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Case Zuiderstrandtheater: ‘Legolising’ is the basis of circular (re)construction


The Zuiderstrandtheater in Scheveningen will be dismantled and moved to the municipality of Oss. How does that work? 'Legolising', says Arend van de Beek from Lagemaat. Both he and Menno Rubbens (cepezedprojects) talk to Thomas van Belzen about this and the many other innovative and circular projects their companies are doing together in the podcast Doorzagen.

20 million reasons
“We demolish about 20 million tons of concrete and stone-based materials a year. Many architects and developers build for eternity, but we have 20 million reasons a year that this is not the case,” Van de Beek opens the conversation. “Have we been building wrong then?” wonders Van Belzen. “It is very difficult to look 40-50 years ahead,” he says. “But,” Rubbens completes him “it starts, of course, with the design. They are not well designed, not designed to be dismantled.”

introducing dismantling plan in new developments
Rubbens previously advocated the introduction of a disassembly plan for every new construction plan. “To encourage designers and initiators of buildings to think about the question: what happens to my building after its first life? In fact, we are very much focused on that first life of a building. The first user, the opening, the celebration. But you also have to really think about what happens when the first user moves out after 5 or 10 years, because that is usually the case. And then you are sometimes you are left at a loss: what to do with my building.”

very circular
The Zuiderstrandtheater is hosting a party tomorrow. Not because of the first pile, but because the building as a whole will get a circular second life. The materials will not be recycled ('people think that's circular enough'), but the building as a whole will become part of the new Theater De Lievekamp in Oss. In other words, truly circular. Exactly what the municipality of The Hague had in mind.

dividing into lego bricks
“We legolise the original, the donor. Then we are going to put it in a 3D package. Then we’re going to virtually break it all down into lego bricks. With that, we can sit down with Menno’s club and say: this is the block box,” explained Arend van de Beek of Lagemaat. It’s not always an easy thing to do. “For all the elements that you can pull out, we’ll do research. That is really detective work sometimes: tracking down and interviewing people, sometimes taking X-rays. But in the end, we make sure we can predict how many elements arise in how many appearances and the constructive properties of these.”

three gradations of cirular projects
Lagemaat and cepezed work on several innovative and high-profile circular projects together.
“We actually have three gradations. Prinsenhof A in Arnhem was not demountable at all. Lagemaat needed to cut it completely apart. The Temporary Court Amsterdam was designed to be very demountable. The Zuiderstrandtheater is a bit in between,” explains Menno Rubbens. “The steel structure is reasonably demountable, but it still has some concrete poured on it from time to time, which means you have to start sawing pieces.”

Both men agree that, as a construction industry, we should move towards a circular building stock “because of the huge amount of CO2 savings you can achieve”. Rubbens: “If we ever end up going to a carbon-lockdown, then moving and remounting a building in another place is still something that is possible. Especially if you are no longer allowed to produce new materials.”

podcast: doorzagen
Listen to the entire conversation (in dutch) which also explains why Temporary Court Amsterdam is a success for all involved by delivering high quality for a reduced price. And what could be a solution against 'the doom of the Netherlands'. The podcast can be listened to on Spotify and viewed on Youtube.

Lucas van der Wee | cepezed
Lagemaat BV
lucas van der wee
Lagemaat BV

In the video below, State Secretary Vivianne Heijnen (circular economy) walks across the storage field where building elements of the Temporary Court Amsterdam and Prinsenhof A (former provincial government building Gelderland) are stored while waiting for reconstruction.

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