ABC-NEWS - Residential tower De Helix, Groningen
Earth-coloured brick façade for the St. Peter’s Community Centre
9. February 2021
Residential studios Jan van Foreeststraat, Utrecht
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Residential tower De Helix, Groningen | Netherlands

Owner: Geveke Bouw, Groningen

Architects: De Unie Architecten, Groningen
www.deuniearchitecten.nl

Floor area: 8.112 qm

Quantity: qm brick slips

Facade: Whiite and green glazed

Photography: ABC-Klinkergruppe

70-metre tower De Helix rises above the student city of Groningen |

The 70-metre-high tower functions as Groningen’s urban landmark and shows Groningen’s identity as a student city on the skyline. The building has the shape of a nine-cornered triangle and makes a spiral curve on the inside.
Councillor Roeland van der Schaaf also unveiled the name of the tower, which was chosen in a competition. The name “The Helix” was chosen from 435 entries.
The building, with a total of 222 flats, is located directly on the access road from Bedumerweg to Nordring and includes 116 studios, 96 two-bedroom flats and 10 maisonettes. The 22-storey residential tower was designed by De Unie Architects and built by Geveke Bouw & Ontwikkeling.
The use of the tower by the students themselves plays an important role in the appearance of the building. The residents’ own interpretation of the collective helix enlivens the tower. The fact that the residents open the blinds or not also creates a varied façade appearance.
A parametric design was used to create the façade. Design parameters such as colour, structure and gloss of the ceramic tiles were included in a digital script. In this way, a rhythmic and alternating pattern of ceramic tiles was designed, which reinforces the dynamics of De Helix.
The variously coloured white and green glazed clinker brick slips give the tower a constantly changing appearance with the reflection of daylight and the appearance of light in the evening hours.