Van der Zwan en ZN*

Hellingweg 5, Den Haag, Nederland

After a fire, fishing company Van der Zwan & Zn wanted to realize a new building on the spot where the family business had been since 1888 – on a headland in the harbor of Scheveningen. It had to be a robust building without flammable materials, that does justice to the water surrounded location and the identity of the fishery.

FUNCTIONAL – The Van der Zwan building has a distinctively functional design. Its concrete base consists of an inspection room where the fish is checked and a storage for ship parts. Above that is a glass “box” for the office and the canteen, with a panoramic view over the harbor. Thanks to the double-height entrance hall with an open staircase to the office floor, the compact building has an appealing spatial quality.

V-COLUMNS – The location of the shipping company on a headland facing the North Sea had a major influence on the building design and the use of materials. A traditional pile foundation was not possible in the quay where the building is located. Therefore the building is supported by eight concrete V-shaped columns, so that the bearing forces could be transferred to two foundation tubes. The supporting structure is visible on the outside, adding to the robust character of the building.

WIND AND SALT – The materials glass and concrete have proven to be resistant to salty sea air and fire. Wind, salt and sand will leave their marks in the patterns that have been engraved into the concrete, giving the façade its distinctive character. To brace for strong winds, the balconies on the west façade have glass windshields, which also function as a double-skin façade with integrated sun protection.