Fair trade fruits and vegetables aren’t the only things coming and going at Nature’s Pride—buzzing bees and birds are also flocking to the sustainable distribution hub. Paul de Ruiter Architects designed the giant green-roofed facility in Maasdijk, where it serves as one of the largest Dutch importers of exotic fruits and vegetables. As a recipient of a BREEAM Excellent certificate, Nature’s Pride is also one of the top five most sustainable distribution centers in Western Europe.
The design of the 37,000-square-meter Nature’s Pride facility is guided by the company’s philosophy for openness and transparency. The energy-neutral building features a flexible structure that can be modified with minimal interventions. “Recesses in the floor can easily be closed, emergency staircases can be moved and the floor at the packaging department can be loaded more heavily,” write the architects. “All together it enables to building to fulfill a completely different function if required in the future.”
Produce enters the distribution center via the north side’s fourteen loading docks and is transported out on the east side. Glazing wraps around the building to let in natural light. The large roof contains room for parking and electric vehicle charging stations. The building also includes a 2,000-square-meter green roof with a bee hotel and a butterfly roof garden. Stormwater runoff is collected and reused for flushing the toilets and cleaning operations.
Images by Jeroen Musch