This ‘Slow Façade’ gives a new residential tower in the Kanaleneiland district of Utrecht a unique identity within its post-war context. Designed by Mei Architects and Planners, its creators explain that the façade is ‘slow made’ with respect the consciousness it shows towards local materials and production techniques. The earth-coloured concrete façade elements, each measuring two floors in height, feature a surface texture enhanced by the incorporation of 13,000 handmade ceramic tiles by Royal Tichelaar Makkum, a Dutch company famous for its tile designs. Created in collaboration with artist Milou van Ham, excerpts from the works of poet Tsaed Bruinja have been pressed into the tiles. And as an interesting detail, the tiles continue on the underside of the balconies and galleries, making the words visible to those passing by on the street below.
A new residential tower is constructed on the Churchilllaan in the Kanaleneiland district of Utrecht. This new 50-metre-tall tower occupies a special position among the new developments of this typical post-war urban district and acts as a gatekeeper for these developments. Marking the entrance to the district, the building will rise above the surrounding volumes.
The concrete façade elements feature a tactile relief. That effect is strengthened even further by 13,000 tiles handmade by Royal Tichelaar. In collaboration with artist Milou van Ham 16 different verses will be pressed onto these tiles, thus enhancing the building’s identity and relation with its surroundings. The warm earth-colored tiles will give both residents and passers-by a friendly sense of home. The finishing with tiles continues on the underside of balconies and galleries, which are visible to people passing on the street below. The result is an inviting building that will stimulate a sense of community in the Kanaleneiland district.