Do Janne Vermeulen: taking us one step closer to carbon-neutral cities

Those dreaming of carbon-neutral cities will soon have a gloriously high beacon to look to for inspiration. HAUT, 73 metres of innovative and sustainable architecture in Amsterdam, will store 2,200 tonnes of CO2 in the timber used as its main building material when it is finished in the spring of 2021. Do Janne Vermeulen of Team V Architecture, which is behind the project, explains why she is passionate about creating buildings that have a story, and help to save the planet, one wood chip at a time.


Marieke Verhoeven


Jordi Huisman

Do Janne loves being at construction sites, with helmet and boots on, or, as the Dutch expression goes, ‘with her feet in the mud.’ Instead, we meet at Team V’s offices on Amsterdam’s Oostenburg Island (Oostenburgereiland) because HAUT, on the banks of the Amstel, is still in the early stages. In the 17th century, this area east of the city centre housed shipyards for the VOC (Dutch East India Company). Later, the island – which is technically no longer an island – became an industrial production centre for steam engines and locomotives. The old warehouses, now used for events, still give the location a raw and industrial feel. In contrast, Team V’s office is in the INIT Building, an impressive glass construction from 2005 predominantly occupied by De Persgroep, publisher of some of Holland’s largest newspapers.

Founded in 2013 by Do Janne, along with Jeroen Van Schooten and Gerard Van Hoorn the firm already has an impressive portfolio, including the renovation of the Ministry of Finance in The Hague, Rotterdam’s Central Train Station, and the Atlas Building of Eindhoven University of Technology. Do Janne has just returned from Toronto, where she gave a presentation on sustainable architecture, and says she’s tired, but still looks radiant in a cobalt-blue dress. ‘Being an architect is no 9–5 job,’ she smiles. ‘But I love its dynamic and unpredictable nature, it keeps me on my toes.’

‘I think it’s really important to create buildings with a story.’

Architecture wasn’t the obvious choice for Do Janne, who grew up in a small town near Utrecht and was interested in science and writing at school. ‘I decided to go to the Bath School of Art and Design in the UK and instantly loved the creative atmosphere but after the first year, I realised I wanted to play a more active role in society, opposed to “just” creating my own vision and sending it out to the world. The collaborative effort it takes to make a project reality is what really interests and drives me.’

So she switched to the Bartlett School of Architecture in London. Do Janne enthuses: ‘Making scale models is still one of my favourite parts of the job; despite the options of computer models, there’s nothing like making an actual miniature version of a building and visualising the final result.’ After completing her degree, Do Janne got her first job in London at Rick Mather Architects, where she was part of the team working on the Virginia Museum of Fine Art in the United States.

In 2004, Do Janne decided to move back to the Netherlands, not because she didn’t love London but because a greater passion had entered her life. ‘I simply fell in love!’ she laughs. ‘My then boyfriend, now husband and father of my two daughters, is also Dutch. So I moved back and got a job at MVSA Architects, an international firm with offices in the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland.’ It was here that she met Jeroen, who she has worked with on several large projects, including the renovation of the Ministry of Defense in The Hague. ‘That’s when I really got into my element,’ she says. ‘We were responsible for the entire project and sustainability was an important factor, which I’ve always felt passionate about. Being a spider in the web, overseeing every step of the process, was where I felt most comfortable. And it still is.’

'Making scale models is still one of my favourite parts of the job.'

Possibly one of her most challenging projects so far has been the creation of HAUT, a 21-storey residential building. The municipality of Amsterdam selected Team V Architecture, along with the firms Lingotto and Arup, to develop this remarkable high-rise. ‘The city of Amsterdam invited us to create a design for a piece of land by the Amstel river,’ Do Janne explains while showing us the plan. ‘There were three main factors that they used for judging the proposals: design, sustainability and bid, in a 40/30/30 division. We liked the fact that sustainability was such an important factor and actually won the pitch based on design and sustainability, not on costs.’

It was Arup’s idea to use wood as the main component, says Do Janne. ‘It was something we always wanted to do as well, but we didn’t know if we would be able to create a 73-metre, wooden building. There are comparable constructions in other cities, like HoHo Wien in Vienna, an 80-metre-high hybrid construction with a concrete core, and the 53-metre-high Brock Commons Tallwood House in Vancouver.’ Do Janne doesn’t feel any competition with the other international firms working on similar projects. ‘We’re not out to become the first or tallest timber tower in the world. We applaud the use of sustainable materials by other players all over the world.’

HAUT uses cross-laminated timber (CLT), which comprises planks of sawn wood glued together in layers. The CLT supply for HAUT was sourced from Austrian coniferous wood, which has a rapid growth rate, meaning that there is in fact a global surplus. It only takes an astonishing two hours in Austrian forests to grow 3000 square metres of wood, which was the amount used to build HAUT. ‘This technique is relatively new,’ Do Janne says, ‘as well as the glue used, making it strong enough to use for building projects like this. But it’s not like there is no concrete used at all; the basement, ground floor and first floor are made of concrete, as well as the core of the building, plus two walls rising to the the sixth and ninth floor. And every floor has a concrete layer for sound isolation.’

‘The collaborative effort it takes to make a project reality is what really interests and drives me.’

The use of timber in high-rise buildings is currently one of the most keenly discussed practices in the construction industry worldwide. Apart from the innovative use of wood in the construction, HAUT will also have energy-generating facades, including solar panels, and the wastewater it produces will be collected and used to irrigate the green roofs. As a result, the design has received a BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method, a tool to determine the level of sustainability of building projects) Outstanding rating, the highest possible sustainability grade. ‘We’re also super happy with the fact that ABN/AMRO Bank was willing to supply mortgages and insurance for this project. Even though we meet all the qualifications three times over, it’s still a risk for a bank to take a chance on a project that’s completely new in the market.’

HAUT refers to ‘haute couture, tailor-made architecture, and has a double meaning since the Dutch word for wood is ‘hout’. With selling prices starting at approximately €7,000 per square metre, Do Janne acknowledges that HAUT is not for everybody. ‘But what I like about the buyers so far is that they’re often from Amsterdam instead of being international investors. They’re very much concerned about the environment and want to live here specifically for its sustainable character.’ HAUT is about building a community, not investment opportunities, she explains. ‘I think it’s really important to create buildings with a story. It doesn’t always have to be a sustainability focus; it can also be a building that’s focused on the perfect integration of working and living. People don’t want to live in run of the mill buildings any more, they want something unique and engaging.’

When it comes to running the company and building a strong team, Do Janne strongly believes in the power of engagement . ‘Architecture is an intensive business and we sometimes work long hours, but there has to be space for relaxation and team-building as well. We’re not named Team V for nothing! We enter into a lot of sports events together and, once a year, we have a family day. I think it’s important to do those things together.’ Do Janne lives on Borneo island, a peninsula on the east side of the city that was mostly constructed by new inhabitants in the 1990s. ‘I see how that community engagement works,’ she says. ‘There are people who have been living there for 25 years and are really proud of their neighbourhood.’

There are challenges ahead with HAUT. ‘That being said,’ Do Janna explains, ‘I do realise the great responsibility we carry as architects. If done right, a building you create will last for over 100 years. The only thing that can keep me awake at night are the more fundamental questions: Are we doing something good here? Are we going about it the right way? I guess in the end, only time will tell.’

For more information about Team V Architecture click here.

都 约纳 芙穆伦 (Do Janne Vermeulen): 更进一步带领我们迈向碳中性城市

那些做着碳中性城市梦想的人,很快就会有为灵感的辉煌指标。位于阿姆斯特丹高73米新创可持续性建筑HAUT预计于2021年春季完工,并有2200吨的二氧化碳将被储存在建筑中的木料里。为此项目操刀的V团队 (Team V) 建筑事务所的都 约纳 芙穆伦,和我们解释为何她热衷创建有故事的建筑物、并且一次一木片帮助拯救地球。


Marieke Verhoeven


Jordi Huisman

都 约纳喜欢戴着安全帽、着工作靴置身于施工处,如同荷兰谚语 “躬行实践”。事实上,我们在V团队位于阿姆斯特丹Oostenburgereiland的办公室见面。位在阿姆斯特河岸上的HAUT建筑案,仍然属于早期阶段。17世纪时,城市东边的这块区域VOC (荷兰东印度公司),设置了许多造船厂。后来这座岛,(技术上而言它已不是座岛了),成为蒸汽机和火车头的制造中心。旧仓库现在摇身一变为办活动的场地,仍然带来原始和工业的感觉。相较之下,V团队位于INIT大楼,其令人惊叹的玻璃建筑办公室,2005年前为荷兰的龙头报业出版商De Persgroep占据。

都 约纳与耶荣 泛舒藤 (Jeroen Van Schooten)和杰瑞 泛赫 (Gerard Van Hoorn)一起在2013年创立,这间公司已拥有显赫的背景,包括承办海牙财政部,鹿特丹中央火车站和埃因霍温科技大学阿特拉斯大楼的翻新工程。约纳刚从多伦多出差回来,她在那做了关于可持续建筑的演讲,身着深蓝色连衣裙的她说挺劳累的,但看着依旧容光焕发。 “建筑师并非朝九晚五的工作,她笑着说: “但我喜欢它充满活力和不可预测的特质,它让我保持警惕。”


建筑业本来并非都约纳的选择,她在乌得勒支附近的一个小镇长大,在学时感兴趣的是科学和写作。 “我决定去英国巴斯艺术与设计学院学习,并立刻喜欢上创作的氛围,但在第一年之后,我意识到自己想在社会中发挥更积极的作用,不认同”只是“创造自己的希望,并将它传到世界如此而已。实现项目所需的协同合作才是最让我感兴趣的事。”

于是她转学到伦敦巴特利特建筑学院。 约纳热情洋溢的说:“制作比例模型仍然是我最喜欢的工作项目之一,尽管有计算机模型的选择,但没有什么比制作实际微型建筑物,并欣赏最终成品的了 。完成学位后,都约纳在伦敦的Rick Mather Architects得到她的第一份工作,并成为美国弗吉尼亚美术馆建筑项目工作团队的一员。

2004年,都 约纳决定搬回荷兰,并非她不喜欢伦敦,而是因为有更激情的事进入她生命。 她笑着说: “我只是谈恋爱了!当时我交往的男朋友也是荷兰人,现在他是我的丈夫,也是我两个女儿的父亲。所以我搬回去并为MVSA Architects建筑事务所工作,它在荷兰、西班牙和瑞士接设有办事处的国际公司。“她就在这里遇到耶荣 (Jeroen),他们一起参与几个大型项目,包括海牙国防部的翻新工作。 她说:“那是我真正融合并投入的时候。 “我们需负责整个项目,我总是对可持续发展的概念非常热衷,这也是项目的重要因素。有如蜘蛛在网中,监督每一步过程,这是让我感到最舒服的地方。它现在依然是。"


到目前为止,她最具挑战性的项目之一应该是建造这幢21层的住宅大楼HAUT。 阿姆斯特丹市政府选择了 V团队建筑,以及Lingotto和Arup公司,共同开发这座非凡的的高楼建筑。 “阿姆斯特丹市邀请我们为阿姆斯特尔河创建一块土地的设计,”都 约纳向我们展示了这个计划。 “在40/30/30部门,他们采三个主要因素来判断建议:设计,可持续性和投标。 我们喜欢的事实是,可持续发展是非常重要的因素,实际上也是基于设计和可持续发展,并非靠成本而赢得项目投掷。

都约纳说:“采木材当主要建材是Arup的主意。其实这也是我们长久以来想尝试的,但是我们不知道是否能够创建一间全木制的73米高大楼。其他都市有可模拟的建案,如:维也纳的HoHo Wien 80米高的混泥土结构的混合建筑,与温哥华53米高的Brock Commons Tallwood House。"对国际间从事相同项目的公司中,都约纳并不感到威胁。“我们所追求的并非成为世界第一高的木制大楼,但我们为世界各地采用可持续性建材的同业们喝采。

HAUT使用交叉复合木材(CLT),其包括粘合在一起的锯木板。 HAUT的CLT供应源自奥地利针叶木,其具有快速增长率,这意味着实际上全球针叶木产量过剩。在奥地利森林中只需惊人的两个小时即可种植3000平方米的木材,这是用于建造HAUT的木材量。 都约纳说:“这种技术相对较新,并使用胶水使其足够强大,可用于建造这样的项目。但它也并非全然未使用混凝土; 地下室,一楼和二楼是由混凝土制成建筑的核心,以及两面墙高到六楼和九楼。每层楼面都有一层混凝土做隔音。


目前在高层建筑中使用木材是全球建筑业中最热烈讨论的做法之一。除了在建筑中创新采用木材外,HAUT还将拥有能源生产的外墙,包括太阳能电池板,其产生的废水将被收集并用于灌溉绿色屋顶。因此,该设计获得了BREEAM(建筑研究机构环境评估方法,一种认定建筑项目可持续性标准的工具)杰出评比,这是可持续性的最高等级。 “我们也非常高兴ABN / AMRO银行愿意为这个项目提供抵押贷款和保险。即使我们超越满足所有资格条件的三倍,但对银行来说,投入一个全新的市场项目仍是种风险。

HAUT能称作是’高级时装,量身定制的建筑,并具有双重含义,因为荷兰语中的木材就是’hout’。由于销售价格每平方米订为7,000欧元,都约纳认为HAUT并非适合所有人。但到目前为止,我欣赏买家的地方在,他们大部分来自阿姆斯特丹当地而非国际投资客。她解释说,他们非常关注环境,并因为这的可持续特色而想要来这里住。“HAUT关注的是创建一个社区,而不是做投资机会。 我认为创建有故事的大楼至关重要。它的焦点并非总放在可持续发展上; 它可以是专注于将工作与生活完美融合的建筑。人们不想继续住在平庸无奇的建筑中,他们想要一些独特、别具一格的东西。

在运营公司和建立强大团队方面,都约纳坚信参与的力量。 “建筑是一项密集的工作,有时我们需长时间工作,但也必须有放松和训练团队的空间。我们并非随便自称为V团队!我们一起参加许多体育赛事,每年我们有举办家庭日。我认为一起做这些事情很重要。“督约纳住在位于这个城市东边的一个半岛– 婆罗洲岛,主要由90年代的新居民建构而成。她说: “我知道社区参与是如何运作的,有些人在那里生活了25年,并为他们的社区感到自豪。”

HAUT也面临一些挑战。 约纳解释着:“那就是说,我确实意识到身为建筑师所肩负的重大责任。如果做的对,你创建的大楼将可持续超越百年。唯一让我夜不能寐的根本本的问题:我们现在做的是好的吗?我们是以正确的方式进行的吗?我想最后,只有时间能证明一切。”


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