Façade specialist Wijmoco fitted the window systems with a special motor including finger-safe control and weatherstrip to prevent rain coming in when the window is ajar. ‘They were then tested at Reynaers in Belgium for wind and water resistance,’ Richard Wijkamp of Wijmoco Geveltechniek says, who apart from having to deal with technical challenges also had to contend with a tight schedule. ‘The façade had to be closed in just four months and fitted with over 543 vertically sliding windows and more than one hundred large horizontally opening windows. Thanks to the strict schedule, intensive collaboration and coordination with building contractor Stam + De Koning and weekly deliveries, we managed to pull this off.’ What’s more, the façade construction company was also able to accelerate the process somewhat at the construction site. ‘The windows were fitted into the façade with an extra powerful glass vacuum lifter. Screwing them down straightaway and allowing the middle window to come down offered instant fall protection and no scaffolding had to be put up.’
The legacy of Philips
Eindhoven is situated in the south of the Netherlands and became a major city during the industrial revolution. It takes its name, City of Light, from the settlement and growth of Philips. A large number of buildings that are now part of Dutch industrial heritage were created by the light-bulb factory. Because of their location in the centre of the city, many have now been repurposed. Witte Dame which dates from 1931 – and served as a radio factory – now houses the library and Design Academy, and Lichttoren (1921) – where light bulbs used to be tested – is now an apartment complex.