cepezed architects, Delft, Creative Cluster Delft, green renovation, glass roof, warehouse renovation, Dutch architects, industrial buildings, natural light, green architecture

The three halls on the Ezelsveldlaan were built at the start of the twentieth century as a laboratory for the department of Mechanical and Marine Engineering, to teach the workings of steam and combustion engines to students. The complex changed function several times after Mechanical Engineering moved to the new college district in the 1950s. Cepezed uses the largest hall as its headquarters, while the other two are rented to companies in the creative and sustainable transport sectors.

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The architects preserved as much as possible of the original structure and enriched it with more natural light, improved views, spatial diversity and a pleasant internal climate. This maximum-effect-with-minimum-intervention approach comprized the introduction of additional openings which were stylistically similar to the original windows. Intermediate floors in the two smaller halls, which were introduced over time, were replaced with new mezzanine levels, which brought back the experience of the full height of the halls. Cepezed replaced the slanting staircase in the smallest hall with lengthwise stairs, while accommodating smaller technical blocks into the annexes.

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In order to visually merge contrasting segments of the complex – and connect a glass roof to the façade where the brickwork is interrupted in countless places by wall clamps – the architects created a glass link whose structure is secured to the original building.

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