New Babylon in The Hague is a shining example of how living, working and leisure can be combined in one building. Besides two impressive residential towers accommodating a total of 335 apartments, the building houses offices, a hotel, restaurants, cafés, shops, a cinema and an underground car park with 1,260 spaces. The most impressive feature of this project, however, is the aluminium element façade, which embraces the existing building both literally and figuratively.
- Developer: Babylon Den Haag BV, Maeyveld and SNS Property Finance
- Contractor: New Babylon building consortium (Ballast Nedam Bouw & Ontwikkeling and Boele & van Eesteren)
- Architect: MVSA Architects
- WICONA partner: Scheldebouw
- Location: The Hague
- Completion: 2012
- Photography: Egbert de Boer
Spectacular element façades give New Babylon an iconic look
New Babylon includes the renovation and extension of the former Babylon building, designed by J.A. Lucas and W.Th. Ellerman (1978). Between 2007 and 2012, the former Babylon complex was adapted to contemporary requirements and expanded from 44,500 m² to a staggering 145,000 m². An office block and 100-metre-high residential tower were added on the north-west side of the building, while a 140-metre-high residential tower was built on the south-east side. The ground and first floors provide retail space. The upper floors are zoned for offices.
In 2013, New Babylon made it to the finals of the CTBUH Best Tall Building Award. The project also won the Iconic Award 2014. An important part of the iconic look are Scheldebouw’s spectacular aluminium element façades, produced in its own factory in Middelburg under state-of-the-art working and climatic conditions. WICONA’s profile systems form the basis of the rotating parts in these element façades.
“The most remarkable features are the triangular elements in the façade,” says Raimond Stassen, project manager at WICONA. “Not just because of their design, but also because of all the technology integrated into them. All the frames in the triangles are custom designed and manufactured.” The architects chose parallel top-hung windows that open fully outwards. "The windows are based on our WICLINE 90 system, with profiles adapted specifically for the project. They not only harmonise with the desired look and feel but also fit the special shape of the element façades.”
Reliable seal, easy to operate
Stassen stresses that for high-rise projects, wind resistance and watertightness always have to be explicitly considered. "We also spent a lot of time on the door and window fittings because the system’s transmission is also unique. As a result, we've achieved the perfect combination of a high-quality appearance, reliable sealing and easy operation."
All façade elements were transported to the construction site just-in-time and connected like Lego bricks. Following on from WICLINE 90, WICONA’s WICLINE 65 system has also been implemented. This system is mainly found in the “standard” windows in New Babylon.