Construction work has begun at the Dutch Pavilion of the 2000 World Expo, beginning with a partial demolition to pave the way for the building to be renovated and transformed into a co-working office building.
The original Expo 2000 building, which comprised a stack of six Dutch landscapes, became a key reference for sustainable design, presenting an ideal of a building as a self-contained ecosystem, incorporating nature and generating its own internal resource cycles. The Expo Pavilion 2.0 project represents another chapter of this sustainability story, preserving the building and redeveloping it for a new use – and thus avoiding the embodied carbon that would be represented by demolishing and rebuilding.
However, after two decades of neglect, not all parts of the building are able to be retained. The first step in renovating the building is therefore a partial demolition, removing and replacing the elevator core at the east facade of the building, the steel structure above the “forest level” at the centre of the tower, and the external staircases.
The concrete structure from below the forest level will be retained, with the original features such as the “dunes” and “pots” integrated as part of the design of the co-working offices. Finally the structure of the forest level, which consisted of entire tree trunks used as columns supporting the levels above, will be replaced with a more conventional column structure with a timber finish. The timber from the original columns will be reused in a new rooftop pavilion, replacing the original rooftop pavilion, which was destroyed by fire in 2015.
New elements will also be added to facilitate the transformation, including a new internal core, new, slightly narrower external stairs and façades to enclose each level except the forest.
Main image © Piet Niemann