Page B1.1 . 05 January 2005                     
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    Postcard from Lelystad

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    The Tjalk shopping center has been reborn with a new face. Photography by Jeroen Lindeboom, Visuele Zaken.

    Dear ArchitectureWeek,

    Sporting a striking new glass "climate zone" at its front entrance, the Tjalk shopping center is a new asset to the commons in Lelystad, the Netherlands. The open space of the entryway provides a smooth transition from the street while expressing some history of the building as well.

    In its first incarnation, the Tjalk was regarded as an environmentally friendly building. Then asbestos was discovered, and the building lost its reputation and its tenants. When eventually the property was acquired by Manpro Projectontwikkeling Amsersfoort & BK Bouw Bussum, a retail developer, the new architects, Geen Punt Architecten BNA, determined it would be unnecessarily wasteful to tear it down and replace it. Instead, they designed an intervention with a strong new image.

    They've succeeded with the creation of a tall, highly transparent entry/ facade/ atrium animated by crisscrossing escalators. Supported with a powerful and unusual diamond-grid, steel-tube internal skeleton, the glass room features a natural ventilation system that prevents condensation on the glass while minimizing the need for air conditioning.

    Materials in the Tjalk renovation project, chosen for their low cost and low environmental impact, include recycled steel columns treated with zinc and black concrete. This concrete is prestressed, reducing the amount of material needed, and its color is a result of added carbon, which enhances water resistance and minimizes the visibility of damage over time.

    On the road in Lelystad, the Netherlands,
    Rose Mattick


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