Project results

  • 38
  • 67m
    arch span
  • 104
    Glass panels per arch

The conference centre is a landmark building dating from 1961. Its roof is supported by 38 arches with a 67m span, each containing skylights consisting of 104 glass panels. Over the past 60 years, wind and weather have damaged these panels and fittings, resulting in serious leaks and decay. The building is a protected monument and needed renovating so future generations could enjoy its grandeur.

Royal HaskoningDHV was commissioned to restore the arched roof. A key issue for our Building Technology team was that, as well as being in a bad state of repair, the glass panes no longer met regulatory requirements. The original glass contained a wire grid which gave a semi-transparent appearance and diffused light in a particular way. This effect needed to be retained but an alternative glass material was required which was strong enough for safe cleaning and maintenance on the roof. Furthermore, the casing of the panes had to be adapted to increase weather-proofing.

Historic conference centre restored to former glory  | Royal HaskoningDHV

Aesthetic and structural challenge

“It was an aesthetic and structural challenge,” said Matthijs Boer, Architect at Royal HaskoningDHV. “We had to comply with the requirements of the National Monuments Organisation to retain the original look and feel, while also meeting modern day building regulations. The materials we identified were slightly thicker and heavier than the original and it was important to ensure this would not have consequences for the narrow arches supporting the roof.”

Detailed plans and materials were presented to the monuments committee and received direct approval, enabling the work to proceed without delay. 
“By bringing together in-house architectural, building technology and structural engineering expertise, we were able provide an integrated solution which addressed all the complexities of the project,” Matthijs added.

Learn more about Building Technology or download our publications

Project facts

  • Client
    RAI Europahal
  • Location
    Amsterdam, the Netherlands