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B Tower, b' tower, Wiel Arets Architects, rotterdam, residential tower, energy efficient design, eco apartments

The B’ Tower composed of three volumes of retail and residential spaces is an extension of Marcel Breuer’s 1955 ‘Bijkenkorf’ department store. The residential tower is located on top of the retail plinth and an open air, elevated parking garage. A separate residential entrance provides entry for pedestrians and those with bikes. Rising up to 70 meters, the tower provides room for 54 studios and 24 two bedroom apartments. Wiel Arets Architects factored in the changing landscape of how the residences may evolve over the years making it easy to turn the tower into cooperative housing. The residential space also addresses a city ordinance that all new buildings must incorporate housing and will contribute to the vibrancy of the downtown core.

Each apartment enjoys views, daylighting, natural ventilation and their own generous, cantilevered outdoor balcony. The building meets all the Dutch environmental regulations on energy consumption and insulation and the glass features special coatings to block heat. Thermal mass through slab floors allows heat and cooling to transfer without much energy losses with the help of radiant floor climate control. And heat exchangers also contribute to the building’s overall energy efficiency strategy. Clean, modern and simple interiors and white finishes help the spaces feel larger. Finally, green roof gardens installed on the roofs of the retail plinth and the tower for residential use help create a pleasant microclimate.

Images ©Jan Bitter