Pi de Bruijn (de Architekten Cie.)
Multi Vastgoed B.V. en Vendex International
Tram 4-9-16-20-24
M. Vermeulen, 'Ga verder naar Kalverstraat', Stedenbouw, februari/maart 1997, p. 24-28; M. Vermeulen, 'Kalvertoren officieel geopend', Stedenbouw, november 1997, p.30-32; A. Wortmann, 'De scheve toren van Pi', Archis, november 1997, p.62-63.
Leisure, Wonen

Shopping centre with apartments and parking garage

The site on which the Kalvertoren was built, was occupied in the Middle Ages by a Poor Clares nunnery. The nunnery was turned into a prison in the nineteenth century, and then functioned as a swimming baths from about 1900 onwards. This rich history is reflected in the development of the Kalvertoren.

The objective of the developers and designers was ‘to find a satisfactory solution to the existing field of tension between the commercial interests, the cultural aspect, the value of the existing urban structure and that of a new urban structure’. This resulted in the use of brick together with natural materials, a characteristic ground plan which embroiders on the historic site plan, and a combination of dwellings with working and shopping functions.

The distinctive ground plan is a product not only of historical references but an effort to optimize accessibility. From entrances on all three surrounding streets, the public is guided along three internal shopping passages to the middle point: the Kalvertoren proper, a thirty-metre tall ‘tower’ of steel and glass. The generous glazing of the central tower helps diffuse natural daylight through the interior.

The primary function of the Kalvertoren was retail space, which is distributed over the basement, ground floor and first floor. The complex also includes a parking garage and 29 luxury dwellings, which are generally situated above the shops. The central tower is topped by a café/restaurant which offers a vista of the city centre. (ARCAM/JV)