The end of May saw Studio Groen+Schild move into the Grey Silo in Deventer’s Havenkwartier (harbour quarter). In little more than a year, the ground floor of the Grey Silo has undergone a metamorphosis from a grain silo into a new workspace. Director/owner Ellen Schild: “Where once trucks drove into the silo to take their loads, our work benches now occupy the loading floor in the studio.”
Architect Ellen Schild and interior architect Tine Groen are seizing the opportunity this workspace in the Havenkwartier presents to showcase their undoubted talents as designers. “After a thorough search, we have found exactly what we were looking for: an industrial property in a creative and vibrant location”, says Tine Groen. A perfect setting for their studio, which has evolved over the last fifteen years into a specialist in the field of transformation, renovation and large scale interiors.
Studio Groen+Schild ‘s ten designers have worked on a number of extraordinary projects both nationally and internationally: from the Dutch consulate in New York to a town house in Deventer. Apartments in a former warehouse to an office in the business district ‘Zuidas’ in Amsterdam.
Plenty had still to be done to transform the former grain silo into a suitable workplace. And that was the challenge that confronted the Groen+Schild team: in little over a year, the ground floor was transformed into a unique workspace. “Where once trucks drove into the silo to take their loads, our work benches now occupy the loading floor in the studio,” Schild relates.
Groen+Schild wanted to retain the rough character of the interior of the silo. The funnel openings, the chains, the rough concrete and the brick walls have therefore been left intact as much as possible. An extra level has though been added with an extension constructed of steel and glass that extends four metres on the harbour side of the building.
At street level, the closed roller doors at the front have been replaced with transparent doors and glass doors have been fitted at the back. A conscious choice was made to keep the character of the ground floor and the new level different, Tine Groen informs. The ground floor has a homely feel to it, with a high bookcase, a kitchen and a large table. While cabinets in other materials and steel also grace this level. The ground floor clearly showcases our work as designers, Tine Groen explains.
The new level has an open style design for the workplaces. They are partially located in the former silo and partially in the new glass extension. The LED lighting in the cut-off funnel openings and the light lines under the grid ceiling form clear lines that are also visible from outside. The design runs consistently throughout a number of materials: steel, glass, aluminium and concrete. “To complement this design, we applied three colours: slate blue for all newly added elements, light grey for the floor and black for the details. This
spotlights the old sections in addition to highlighting the new elements”, Ellen Schild explains.
Energy efficient and green
Energy efficient was our starting point for the design of the installations, Schild emphasizes. We have deliberately installed no gas connection in the silo. Heating and cooling are realised using an electric powered heat pump, which generates energy from the outside air. The heat pump is connected to a heat recovery unit, which recycles 90% of the energy from the open air that is used for ventilation. Furthermore, the energy efficient LED lighting contributes to reducing our overall power consumption. The required – green – energy is still being supplied from the grid. The next stage is installing solar collectors on the roof of the silo.
Open to the public
In addition to a fine workspace for their own team, Groen and Schild would like to make their studio open to the public on a regular basis. “During the Open Heritage days this year, we will be offering guided tours and telling the visitors about our design and how this extraordinary project was realised.” Moreover, Studio Groen is considering organising lectures and exhibitions on topics from which they gain inspiration and that relate to architecture and design.
Opening up the studio to the public can help realise our ambition of ensuring the silo is more than just a landmark: a location that contributes to the creativity and vibrancy of the Havenkwartier. Groen+Schild: “Being able to contribute to this and creating a truly inspiring studio, that was our vision throughout this project.”
Studio Groen+Schild is now more prominent than ever before in Deventer, thanks to their new workspace. It showcases the talents of their designers in the area of architecture, construction, sustainability and interior design. All elements have been carefully integrated. “That is what we represent: architecture and interior are intertwined in our view”, explains Ellen Schild.
The construction of the Grey Silo was a spectacular event in 1961: after three weeks of interrupted pouring of concrete in a timber formwork, the 51-metre high premises was formed. This was a unique method at this time in the Netherlands. The building that functioned as storage for feed and grain shut up shop in 2000. The sale of the Silo in 2015 to a private individual gave the silo a new lease of life. The Black Silo and the Elevator building together with the Grey Silo in the Havenkwartier form an ensemble that is part of the industrial heritage of Deventer.
For more info, visit http://studiogroenenschild.nl/en/