Bunker Tower

Beauty and Brutalism

We transform a well-loved monument to university life – the Brutalist student center known as ‘De Bunker’ – into a vibrant multi-use development by adding a striking new residential tower. For us, the key to the project was keeping the contemporary intervention in the spirit of the original structure, designed by leading postwar Dutch architect Hugh Maaskant. Rather than adding contrast, we studied Maaskant’s design language and repeated the same architectural themes: slanting walls, strong horizontal lines and – of course – stark detailing and rugged materials. Combining old and new, we created a unified, layered design, celebrating and restoring the building’s original glamor.BunkerTower was the BNA Identity and Icon Value Winner in 2023.

BudgetConfidential
Time span2015 - 2022
Size32 640 m²
StatusBuilt
LocationEindhoven, NL
TypeLiving, Offices, Public Spaces, Recognitions, Towers, Transformations
Client
RED Company, Being Development
Partners in charge
Nanne de Ru, Stijn Kemper
Project team
Yoon Kyun (Peter) Lee
Ahmad Hallak
Robbert Verheij
Philip Weber
Lesia Topolnyk
Antonia Pohankova
Loz Mills
Sven Janse
Structural engineer
Building physics
Project management
Contractor
Videography
Investor of rental properties
Pensioenfonds Rail & OV
Legal advise
Spatial planning consultant

The new Bunker complex is a hybrid of form and function, set in a beautiful park that enhances the entire complex.

Stijn Kemper

Original Orthogonality

Maaskant’s design is strong, horizontal, long, and flat
The original building has a surprising number of offsets and angles
We navigated the challenges posed by the sloping surfaces
The Bunker exhibits both 'béton brut' aesthetics and rich detailing
We retained the 'Maaskantian' primary colors in the staircase
The slatted structure of the formwork remains visible
We utilised derived wood in the form of slats on walls and ceilings
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Reviving the Bunker

Bunker Tower reveals different vignettes, depending on where you stand

Reviving the Bunker

Hugh Maaskant’s Bunker is a Brutalist classic: a horizontal concrete composition of bold lines, rugged materials, and massive volumes. The original structure of the much-loved Bunker was long the center of student life in the city. Our competition-winning redesign unites the original structure with the new residential tower, by adopting the language and materiality of the old Bunker. Now preserved for the future, the Bunker gains an unexpected new lease of life thanks to the striking Bunker Tower. It allowed us to place all parking underground – freeing up the surroundings to create a surrounding park, designed by DELVA Landscape Architecture & Urbanism – additions which effectively energize the entire area.

The tower emerges seamlessly from De Bunker, without a stark or contrasting element

Adapting the formula

Bunker

Bunker Tower

1/2

We avoided a strict separation between old and new. Instead we made it an imaginative continuation of Maaskant’s architectural style.

Dive into the details
Dive into the details
Reviving a Brutalist Beast
Stijn Kemper

New horizons

Horizontal meets vertical: the old Bunker and the new Bunker Tower

New horizons

We took the strong horizontal lines of the old Bunker and stacked them up to create the new tower with its bold verticality. Inside, new residential apartments benefit from sweeping views and simple yet luxurious interiors. The old Bunker, restored and newly protected, houses the offices of a media company and a semi-public grand café. The base also houses several of the in total 210 apartments. In three distinct sections, the tower lifts Maaskant’s design language into new territory, twisting dynamically and becoming progressively lighter and more open as it rises.

Emerged Extension

The tower

A Look Inside the Tower

The 27th floor apartment, designed with an open floor plan
Layered textures frame the backdrop
Materiality compliments the aesthetics
Wooden joinery details of the sliding doors
We designed both the interior and exterior – a full circle journey
We created a refined and articulated interior for our clients
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Layered with light

The tower with layered sections
The tower with layered sections

Layered with light

The tower tapers as it rises, echoing the old Bunker’s sloping walls, asymmetry and stepped form. Its lively and dynamic silhouette has three distinct sections. A greater proportion of glass towards the top makes the tower lighter and more open the higher it gets. The sculptural tower gives the Bunker a new life as a city landmark – starring in countless urban vistas, while also providing great views of the city for residents.

Bunker Tower brings new energy to a whole neighborhood and to the city itself.

Natural high

The stone tower façade and concrete Bunker
The stone tower façade and concrete Bunker

Natural high

To match Maaskant’s monumentality, we chose natural stone for the tower façade. We combined it with glass and wood, materials that are also central to his design. The lively rhythm of horizontal bands called for panels all three materials. Some 3000 of these massive stone, wood and glass façade panels were hoisted aloft (but not in high winds!) to create a richly detailed effect.

At the base

Ground floor

The Core Connector

Workstations of the online training center, GoodHabitz
The characteristic wooden paneling that can be found throughout
The playful height variations align with the informal workconcept
With around 4000 m2 there is space for multifunctional rooms
Our intervention highlights the preserved heritage of The Bunker
We preserved authentic elements like the red steel railing
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The language and materiality of the old Bunker with soft contrast

Our design celebrates and restores the old Bunker’s original raw glamor.

Site plan

Translating the Essence

The natural stone facade translates the existing concrete building
The Brutalist Monkey from Atelier Van Lieshout suits the style
The preserved heritage served as the basis for the residential tower
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Bunker Tower has been awarded most iconic building of 2023 by the BNA in the category Identity and Icon Value
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