It is commonly known that Netherlands ate the homeland of many most talented, recognized and awarded designers and architects in the world. Grosfeld van der Velde are one of them. Architecture company based in Breda is led by two great architects – Pascal Grosfeld and Bart van der Velde. Their main mission is to create good buildings, being a perfect environment in for people to live and work in. They believe in the great value of architecture in our lives and the important role played by the quality of every building. Their buildings show great character, an exceptional spaciousness and careful, long-lasting finish. In every task they search for the essence of the project – simple and powerful concepts that are developed as consistently as possible.
Bart van der Velde was born in 1965, Pascal Grosfeld is only 2 years younger. They both graduated from the Technical University of Eindhoven in 1995 and 1994 respectively and worked in large offices as Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates and Bert Dirrix before forming their own office in 1996.
Pascal Grosfeld is the winner of the second Young Architects Initiative, organized in 1996 by the Municipality of Eindhoven. In 1999 he became the winner of the Europan 5 in Turku, Finland and competition ‘Buitenplaats’ in Breda. In 2000 he was a member of the Review Committee Breda. In years 2005 to 2012 Pascal was a Mentor at the Academy of architecture.
Bart van der Velde is the winner of 1st prize of European 5 in 1999. In 2005 he was a jury member for Europan 8 for Finland, Latvia and Sweden. In 2007 he gained 1st prize in Jyväskylä, Finland, in international architectural / urban design competition. In 2012 Bart was giving lectures on redevelopment and renovation at the Strelka institute in Moscow. He was also a tutor and mentor at Artez academy of Architecture in Arnhem between 2008 and 2015.
Their main domain are private, residential projects as well as public spaces and infrastructure.
See also: Top Interior Design | HOK
The Grosfeld van der Velde office has been started by Pascal Grosfeld in 1996. In the past years they have grown and their team consists now of 16 architects and engineers. Bart van der Velde has joined the firm since 1998 and became a principal in 2008. Their main focus while designing a building is the search for the essence of the project. By doing so, they develop clear and powerful concepts which are worked out as unambiguous as possible. They create buildings which have their own character, offer a great spatial experience and a very carefully chosen and detailed finishing. Their projects include residential designs, commercial, public use buildings and infrastructure.
Grosfeld Van der Velde’s new office is located next to an old hose tower from a fire station. The resulting space creates a campus-like feel with the hose tower being the landmark of the development. The architects new design workspace acts as an area whereby employees can perform their work as well as welcome guests, have meetings and work creatively.
Located in the outskirts of the city of Breda, on the edge of the urban and rural zone, this house is provided with great views. The clients preferred a maximum volume on this plot and asked the Dutch architects Grosfeld van der Velde to turn this desire into reality.
They designed a house with a square floor plan of 15 x 15 meters, stacked up over 3 levels. The ground floor is raised above the surrounding land, so daylight can enter the half-sunken basement. By lifting the ground floor, the view from the living area of the natural environment is astonishing.
House KvD is located in the woods of Teteringen, close to Breda. Important, from the residents point of view, was to experience the green environment in a most intense way. This ambition has formed the main concept of the building: A house that feeds in between the trees, giving every arbitrary movement a surprising perspective on the forest. The square-shaped volume keeps you, while moving through the building, in constant contact with the environment.
The square, that’s partly lifted by piles, embraces an open courtyard on which the entrance is situated. The living rooms are located on ground zero, the bedrooms are lifted and provided with horizontal orientated windows. The framework, situated on the outside of the building, are filtering direct incoming sunlight and give a beautiful ‘cut out’ view of the forest. They also intensify the sculptural characteristic of the volume. The façade is made of vertically placed black stained wooden parts. The subtle details in combination with shape and material make the house modern, but also reserved in its afforested environment.
Primary School De Vuurvogel
An educational complex consisting of a primary school with gymnasium, after-school club and day nursery; two different users under one roof. The complex was designed to be extremely compact in volume in order to realise the extensive programme on a relatively small plot that is surrounded on three sides by existing residential buildings. The design was based on the concept of doing away with traditional corridor zones, with all functional rooms having a dual purpose as thoroughfares, thus making best use of the available space. The required flexibility was achieved through the multifunctional activity areas between the assembly hall and the classrooms.
The materials have been chosen with care: the façades incorporate a strong vertical pattern of brickwork mullions to help filter out the surrounding buildings. Close attention has been paid to the detailing of the brickwork, to which the stepped horizontal layers provide a distinctive contrast. The cantilevered gymnasium adjoins the public space and defines the entrance to the complex. It is finished in timber slats and appears to stand on steel box letters spelling out DE VUURVOGEL.
For the interior, unobtrusive materials and a low-key colour scheme have been chosen: a uniform light grey cast floor and epoxy wall coating, combined with the clear white ceilings and beech wood accents, provide a tranquil background for the many colours that go to make up school life.
The complex is the first educational establishment in the Netherlands to apply the TNO Frisse Scholen concept (CO2-controlled ventilation, in which fresh air is drawn in through the perforated ceilings). The system has been almost invisibly integrated into the building.
University library in Utrecht
The former palace of Louis Bonaparte built in 1807, situated on the Drift in the historic city centre of Utrecht, has undergone a total redesign over recent years. The first and most prominent part of the Universiteitsbibliotheek Binnenstad (University Library City Centre) and the main entrance to the ‘Drift cluster’ on the Drift are now complete. The library accommodates an 8.5 kilometre collection and 350 study desks and carrels. Over the coming years, work on the adjoining section will go ahead with the same intensity and ambition until the UB Binnenstad takes final shape. The whole complex contains six buildings with listed status that served primarily as book stores and archives. The buildings were architecturally very dated and neglected. As a result of numerous alterations made over the years, the original structure and character of the buildings had been lost. As the architects, Grosfeld van der Velde is responsible for the design, which has been produced in close consultation with DHV (detailed drawings and project management).
The design was based on the concept of creating a natural meeting place for education and research, for employees and students, and for the university and the city in the heart of the Drift Cluster. A place where students and books take centre stage. The core values for the identity and perception of the complex include accessible, transparent, inviting, representative and restful. In addition to providing a functional and pragmatic solution for the programme of requirements, the design accentuates the intrinsic qualities and spatial layout of the different buildings, each of which has its own strengths and complements the others. The materials, details and colour scheme have been specifically chosen to draw the buildings together to create a unified whole.
Particular attention has also been paid to integrating the complex installation techniques and the design of the interior components, such as study desks and carrels, search terminals, the library counter and fittings specifically developed for this project. Most of the study areas are situated at the front of the library and the collection is at right angles to the front of the building in an open arrangement. This makes the building light and transparent and encourages interaction. It creates a studious, attractive work environment where students can walk in and around the collection at their leisure and where there is space to meet for informal contact. The heart of the complex is the entrance to the library that has a new layout and design that naturally complements the existing building, enhancing the traditional features while creating a new, modern presence for the Universiteitsbibliotheek Binnenstad.
House L, located in Oosterhout, The Netherlands, is a spacious home with a design that takes the landscape into consideration and creates a strong connection to the environment. The existing landscape, the orientation to the rural surroundings and the planning conditions were the deciding factors in the siting of the dwelling at the rear of the plot.
The ground floor was raised with respect to the current ground level, with large glass surfaces positioned to look out over the rural landscape and terraces running the length of the building with an unbroken roof surface on corbelling, all of which allow the outer space to be experienced to the full. At the same time, the large roof projections are designed to prevent too much light entering.
Vertical Western Red Cedar boarding was chosen for the façade cladding, and the roof has a moss-sedum roof covering. The restrained detailing combined with the shape and the materials chosen give House L an ultra-modern appearance, but one that is entirely at home in its rural surroundings.
Located in the vicinity of the city of Breda, in the Netherlands, the residence was constructed taking into account the potential panoramas of the nearby lake. Wide floor-to-ceiling windows were mounted on the facade and a wooden terrace extends the boundaries of the house to the garden. The small hillside that served as a construction surface helps the house look like it is floating.
The inhabitants love the beach, so one of the requests was to keep that relaxed feeling intact. Architects working on the construction created sand dunes and accentuated them with wood fences, winning them the Dutch Garden 2009 prize.
The house also had to be part residential, part home office, so the architects from Grosfeld van der Velde needed to compartment the residence in a smart way. Everything turned out great for both the office space and the residential space, creating a complimenting interior and exterior design.