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remountable construction: showcase temporary court in Amsterdam 

In the field of circular construction, cepezed is pioneering with remountable construction. The former Temporary District Court Amsterdam is a unique example in this context. A large two-floor building was taken apart after five years of use and moved in parts to be reassembled at a different location. It is the first time in the Netherlands that this has been done with a large, representative building of this kind.

Leon van Woerkom

Building remountable constructions requires a completely different approach than is usual in the construction field. For example, the construction must be completely detachable and is realized in close cooperation with the structural engineer. The developer and the dismantling company also enter into something new, because in the case of remontability, the components are valuable, not a specific building or the ground. It turns out that different phases therefore involve different parties: dismantled and at its new location at Kennispark Twente, the building has a new owner. We list the three main phases.

phase 1 | court at parnassusweg  

Between 2016-2021, the Amsterdam District Court needs a temporary home on Parnassusweg. Between 2016-2021, the Amsterdam District Court needs a temporary home on Parnassusweg. Large-scale new construction is planned, plus renovation of one of the two existing buildings - the other will be demolished. The 'temporary court' functions as the new main entrance to the Amsterdam Court and is connected by a footbridge to the existing building which will remain in use.

The building of the temporary court meets the request of the Rijksvastgoedbedrijf in all aspects. It is representative and comfortable. It guarantees the safety of staff and visitors and, despite its very different functions and complex user flows, has a logical layout. Moreover, it minimises material waste because almost everything is reused.
The detachable components are thoroughly circular. They are designed in detail with high-quality new material and all components are mapped. So not only can the building be easily assembled, it is also easy to disassemble after five years of use. Then, like a construction kit, it can 'travel' to be reassembled elsewhere, in parts or as a whole.


about the building  

The building is efficient. The structure, facade, interior fitting and installations are separate, as are the walkway, entrance portal and escape stairs. The basic structure is a main bearing structure of steel with concrete hollow-core floors. Part of the structure is built of demountable timber-frame elements. All prefabricated components are well finished in the factory, which means that carcass work is immediately finished and there is no need for additional finishing. On the outside, the façades consist of reusable black façade fabric.

cepezed works closely with the contractor and constructor on the design. Together with IMd consultative engineers, cepezed designs a special channel plate with a demountable head - a prototype that is afterwards also applied by other constructors. And although the future of the building after five years is unknown in 2016, consortium dpcp (Du Prie bouw & ontwikkeling and cepezedprojects) also commits to the project. For Du Prie and cepezedprojects, the pioneering function counts more than the still unknown future.

Read more about the building in its function as a court or watch a short explanation by architect Ronald Schleurholts (partner cepezed) and Menno Rubbens (director cepezedprojects).

léon van woerkom

phase 2: dismantling  

A dismountable building celebrates other milestones. Like the 'unscrewing of the first nut'. This starting point of dismantling will be festively marked on 9 November 2021 with a gathering at the court that can be followed online.

'Sustainability influencers' Jan Willem van de Groep and Jim Teunizen will debate with the builder and the dismantler on this occasion, led by Jort Kelder. And the Rijksdienst voor Ondernemen (RVO) looks back on the first two phases with all the key players. Louise Attema of the Government Buildings Agency notes that they got what they wanted and 'actually more', because circularity 'in a way that is still very special in 2016 and actually still is'.

During the dismantling the construction shows itself in full, it's like building in reverse. In the end, an empty lawn remains, without a trace of the building.

lucas van der wee
lucas van der wee
lucas van der wee | cepezed

removal and storage  

Du Prie Construction & Development built the temporary court at the Parnassusweg. Lagemaat BV, specialised in dismantling, remodelling and circular reuse of materials, is dismantling the building. Lagemaat's senior project manager Arend van de Beek describes it as an unique situation, "a building like this was designed to be taken apart".

After dismantling and before the building can be rebuilt in enschede, the parts are stored in different places. Partly in Genemuiden and Heerde, partly already at its destination: Kennispark Twente. the former courthouse will serve there in almost the same form as an education and business center.

Not all parts of the building will return to the Kennispark. But Lagemaat reuses as much as possible. Between the stored ceiling tiles, for example, there are worn-out floor tiles, which serve as protection against damage. A new use for the cells is being considered as garden sheds on an allotment site.

lucas van der wee
lucas van der wee
lucas van der wee

phase 3: business gathering building in twente  

The year 2022 was dedicated to dismantling, 2023 is the year of remounting. The building is expected to be commissioned in 2024. From the outside, it will look the same in Twente as in Amsterdam but the layout will be different inside.
This is due to the new function. However, it will remain a comfortable and spacious building (of 5,400 m2) with plenty of daylight.

jannes linders


The building wins the 'Amsterdam Architecture Prize' in 2017.

Moving the building from Amsterdam to Twente will save 2,000 tons of CO² compared to new construction at Kennispark. The building has a detachability index of 0.88 on a scale from zero to 1, which is unprecedentedly high.

cepezed has also designed other circular buildings: The Green House in Utrecht and Bouwdeel D(emountable) in Delft. The former temporary courthouse is the first demountable building designed by cepezed that has actually been demounted and is being remounted.

jannes linders