KAAN Architecten

Bottière Chénaie . Nantes

KAAN Architecten . Bottière Chénaie . Nantes afasia (1)

KAAN Architecten . photos: © Sebastian van Damme

Bottière Chénaie is a compact mixed-use building nestled within the eponymous district in the north-eastern Nantes, encircled by major traffic infrastructures. The project proposes a balanced composition of volumes with simple massing, enriched by concrete post-and-beam facades that generate large openings and fully glazed corners. The building structure features a multifunctional plinth, composed of commercial spaces, a supermarket and a car park. Above this base rise two 5-storey residential blocks counting 172 apartments. Continue reading KAAN Architecten



CMA | Chambre de Métiers et de l’Artisanat . Lille

KAAN Architecten . CMA  Chambre de Métiers et de l’Artisanat . Lille afasia (1)

KAAN Architecten . PRANLAS-DESCOURS architect + associates . + wallpaper

With its minimalist esthetics and elegant transparency, the monolithic building gives an embracing and protective gesture towards the surrounding nature, reinforcing the dialogue between the diverse elements of the area.

In broad horizontal strokes, the CMA spreads over three floors rising from a square shaped footprint of 80 by 80 meters, providing both educational functions and spaces dedicated to supporting craft business. Each floor holds a strong connection to the green landscape: on the first floor, KAAN Architecten and PDAA have designed a prominent cantilever that frames a scenic view of Lille and the gardens.

The building features two public squares on different levels. On the ground floor, is the new Place des Artisans (south), while a large terrace to the north of the first floor aligns the project with Rue du Faubourg d’Arras and connects to it with a bridge. Both public entrances are linked by an enfilade of representative spaces: southern square, entrance hall, the auditorium and its foyer, as well as a wide opening overlooking the north terrace. Moreover, each entrance serves the two main architectural realms: the apprentice training centre and offices devoted to supporting craft business procedures.

The CMA is symmetrically organized around six patios that provide natural light for most circulation spaces and divide the building into four clusters housing different realms and spanning through the whole three levels. Functions vary from local and regional administration to research and educational facilities (hairdressing school, cooking school, laboratories, classrooms). The new building acts as a hub for both the Chambre and the associated training schools, which had been previously scattered throughout the historic city centre of Lille.

In order to interact with the urban fabric and the surrounding landscape, the architects have paid great attention to the use of natural materials: glass and stone. The ground and second floors are wrapped by a modular double glass facade that ensure climate control and quality acoustics. Spanning the full floor height, each module features an inner polished aluminum window which can be opened and a fixed outer glass panel with a reflective print that gradually fuses to create a fully transparent zone at eye level while blending the building into nature.

Moreover, the patio façades which feature large polished aluminum window frames are clad in Vals Quartzite, a very solid, compact and frost-resistant stone from Switzerland. The same stone has been used on the patio floors as well as in the entrance hall to enliven the link between exterior and interior.

Through its solid materiality, Eurartisanat aims to both articulate, absorb and reflect the surrounding landscape while at the same time standing out as a new iconic element, an inhabited landscape dedicated to the public sphere.



De Walvis . Amsterdam

KAAN . De Walvis . Amsterdam  AFASIA (1)

KAAN Architecten

The name “de Walvis” refers to a time when this part of Amsterdam housed ship- and dockyards. Built in 1964 by W.F. Lugthart, this office building on the waterfront of the Westerdok quay, has views of the IJ waterfront and the historic Amsterdam city centre and is part of the UNESCO canal belt. At that time, it was the first new office building on Bickerseiland. Four plots were planned, but neighbourhood residents rebelled and demanded a mix of residential and commercial properties for this area. De Walvis is now the only remaining office building on Bickerseiland. Although modern at its time, the building now no longer complies with contemporary day workplace standards. Continue reading KAAN


KAAN Architecten

new multifunctional pavilion . Loenen

KAAN Architecten . new multifunctional pavilion .  Loenen afasia (1)

KAAN Architecten . renders: © PF Visual

The new multifunctional pavilion acts as a connecting element between the new National Veterans Cemetery and the existing Field of Honour. The landscape, originally designed in 1949 by garden and landscape architect D. Haspels and extended by Karres + Brands, is characterised by the contrast between open spaces and the dense forest. The rich woods, existing routes and the scenic qualities of this exceptional site have been used to underline the unifying role of the building. The design of the new centre consists of fluent open spaces, bound by a horizontally extended roof, blurring the transition between inside and outside. Upon entering the pavilion, the visitors experience the specific orientation of the building, which is positioned towards one of the sight lines of the Field of Honour with a central axis. In this way, the ceremonial route culminates with a view on the memorial cross seen from the auditorium of the pavilion. The flexible and logical organisation of the rooms and outdoor spaces gives the building a double function as a memorial venue and an educational pavilion informing visitors about the stories of war victims and veterans. The three main rooms, the auditorium, the exhibition space and the condolence room, form a harmonious ‘sequence’ that can be combined for a single ceremony or can be used independently by different groups at the same time.
Continue reading KAAN Architecten