The Green House
Officially opened on Monday 9th April 2018, the circular pavilion known as The Green House offers space for a restaurant with its own urban farm and a meeting centre. The project is completely dismountable construction which can be taken down and rebuilt elsewhere.
The Green House is a development of the contractors Strukon and Ballast Nedam that joined forces with hospitality specialist Albron in the combination R Creators with the circular architectural design created by cepezed. R Creators were commissioned to make a modern government office out of the former Knoopkazerne military barracks on the Coreselaan in Utrecht. Client, the Central Government Real Estate Company also requested a solution for the space between Knoopkazerne and the adjacent head office of Rabobank. Because a definitive destination for this location will be decided in 15 years, a temporary interpretation was sought to enliven the area that would otherwise remain vacant. R Creators and cepezed therefore developed a plan in which both the function and the architecture are based on circularity.
The Green House accommodates a ‘circular’ restaurant concept plus meeting facilities. In accordance with the principles of circularity, the building (including the foundation of prefab concrete blocks) is completely dismountable and in fifteen years it can be built up elsewhere. The aim was also to implement reclaimed and reusable materials as much as possible.
The two-storey pavilion is designed as a generic building with a removable steel frame made of galvanised profiles. The dimensions are derived from those of the smoke glass façade panels of the former Knoopkazerne; these have been re-used for the second skin and the greenhouse of the pavilion. The circularity of the building also lies in the choice of the right floor in the right place. For the ground floor, street clinkers from an old quay in Tiel were applied instead of the classic poured concrete. The clinckers were put on a compacted sand bed with underfloor heating. The first floor consists of prefabricated wooden elements. For agreeable acoustics, the elements are filled with insulation and the reused ceiling slats are mounted with some room in between. For the roof, the choice fell on a light, perforated steel sheet also filled with acoustic insulation. With a glass curtain wall, the plinth of the pavilion is completely transparent. For the closed parts of the façade on the first floor, prefabricated timber framed panels were used. These are 100% recyclable and (H) CFC-free. The vertical farming greenhouse of eighty squared metres is located on the floor next to the meeting rooms. Here vegetables and herbs are grown for the restaurant kitchen. A vide in the pavilion makes the public accessible greenhouse visible from the restaurant below. A large green wall also contributes significantly to the experience of The Green House. The roof of the pavilion is filled with solar panels.
The Green House is the first restaurant to have an ac-plug-free kitchen in which food is prepared without electricity but with energy efficient ovens fired with renewable fuels. With urban mining, a large part of the interior has been found and new furniture is made from recycled materials.
Overall, the Green House wants to inspire and inform its visitors. It is a place where people meet and where circularity is always present. Food and drink connects people and during this connection, irrespective of whether this is for business or informal meetings, people are open to information and inspiration.