CASE: Facades of COR-TEN steel adorn JK House

JK House 008
Architect
Jacco van Wengerden
Year established
Since 1987
Location
Amsterdam
Project
JK House, The Hague

Facades of MESH™ gratings in COR-TEN architectural JK House in The Hague

The JK House project is a privately initiated development of a villa in the Bezuidenhout area of The Hague. The architect responsible for this project is Jacco van Wengerden from Atelier van Wengerden, located in Amsterdam. 

The Criteria

The unusual location of the site, surrounded by buildings erected in the 1930’s, required balanced choices in the materials used for the façade. The design of the villa needed to meet the conservative demands of the local aesthetics committee of the The Hague municipality, as well as tying in with the adjacent buildings. The architect, Van Wengerden, immediately realised the potential of the site. By making the right choice of materials for the façade he could both make reference to the former garden centre on this location, and the colour and structure of the brickwork of the adjacent buildings. 

The Solution

In his quest to find the right materials for JK House’s unique façade, Van Wengerden decided to use COR-TEN steel MESH® gratings in his design. Although these gratings are originally designed for industrial flooring, this particular choice of material would solve several issues at once. 

Firstly, COR-TEN steel gratings are relatively affordable. Secondly, they fit perfectly into the existing surroundings and would make reference to the past of the site. The local aesthetics committee of The Hague municipality was pleased with the choice of this material. Especially by the fact that a COR-TEN steel façade was perfect for allowing vegetation to grow on, which is another reference to the history of the site.  

Trying to find a supplier for this façade, Van Wengerden approached PcP’s local office in the Netherlands. Due to the fact that PcP could produce these gratings in a wide variety of dimensions in both bearing and filler bars, Van Wengerden could design the gratings to match his initial idea of vertical lines in the appearance of the façade.

For a more vivid look, PcP produced gratings with dimensions between the vertical bearing bars of both 44 and 55mm, where the filler bars were spaced 150mm in between. In addition, the gratings where mounted backwards, leaving only the bearing bars visible to the eye. Despite making production more challenging, the desire was also to have no edge bars on the top side of the gratings for a more open appearance, and PcP was able to deliver this. 

The end result is a Villa with a façade that in time, due to the natural process of rust-brown colouring of the COR-TEN steel, will be at one with its surrounding buildings. 

The Collaboration 

First contact about the project was established in early 2015. Over a period of several years Van Wengerden and PcP discussed options and difficulties of manufacturing the façade. After making design choices, samples were produced to both visualise the choice of mesh sizes and discolouration of the COR-TEN steel. In the beginning of 2019, the JK house project was completed. 

Benefits

COR-TEN steel MESH™ gratings with almost unlimited design options. Welded in fixing plates to enable fast and secure mounting, barely visible to the eye. A lightweight solution that demands minimal supportive structure, enabling fast installation.
  • Precise dimensions and tailor-made mesh size 

  • Fast and easy installation 

  • Wide range of materials

  • Fast production time

  • Close collaboration between customer and supplier 

“As an architect you practice applied art and you are always looking for innovation. You can find it in unorthodox materials such as Cor-Ten steel gratings. If you find an unusual partner like PcP and you understand each other well, something special can arise”

Van Wengerden, Architect, JK House Project. 

JK House Den Haag Elefant Corten Grating Facade 08

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