Klimaatark is an environmental education centre in Barendrecht (The Netherlands). The building has been designed as a living exhibition of environmental friendly technologies. The visitors are guided through the different sections where they can experience the systems at work. The concept is that of an ‘Ark’ which navigates its passengers towards a new approach with the environment. The program of the exhibition is combined with an office space and a bar, in order to guarantee a continuous activity and a more efficient use of the building.
Autarchy has been used as a strategy to achieve a neutral impact on the environment. The building deals with energy, water and sewage in a self-sufficient way and it is capable of sharing surpluses of energy with the neighbors. The resources are accumulated when available, stored as potential kinetic power in the water and heat in the thermal mass, and used when needed. The storage of the resources is in the ‘dike’ behind the building. This traditional element of the dutch polder landscape is reinvented as a system to store, produce and share heat, water and energy.
The existing house is turned into a bar. Its structure is renovated as a passive building and is an example of what can be done to similar houses. The dike is built with the soil coming from the digging of an artificial lake 300m away from the location. The new building is mainly made out of reused and locally available materials. The impact of the building materials on the environment is drastically reduced by more than 60% as compared to a newly built building of the same characteristics.

with: Superuse Studios

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