De Castellatoren is gebouwd op het voormalige fabrieksterrein van Dobbelman in Nijmegen. Het 42 meter hoge appartementsgebouw is een echte blikvanger bij binnenkomst in de stad. Vanwege de hoge geluidsbelasting van auto- en treinverkeer zijn aan drie zijden zogenaamde “dove gevels” toegepast. De cassettes in de gevel zorgen voor een bijzonder reliëf.
Complex façade construction
De Castella tower consists of 13 construction layers and is located nearby two of Nijmegen’s busy city entrances: ‘de Graafseweg’ and ‘het spoor’. Vorsselmans was asked by DOK Architects from Amsterdam to develop a system for the complex façade construction quite early on. The cassette system, a non-isolated outer layer, separates the outdoors (the busy traffic and railway) from the indoors (the gallery and flats). The glass layer, therefore, has a double purpose: shielding the gallery and keeping the noise at bay through isolation.
In total, we produced 476 cassettes (aluminium profiles), from 1.86m wide to no less than 3.90m high, with thre different depths (150, 350 and 500 mm). The different depths created a striking relief, making the façade unique. The cassettes were made from specific profiles, modified for the Castella tower specifically. Depending on the depth of the cassette, a different colour of sun-proof glass was used: clear, green or dark blue. The deepest cassettes are designed to accommodate benches.
At the end façade, the concrete wall was concealed by applying screen-printed glass. Besides the 2,690 m2 worth of cassettes, Vorsselmans also delivered the base of the façades to close off the flats.
Logistically, this project was quite a challenge. Because of the smaller construction site, the production process, transport and assembly were carefully aligned with one another. The cassettes were lifted and assembled immediately upon delivery. They hang like an element façade against the concrete construction. Before placing them, we assembled special anchors in the storey floors, calibrated differently according to the floor. Thanks to the high level of prefabricating, the cassettes were placed at an incredible speed (24 elements per day).
The production process ran from September to November 2012. In November and December, we placed and assembled everything, and in April of 2013, the Castella tower was inaugurated by mayor Brulst. The Castella tower also won the Architectuurprijs Nijmegen 2013 (the Nijmegen award for Architecture).
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