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Tripolis-Park ‘landscraper’ makes its mark on Zuidas

In a nutshell, the landscraper (a horizontal skyscraper) is a jigsaw puzzle of steel and concrete. The huge building was constructed fast thanks to special building methods. The four core sections on which the steel structure is suspended were made using a method known as slip forming. These core sections were completed in October 2020, after which work started on the steel frame.

Steel instead of concrete

That process also went smoothly, says Niels Beentjes. ‘The great thing about steel is that you have the components made elsewhere and put it together on site like a jigsaw puzzle. That meant that huge structures hanging in the air became quite a regular sight.’ The choice of a steel structure was not only inspired by the desire for speed. ‘Because Tripolis is located right next to the A10 and the existing Tripolis towers are staying where they are, there wasn’t much room to make the foundations for the landscraper. So, we extended the existing Tripolis foundations and then built the four new core sections to which the steel structure was attached. Because steel is lighter and can be used to make larger spans, it was actually possible to realise the landscraper on top of two of the three existing towers. A concrete structure of this size would not have been possible on this site. However, there will be concrete on the inside, for example for the floors that we’re currently working on.’

Other functions

The landscraper is intended as future office accommodation that will shield the Tripolis towers and the future Verdi residential neighbourhood from road noise from the A10. This will make the area behind it suitable for other functions, such as housing and hospitality. Although the towers designed by Aldo van Eijck will remain in place and keep their shape, they will be significantly updated. Architect Winy Maas from MVRDV is responsible for this design as well as the design for the landscraper. Beentjes: ‘Personally, I think it’s great that FLOW Development has given Tripolis the chance of a new life in this way. These are three extraordinary buildings and a few simple interventions, such as replacing the window frames and adding wood, are giving the buildings a completely new look and feel.’

An artist's impression

Big difference

It really does make a big difference. Because the tenant, Nikon, is still based in building 100, this building is still in its old condition and will not be renovated until later. When you are standing on the building site, you can really see the difference. ‘The towers that have been worked on look much fresher and more stylish’, says Beentjes. ‘Also, there’ll be plenty of room for planting on top of the buildings and around the towers. The idea is to create a parklike environment, where people can enjoy meeting up or work, for example.’ But that is all in the future. ‘Although the landscraper is impossible to miss, it’s also obvious that we still have a lot of work to do here.’ The landscraper and the updating of the Tripolis towers are expected to be completed in mid-2022. The third Tripolis building – building 100 – will be transformed into a residential building with affordable rental apartments at a later stage. These plans are still being developed.

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