Following the outline of the masterplan in 1998 for the center of Eindhoven in the Netherlands, Studio Fuksas developed the four projects associated with it:
- The 18.Septemberplein, a square of 7.000 m² with an underground parking of 2.300 m² for 1.700 bicycles;
- The Piazza Shopping Mall, a shopping center covering approximately 20.000 m² with 6.000 m² of office space;
- The Media Market, a store for the sale of electrical appliances and electronic equipment;
- The Admirant Entrance Building.
The focus point of the masterplan is the 18 Septemberplein, with its surrounding buildings: these represent the most important hub of the axis of the commercial activities in Eindhoven.The four projects, together, proved to be a great success in inner city redevelopment.
The Admirant Entrance Building is part of a developed shopping area by Heijmans Real Estate, a prominent Dutch building developer. It is located just at the border between the new quarter and the 18th September square, forming the main gateway to a new shopping axis.This prominent position called for an iconic building: a request that the Admirant Entrance Building fulfilled entirely. It is like a precious jewel, that attracts the public’s attention and leads pedestrians to the heart of the new district.
The project of the Admirant Entrance Building is based on an intensive form finding process whose result has prescribed for an unpredictable design: conventional design rules lose their meaning.
Compared with the immediate surroundings, the new architecture seems to be at a first glance like an amorphous or organic object. Like an undefined celestial body, the new building appears between the building fronts: one might think that an unexpected impact in the existing structure left behind its mark, whereby the object has been stuck or frozen.
On closer inspection, however, the architecture is full of movement. Dynamics go in different directions and with varying intensity. This further flow of speed has its origin in the contrast of the two facade materials: crystalline, the maritime blue of the glass is in contrast to the dense and clear white panels. Open and closed surfaces alternate smoothly and flow over softly.
The building consists of two elements: the 5-storey high primary concrete structure and the glass and steel envelope. Commercial spaces are located on the ground and first level and office spaces on level three and four (plus an additional technical level).
The geometry of the façade varies from vertical surfaces to amorphous shapes, which create a dynamic inside of the building. In fact, the floors – whose shapes are determined by the form of the façade – reach the 950 m² on the ground floor and 250 m² on the highest office level.
Except for the staircase, no vertical elements block the visual connections on the inside of the building.
Furthermore, due to the non-orthogonal shape, the Admirant is non-directional. Its smooth curves allow a dynamic flow around it. There is no front or back: the building envelope is experienced continuously. Looking at this from a certain distance, it is noticeable that the building is in a rotation. Perhaps a similar appearance to a marine mammal that rises to the surface, shows itself for the briefest moment, then sinks immediately into the depths again.