Day 292/365 of Steel – Ben van Berkel

Ben van Berkel (Utrecht, 25 January 1957) is a Dutch architect. He studied at the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam and graduated cum laude from the Architectural Association in London in 1987. Together with Caroline Bos, he founded a new firm in 1998: UNStudio (United Net).

Echo Energy-Generating Interfaculty Teaching Building
Fig 1: Echo Energy-Generating Interfaculty Teaching Building
Photo: evabloem_unstudio_echo

UNStudio is a network of specialists in architecture, urban planning and infrastructure. Van Berkel designed among others the Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam, the Agora Theatre in Lelystad, the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Arnhem Central Station and the Prince Claus Bridge in Utrecht. Besides his architectural practice, Ben van Berkel teaches at various universities at home and abroad.

Arnhem Centraal

The 21,750m2 Transfer Terminal features a dramatic twisting structural roof geometry, which enables column-free spans of up to 60m in the transfer hall. Taking references from the continuous inside/outside surface of a Klein Bottle, UNStudio aimed to blur distinctions between the inside and outside of the terminal by continuing the urban landscape into the interior of the transfer hall, where ceilings, walls and floors all seamlessly transition into one another.

Arnhem Central Station
Fig 3: Arnhem Central Station
Photo: © Frank Hanswijk

The structure of the roof and twisting column was only made possible by abandoning traditional construction methods and materials; much lighter steel replaced concrete – originally intended for the station – and was constructed using boat building techniques on a scale never before attempted.

Arnhem Central Station
Fig 4: Arnhem Central Station
Photo: © Ronald Thilleman

Foto credits: Eva Bloem, Ronald Thilleman, Frank Hanswijk & Siebe Swart

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.

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