Molengebouw & Riffellokaal

location Leiden, Netherlands
date 2015
client Ab van der Wiel, Meelhattan B.V.
program residential and commercial
surface 6300 m²
status under construction
design team Studio Akkerhuis
consultants Piet Oudolf, Lola Landscape, Pieters Bouwtechniek, LBP Sight, Vlampunt

Forming a crucial edge to the Meelfabriek complex, the Molengebouw and Riffellokaal buildings form a dialogue with the main piazza, the parks and the new neighbouring residential buildings. The combination of brick facade, ribbon windows and the elegant prefabricated steel frame combine to create a building with significant industrial heritage within the complex.

The aim of the project is to preserve, restore and reveal this historical value. Through a sensitive intervention, the exposed steel structure will become the main feature of the interior space, emphasizing the industrial character of the complex; the restored slender steel windows will receive new French balconies designed to integrate and preserve the horizontal lines of the building. The brick facade will include new fenestrations adapting to the building’s residential function, which will offer spectacular views on the City of Leiden, the parks and the water. The loft apartments are designed to be as open as possible, offering flexible and vibrant living areas characterized by double height spaces, two-sided orientation and winter gardens.

A steel and glass extension on the rooftop, hosting an extraordinary penthouse, is the new linking element that turns the two existing buildings in one articulated complex. The commercial ground floor is conceived as a continuous open space that flows between the steel structure and connects the master plan public spaces through a public passage. From here two new service cores provide the vertical circulation for each building up to the roof extension.