A substantial and urgently needed shift is underway, also within our work field, from new build to renovation. The enormous current stock of property is forcing us to look in a strategic and inventive way for what often turn out to be surprising possibilities for reusing existing buildings. We see it as our task to discover and lay bare these opportunities, which are often concealed at first sight. To do this, we go to work analytically and investigate technical, functional, spatial and aesthetic components in relation to the question in hand. Sometimes it emerges that the location and the requirement both offer opportunities, but are not an optimal match together. In that case, we will take a critical stance and not just accept the situation. Our extensive network makes it possible for us to look further, particularly in a situation such as this. Bringing together the right parties is something we consider as an important part of our work.
The key words are value creation. In some buildings, this value is already present in principle (monuments, industrial heritage). We especially enjoy the challenge of upgrading the segment of existing property where this value is not obviously present.
One example of this type of revitalization is the Dutch HealthTec Academy project, where an existing commercial building in Overvecht business park in Utrecht was transformed into an energetic school location.
In 2011, JHK Architecten received the VGME Award for the Dutch HealthTec Academy. The award was given to the most appealing redevelopment of a piece of property. 'The DHTA is the best revitalization project of the last decade', according to the VGME.