramics designs.

‘Slow Made’ Facade Gives De Verkenner An Identity

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.

The 16 lines of poetry form a poetic reflection on friendships and relations. These mini-stories concern ordinary events and real people. They deal with living together in a house, a building, a neighbourhood or a city in the past, present and future.

Project Details

Location: Utrecht NL
Area: 12.500 m2
Design: Mei Architects and Planners
Team Mei: Robert Winkel, Menno van der Woude, Robert Platje, Michiel van Loon, Reinoud van der Zijde, Roy Wijte, Jelena Radonjic
Client: Mitros, Utrecht
Construction:  Era Contour
Facade: Artwork ‘Rozen en beton’ (Roses and concrete) Concrete elements: Decomo, Belgium;
Ceramic tiles: Royal Tichelaar Makkum
Photos: Jeroen Musch, Ossip van Duivenbode
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