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KPN Tower To Be Expanded

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

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A Dutch telecom company is moving its headquarters to Rotterdam's leaning South Tower, and renovations to the iconic structure are in the works.

KPN announced a year ago that it would be relocating from its headquarters in The Hague to the leaning tower designed by Renzo Piano. The building sits at the foot of Rotterdam’s Erasmus Bridge, and is part of the larger complex known as the Wilhelminapier.

V8 Architects

The renovations include a complete glass facade, which wraps smoothly around the existing pylon.

Originally completed in 2000, the tower leans forward approximately 6 degrees (slightly more than the leaning tower of Pisa in Italy, which leans at 5 degrees). The front of the building is supported by a 164-foot steel beam.

The 23-story building also houses a light installation of around 900 lights, that together form a screen for a billboard that showcases animations or messages.

Neither of these key features seem to be on the chopping block, though the tower is to undergo extensive renovations and expansion in light of KPN’s move. With the project being headed by local architecture firm V8 Architects, the end goal is to create a new, distinctive entry for the building. Piano himself was consulted for the project, and the final proposal was given his approval.

"As a Rotterdam office, we are proud to have been asked to bring this characteristic building—and the first tower on the Wilhelminapier—to new life," said Michiel Raaphorst of V8 Architects in a statement. "And we are honored our intervention is welcomed by Renzo Piano."

V8 Architects

According to the website, the complex was nominated by the Harvard Graduate School of Design for the Veronica Rudge Green Prize in Urban Design for progressive urban development.

With KPN’s 20-year lease agreement on the building, the goal is to make changes sustainable by using existing work spaces as much as possible, while maintaining the identity and integrity of the tower.

The renovations include a complete glass facade, which wraps smoothly around the existing pylon. This adds transparency to the base of the tower, and creates three new points of access from the waterfront, the square and the street. There will also be an auditorium with 350-person capacity, two restaurants, 1,600 workstations and an experience center to increase collaboration and community engagement.

Renovations are slated for completion by the end of this year. 


Tagged categories: Color + Design; Commercial Construction; Renovation

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