Overview

KAAN Architecten is an architecture firm based in Rotterdam, São Paulo, and Paris. The firm is greatly involved in architecture, urban design, and research projects. The firm is led by its three founders: Kees Kaan, Vincent Panhuysen, and Dikkie Scipio. The KAAN team consists of diverse designers, from architects and landscape designers to urban planners and graphic designers, who contribute to its various projects.  

The firm has handled both private and public sector projects very well. The Dutch firm has delivered various projects that have diverse forms, typologies, and characters. From museums and healthcare projects to offices, retail, and urban design. They even have specialized projects in interior and furniture design as well. The firm expanded its global presence with the opening of its offices in Sao Paulo (2015) and Paris (2019). Both branches cater to the multidisciplinary and dynamic nature of the projects.

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Kees Kaan_©kaanarchitecten.com
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Vincent Panhuysen _©kaanarchitecten.com
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Dikkie Scipio_©kaanarchitecten.com

KAAN Architecten Studio and Project De Bank 

KAAN Architecten is open to changing their architectural practice model from DBFMO (design, build, finance, maintain, and operate) to new technology driven practices. KAAN has recently shifted its studio to the headquarters of the De Nederlandsche Bank. The building is located near the Erasmus Bridge and faces the Maas River. The building has a strong character due to its brick façade. 

The building was initiated in 2016 and completed in 2017. The project spans around 1400 sqm. When KAAN moved into the bank headquarters, few changes were made to have the essence of the design studio. The open rectangular plan is apt for various programs that are connected through corridors and passageways. The space was well-lit and ventilated due to the large number of openings. The plan comprises around 80 workstations. 

Some of the features of the project include high ceilings, concrete columns, dark walnut floors, and smooth surfaces. This contributes to the rough and monumental effect of the space.  The balance between both the materials, wood and concrete, is quite beautiful. The entrance hall is decorated with mosaics by artist Louis van Roode. 

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Crematorium Heimolen

The Crematorium Heimolen is located in Sint-Niklaas, Belgium. The construction of the building began in 2005, and it was completed in 2008. The project spans around 3.187 sqm and was for the client Intercommunale Westlede. The project consists of two buildings: a ceremonial and a technical building. Though both buildings have the same footprint, their programs and functions are quite different. The volume of the technical building is built on flat land. The reception building is dedicated to public functions. It also has a public roof. Moving on, the ceremonial building is quite spacious and has long windows to frame views of the surrounding landscape and the cemetery. Natural stone and wood are extensively used in this building. An interesting feature of the building’s facade are the concrete cassette tiles that give it a robust and exposed character. The door’s length spans from floor to ceiling, making the space appear much larger than it is. The lights too contribute to the dramatic feel; the ceiling is perforated with round lights that create a beautiful ambience without revealing the functions of the interior.  

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Netherlands Embassy Mozambique

The Netherlands Embassy building is located in Maputo, Mozambique. The construction started in 1999, and it was completed in 2004. The project spans around 2.5 sqm and was for the client Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The building is located close to the ocean, on the edges of a rectangular site. This forms beautiful views of the open garden that is filled with flora. The trees form a natural canopy or roof for the project. Climatic design is tackled in the project by creating a south facing façade that allows for light but not heat. This creates a comfortable environment for its users in the interior spaces. The building consists of a rectangular volume supported by light columns. In the plan layout, the offices are placed close to the garden. While, the circulation of the two-story building takes place in the south.

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Images / Visual Mediums

Image Name : Kees Kaan

Image Number : 1

URL : https://kaanarchitecten.com/office/

Image Name : Vincent Panhuysen

Image Number : 2

URL : https://kaanarchitecten.com/office/

Image Name : Dikkie Scipio

Image Number : 3

URL : https://kaanarchitecten.com/office/

Image Name : De Bank

Image Number : 4

URL : https://kaanarchitecten.com/project/de-bank/

Image Name : De Bank

Image Number : 5

URL : https://kaanarchitecten.com/project/de-bank/

Image Name : De Bank

Image Number : 6

URL : https://kaanarchitecten.com/project/de-bank/

Image Name : De Bank

Image Number : 7

URL : https://kaanarchitecten.com/project/de-bank/

Image Name : De Bank

Image Number : 8

URL : https://kaanarchitecten.com/project/de-bank/

Image Name : Crematorium Heimolen

Image Number : 9

URL : https://kaanarchitecten.com/project/crematorium-heimolen/

Image Name : Crematorium Heimolen

Image Number : 10

URL : https://kaanarchitecten.com/project/crematorium-heimolen/

Image Name : Crematorium Heimolen

Image Number : 11

URL : https://kaanarchitecten.com/project/crematorium-heimolen/

Image Name : Crematorium Heimolen

Image Number : 12

URL : https://kaanarchitecten.com/project/crematorium-heimolen/

Image Name : Crematorium Heimolen

Image Number : 13

URL : https://kaanarchitecten.com/project/crematorium-heimolen/

Image Name : Netherlands Embassy in Mozambique

Image Number : 14

URL : https://kaanarchitecten.com/project/crematorium-heimolen/

Image Name : Netherlands Embassy in Mozambique

Image Number : 15

URL : https://kaanarchitecten.com/project/crematorium-heimolen/

Image Name : Netherlands Embassy in Mozambique

Image Number : 16

URL : https://kaanarchitecten.com/project/crematorium-heimolen/

Image Name : Netherlands Embassy in Mozambique

Image Number : 17

URL : https://kaanarchitecten.com/project/crematorium-heimolen/

Image Name : Netherlands Embassy in Mozambique

Image Number : 18

URL : https://kaanarchitecten.com/project/crematorium-heimolen/

Citations

Office. KAAN Architecten. (2022, November 1). Retrieved November 4, 2022, from https://kaanarchitecten.com/office/

Studio visit: Kaan Architecten. Studio Visits. (2019, July 29). Retrieved November 4, 2022, from https://studiovisits.hetnieuweinstituut.nl/en/activities/studio-visit-kaan-architecten

Thorpe, H. (2016, November 29). Concrete plans: Inside Kaan Architecten’s Rotterdam Offices. wallpaper.com. Retrieved November 4, 2022, from https://www.wallpaper.com/architecture/industrial-elegance-kaan-architectens-new-rotterdam-office

Jessica Mairs |23 November 2016 Leave a comment. (2021, March 10). Kaan Architecten transforms Rotterdam Bank into Riverside Studio. Dezeen. Retrieved November 4, 2022, from https://www.dezeen.com/2016/11/23/kaan-architecten-transforms-rotterdam-bank-into-riverside-studio/

De Bank by Kaan Architecten. Architizer. (2016, November 23). Retrieved November 4, 2022, from https://architizer.com/projects/de-bank/

Crematorium heimolen by Kaan Architecten. Architizer. (2014, May 26). Retrieved November 4, 2022, from https://architizer.com/projects/crematorium-heimolen/

Netherlands embassy Mozambique by Kaan Architecten. Architizer. (2014, June 3). Retrieved November 4, 2022, from https://architizer.com/projects/netherlands-embassy/

De Bank. KAAN Architecten. (2017, December 15). Retrieved November 4, 2022, from https://kaanarchitecten.com/project/de-bank/

Netherlands embassy Mozambique. KAAN Architecten. (2017, December 13). Retrieved November 4, 2022, from https://kaanarchitecten.com/project/netherlands-embassy-2/

Crematorium heimolen. KAAN Architecten. (2021, April 7). Retrieved November 4, 2022, from https://kaanarchitecten.com/project/crematorium-heimolen/

Author

Mahima Aswani is an architect and designer, who has worked on ambitious projects such as the Iraq Pavilion for Expo 2020 and high-end residential and commercial projects. Mahima’s thesis project, Goodbye Slumbai won the Community Design Award in the Senior Thesis Showcase at AUD, Dubai and was published in Dezeen magazine in 2021.

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