Unique wooden facade makes factory a true eye-catcher

November 2019

EromesMarko’s headquarters has undergone a real transformation. The company, which creates innovative educational environments, has three production locations in the Netherlands. The factory in Wijchen, located next to the main office, was originally built in 1967. After the building had already been extended multiple times throughout the years, it now required a full renovation. Architect Martijn de Waal (DUAL architects) designed a factory building in which sustainability is a key factor – both inside and out.

Circular economy
EromesMarko very much believes in the concept of circularity, a system aimed at eliminating waste and the continual use of resources. This Corporate Social Responsibility is strongly reflected in the building. Solar energy is used, just as LED lighting with daylight control, and all generated heat is reused.

Smart use of factory and office spaces
Moreover, the building was set up in a flexible and very smart way. After all, a building with spaces that are hardly being used is not very sustainable. The renovation makes the floor area grow with only 25% to 17,000 square metres, but the total volume of the building grows from 54,000 to 119,000 cubic metres.

Eye-catching wood-look façade and entrance
The eye-catcher of the new building is definitely the new main entrance: a 12-metre-high glass tower, making it very inviting, under a gallery of wooden beams. This entrance is part of a facade that’s equally impressive. Architect Martijn de Waal: “The office part of the new building stretches across the entire width of the street. The completely transparent front, functioning as office spaces and a showroom, is about 200 metres long. That’s absolutely unique for a factory site in the Netherlands.”

Facade cladding with a warm, sustainable appearance
For the new facade cladding, De Waal was inspired by the new residential care complex of Eltheto in Rijssen. “We wanted to create a warm, sustainable appearance and preferred to have a façade made of wooden strips. But for a company building, that would require too much maintenance. Having aluminium slats would become too expensive. Then we came across the building in Rijssen, where the architect created a white facade, using Rockpanel facade panels in a vertically oriented slat structure as a back. That was exactly the wooden facade we were looking for.”

Custom made wood design for facade panels
“We talked about our wishes to Rockpanel and decided to use boards from the Woods range. These boards are made of compressed stone wool, are sustainable and maintenance-free, and it was no problem to get them in the right size. Yet, there was one problem for us: the colour. We tried out some test panels, but we couldn’t find the exact colour tone we wanted. After talking to Rockpanel about this, we found out that they can provide the Woods façade panels in virtually every RAL or NCS colour. Within just a few weeks, we had our own Rockpanel Custom Woods boards with a wood pattern in a unique colour, based on a sample of real wood we provided. Almost indistinguishable from real wood and as sustainable as a stone façade.”

A beautiful building functions better
Architect De Waal realises that a 200-metre-long facade where so much attention has been paid, is quite unusual for a factory site. “That is a shame, really. I’m convinced that a nice-looking building affects the production level. In buildings that speak to the imagination, people will feel better, work more efficient and they will buy more.”

Their new building enables further growth for EromesMarko and provides their employees a healthy and pleasant workplace. De Waal adds: “Of course, EromesMarko also wanted to use the interior of their own building as a showcase for their work. They couldn’t have wished for anything more with this building.”