Europe Building, Amsterdam
Architect: DUS Architects
Built to welcome the meetings of the European Union Council Presidency, a temporary building combines traditional construction techniques with some XL elements printed in 3D.
Since January 1st 2016, the Netherlands are in charge of the Presidency of the European Council for the coming six months. Most of the time, the European politicians presently meet in the Europe Building, especially created for this event. This temporary structure, situated in a booming district of Amsterdam, accomodates flexible offices, working areas, a space for events, a café and a roof terrace. Having started with 3D Print Canal House, the project of the first 3D printed house, the Dutch office DUS Architects had decided to use their avant-garde resources to create the façade. A way to show that architecture can be a catalyst for cross-sectoral innovation. The architects cooperated with Henkel, a multinational corporation specialized in materials research, to study the possibilities of creating new applications. «We have developed a special plastic manufactured with linseed oil, underlines Hedwig Heinsman, co-founder of the DUS Architects office. The advantage of this material is that it is not only composed of plants, but it also can be shredded and reused in the printing cycle. We can from now onwards create elements up to five meters high, two meters wide and two meters deep » The Europe Building is the first public project using the FDM (Fused Deposition Modelling) technique, which is the most common way of producing small objects. The main façade is composed of a tensile fabric structure combined with bio-based 3D-printing filaments, which can be entirely recycled once the Presidency is ended. The building’s entrance is covered with vertical panels that appear to have been lifted up at the base to create triangular openings reminiscent of tent openings. The intention was for these playful forms to reference the sailing ships that were historically built in this area. Equipped with benches, these alcoves are coloured in the European Union blue with printed motives illustrating the variety of the EU’s countries. During the night these sails are lit up. This innovative façade was achieved in a very short time thanks to the close cooperation of different partners: DUS Architects (design), Actual, start-up based in Amsterdam who created the on-line personalization software for the construction elements relating to the 3D XL printing (parametric development and 3D printing), Henkel (materials development), Neptunus (temporary structures), TenTech (engineering), Philips (lighting) and Heijmans (construction and assembling), an innovative minded building company.