KPN Telecom, Amsterdam
Thick telephone cables enter the exchange underground, then branch off into millions of thin wires that make a never-ending series of new connections. It is an invisible and secretive process, only reinforced by the fact that the exchange is unmanned, with only three people on location to carry out occasional maintenance work. Certain demands made by climate and safety called for a relatively enclosed, protective casing to the building. We chose to use horizontal cellular concrete slabs with narrow panels of light to encase the exchange. The light panels are filled with sheets of transparent, coloured plastic. A second skin is created by placing aluminium sheet piling on the concrete slabs at regular intervals. These vertical piling sections are in turn fixed with semi-transparent sections of glass from top to bottom. This use of layers of vertical, semi-transparent sections that allow the horizontal, coloured slabs to shine through, endow the whole building with the sense of mystery of the circuitry going on inside.
Architect: Herman Zeinstra
Team: A. Mashiach, C. Gafner, I. Vogels
Year: 1999 - 2001
Client: KPN Vastgoed, Den Haag
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