Tower at crossroads marks old and new

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    Architect creates new work-life balance in Purmerend Modern and varied architecture In Purmerend's new Weidevenne district, architect Eric Westerneng's office-cum-house stands where the ring-road crosses one of the radial exit roads. The corner of the building features a round tower, completely covered with roof tiles. From the tower room on the third floor, you can see the district's modern and varied architecture as well as old farmhouses further away. The tower is nine metres high and six metres in diameter, and its gleaming black roof tiles and robust window frames are in apparent contrast. Yet, this combination actually echoes the architecture of the Amsterdam School. The tower house accommodates the architect's office and the part of the building is where he lives. Architect's dilemma “We were located in the centre of Purmerend, in an office we had outgrown. While looking for new roomier premises, we were offered this site by the council. After some hesitation – this is a residential district after all – we finally seized the chance. The plot was too big for just an office, so we decided to build an office-cum-house." Traditional by choice Unlike the strict regulations for the adjacent buildings, the council did not impose any restrictions as regards the architecture. Westerneng comments: “So we could do something modern or opt for a more traditional approach. We chose the latter because the plot lies on a centuries-old route with many old farmhouses extending to the edge of the district. So by choosing a style linked to the Amsterdam School we looked to connect with the relics of bygone days.” Arched roof & Fitting dimensions Apart from its tower, the office-cum-house boasts yet another 'highlight'. The arched roof over the residence is also covered with gleaming black roof tiles, and the upper façade is in white-painted wood. Heavy zinc ridge-pieces on the flat-roof sections demonstrate the thoroughness of Westerneng's work. The roof tiles on the arched roof as well as on the tower fit exactly. The circle of the tower was laid out first, followed by definitive dimensioning. The contractor was then able to ensure that everything matched perfectly. The tower is constructed of timber-frame sections of curved plywood finished off with plasterboard. The arched roof is made up of horizontal insulated roof sections on which curved tile lathes are fixed. All the roof tiles are fastened with stainless-steel screws and roof tile hooks to ensure they are well anchored. Figures & FactsProject: Office-cum-residence, Purmerend (The Netherlands) Client: EWP Purmerend BV and Family Westerneng Architect: Eric Westerneng, EWP Purmerend BV design, construction and building consultancy Main contractor: W. Tijmstra Bouw BV, Purmerend Clay roof tile: Koramic Pottelberg Tempest tile 44, black glazed

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