Re-use of steel construction components is gaining more and more attention in the construction sector. The new refuse collection point commissioned by the Municipality of The Hague is the result of the re-use of existing construction components without forfeiting spatial functionality, acoustic isolation or ease of maintenance. One of the Municipality’s prime requirements was for the structure to be energy-neutral and to maximise use of re-used materials. This turned the conventional design process inside out: it was not form which served as the architect’s starting point, but the materials available.
The building’s exterior is clad with precoated hot-dip galvanized steel sheets from scrap cars. With their varying perforations, the panels yield a different facade effect depending on the observer’s position. The re-used steel plates also underscore the building’s function as a place to bring bulky waste.
The contour plates are mounted on steel piles which are also re-used and give the building a more vertical articulation. Where the facade needs to block out noise, galvanized steel sandwich panels with glass strips were added behind the contour plates. These panels also come from demolished buildings. Only the batch hot dip galvanized steel main load-bearing structure is new. Galvanizing was a key part of the design to achieve the required lifespan of fifty years.