Repurposing industrial inheritance.
On 14 October 2009, the ROC location the Gieterij in Hengelo, the old foundry of machine factory Stork dating from 1902, was officially opened. We take a quick look back. Fifteen years ago, the steel skeleton of the former Stork foundry was converted into an inspiring environment for ROC van Twente students and employees. The enormous hall is 150 m long and 3000 m2 in surface.
IAA Architecten was commissioned to develop the initial structural sketch into a design based on the hall. The old elements were left intact as much as possible. The foundry consisted of two adjacent halls from 1902 and 1928, which are now integrated into the school.
The huge, almost cathedral-like hall gives the new educational complex a ‘soul’ and allows pupils and teachers to identify with this place. By setting up the hall as a public space, the building is firmly anchored in the city.
The famous metal company Stork, founded in 1865, was located in Hengelo on one of the largest industrial estates in the Netherlands. The company flourished until the 1970s, but the oil crisis in 1973 led Stork to close its foundries in Hengelo and Utrecht.
The heart of the new building is the 150-metre-long hall. IAA architects and restoration architect Maarten Fritz wanted to preserve this ‘cathedral’ as an open space at all costs. The client had the concept of a ‘community college’ in mind: a building that is open to society and houses functions such as sports and culture, following the American example.
For this reason, the hall was actually designed as a (semi-)public space, with several small business establishments such as a day nursery, a café, a bookshop and an employment agency.
About the Author:
Bruno Dursin – Managing Director at Believe in Steel. Bruno has more than 30 years of experience in promoting steel & steel solutions. His clients benefit from his extensive network within the building industry.