Sugar City Silos

“The specification of aluminium cladding material for the Sugar City Silos was especially advantageous because of its lightness.”

The skyline of the Dutch town of Halfweg is dominated by two silos, 50 metres tall and 30 metres in diameter, which belong to a former sugar refinery. In September 2007, the renowned Amsterdam-based architects, Soeters van Eldonk, began renovation of the silos, converting them into office buildings.

The project included interior changes as well as an exterior makeover. In the course of the renovation elevators, staircases and facilities were added. Now each silo contains up to ten storeys, offering 15,000 square metres of office space. A bridge connecting the silos was dismantled; some smaller buildings and a transport tower were also demolished. The exterior of the Silos is characterized by the buildings’ round shape and the glazing and aluminium cladding had to be specially moulded to fit the bent surface. Thanks to the high flexibility of the aluminium this could be done without any problem.

The usage of aluminium as cladding material is especially advantageous in building construction, not only because of its formability but also because of its lightness. Light-weight aluminium sheets do not need a heavy substructure, thus improving the energy balance during construction.

The coloured aluminium employed in the Silos’ cladding allowed individual and architecturally challenging scopes for design. Due to the great variety of coloured aluminium available, it can be either blended in the constructional surroundings or used as a contrast.

The highlights of the Silos’ façades are the rhombic windows, consisting of solar controlled glass surrounded by aluminium frames. The renovation process was completed in December 2007, with the unique design of the modified Silos making the buildings stand out from the vicinity.

Looking at the new construction from afar it forms the logo of the former sugar refinery, reminding the viewer of the site’s original purpose. With their Sugar City Silos, Soeters van Eldonk won the Benelux Aluminium in Renovation Award 2007 for the best renovation project that employs aluminium predominantly in its modification.

The use of aluminium resulted in a lighter substructure, improving the energy balance of the buildings.

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