Den Helder flats get Gaudi-revamp in world's largest 3D concrete printing project
The apartment building on Hendrik Baskeweg in Den Helder is getting a Gaudi-esque revamp, with 3D-printed concrete slabs attached to its facade in the Catalonian architect’s classic wavy style. According to the housing association Woningstichting/Helder Vastgoed BV, this is the world's largest 3D concrete printing project.
The first large concrete parts are already on a facade, and it immediately gave the 1970s apartment building a Mediterranean vibe, one resident said to NH Nieuws. “It will be beautiful.” The project was designed by Kokon Architecten from Rotterdam, inspired by Gaudi.
The work is taking considerably longer than expected, mainly because this project, 3D printing wavy concrete parts, is the first of its kind. “You have to see it as a baker spraying whipped cream,” supervisor Axle Boon said to the regional broadcaster. “A large printer with a whipped cream head sprays all layers on top of each other. It’s not like standard concrete, nice and straight and dimensionally stable. It takes some getting used to. But it is stunning. It is the first project made this way, so unique.”
But not all residents are happy with the project, especially given the delay. “Not much attention has been paid to the residents. We have not been allowed on the balconies since March. The windows are now gray with dust,” one resident said to NH Nieuws. “It was sweltering in the flat this summer. The balcony door has been screwed shut for safety. There is no insulation at all, and now I am in the cold. Who will pay the extra heating costs?”
The housing association could not yet say anything about heating costs, only that the flats are equipped with new insulating glass and extra crack sealing. “If it later turns out that there are extra heating costs, we will see if and how we can do something about it,” a spokesperson said to the broadcaster. “It is annoying that residents experience nuisance from the work. At the moment, it is not yet possible to predict how long it will take exactly. As a thank you for their patience, all residents of the apartment building will receive a flower this week.”