The commission to renovate the Ripperda Barracks, between the Kleverlaan and the Saenredamstraat in Haarlem, was won in a design contest. The plan was developed together with the architect bureau Bob van Reeth, who were responsible for the ‘urban design’ and the new buildings. Starting point was to maintain the maximum of the old military enclave and to reinforce the new buildings.
The complex of the Ripperda Barracks date from the period 1882-1884. It has, apart of the main building, been changed a lot since the founding, and has had many functions; from horse depot to military garage, from cook school to refugee camp. The complex consisted of 9 buildings; the main building, the forage building, 4 stables, two riding schools and a smithy.
To best maintain monumental buildings, it is important to find functions that follow the form, possibilities and potential of the existing buildings. This resulted in a mix of living and working, with a large variety and diversity.
The new buildings were programmatic complementary; forms of housing were realized that would not fit well in the existing buildings.
Another starting point was to maximize the use of the historic characteristics of the terrain, like the octagonal grid, the old water structure that enhances the ‘enclave’ and the trees; the intention was not only to return these to the complex, but also to utilize them with the means and possibilities of today, in the field of eco-system control and durable building.
Re-use is natural and therefore naturally the most advanced form of durable building. The literal energy- and potency loss by demolition of buildings and the required energy for making new materials can in fact never be compensated by the somewhat smaller energy loss of new constructions (for example by the lack of cavities or insulation). An existing building, and especially the Ripperda Barracks, furthermore has a radiance that new buildings cannot match.
With monumental buildings, built with massive walls, a ‘cold bridge’ cannot always be avoided, or the most energetic solution applied, but with a mix of measures, an EPN (energy performance norm) of 1,0 can be achieved. We applied floor heating, heat recovery, inner insulation and restored, protected and water proofed the façade ( as we also did for the Oranje Nassau Barracks, Grain silo’s and Olympic Stadium).
The buildings were turned into a mix of living and business spaces. Special detail is the great ceiling height that was used to apply entresols, which made a use of living/workspace combination possible.
In the former smithy, originally also a meeting place for warmth, heat (and people), now the water distibution system was placed, to pump around the water in the surrounding canal. In the remaining spaces a caretakers house was realized.
In 2012 the project won the second place in the election of best re-use project in Haarlem (Publieksprijs Herbestemming, Bouwend Haarlem 2012).