A complete circular building

Thomas Rau created a real circular building

Circular building is more than reusing the existing structure. All added materials, such as the concrete tiles, furniture and the insulation material, are recycled products and materials.

How do you give four dated bunched offices a second life without wasting material? Simple: build circular.

Energy Company Liander did it.

We have seen it. And it’s an amazing ‘new’ future proof and circular building.

Circular building

Architect Thomas Rau (Germany, 1961) does not talk about sustainability. He wants to re-use materials: he wants to create circular buildings.

The old offices (eighties) didn’t fit anymore. Rau has given the complex a complete facelift.

Old offices are not discarded, but covered by an undulating roof

Therefore, the office complex is experiencing a miraculous rebirth. Not sustainability but the concept of circular building is celebrated in almost a religious manner; 80% of the old building has been recycled.

Rau, circular building, business park

The old buildings before the transformation

Nothing-is-New Principle

Circular building is more than reusing the existing structure. All added materials, such as the concrete tiles, furniture and the insulation material, are recycled products and materials.

  • The brown toilets are vintage (from 1985)
  • The discarded clothing from the mechanics has been recycled into insulation materials
  • The old outside office walls have been covered with strips of wood waste incinerators that have been rescued and with vertical green gardens
Liander day lightened 'streets'

Inside the building is amazing. So much light and space

Glas Roof

Thanks to an undulating glas roof over the existing buildings, Liander now enjoys it’s a great new atrium that gives an identity to the building.

  • As a result, there complex features day lighted streets and squares around the old offices
  • That timber and the greenery creates a warm atmosphere
  • And the building is energy plus which means it’s producing more energy than is needed
  • Rau created with its 6500 square meter roof new and comfortable interior for Liander. The atrium is primarily a meeting space.

More exciting examples circular architecture

Thomas Rau is certainly not the only architect who pursues complete reuse of materials.

Architectural example of circular building: villa welperloo

Villa Welpeloo was designed by 2012Architects. Reused materials account for 60 percent of the structure

  • Villa Welpeloo (2012 Superuse Studios) in Enschede for example, redesigned an existing building, reusing materials:
    • For the facade the inner parts of a cable reels have been used
    • The load bearing construction has been made from steel beams from a paternoster (textile factory machine)




c2c, climate change, building, architecture, greenhouse, business park, McDonough

The American architect William McDonough + Partners, founder of the cradle-to-cradle concept, developed a new full service business park with 13 offices, greenhouses, sport facilities and more


Business Park 20 | 20, is completely developed, using the principles of cradle-to-cradle or circular architecture, closed the loops for materials, energy and water.

  • The furniture is refurbished and reused, al used wood is treated with vinegar (no chemical coating), so the wood can be returned to nature safely
  • 75% of the used concrete and steel are recycled material. Also, 30% of material is saved by using hollow floorings.
  • The business park is developed with a central, integrated energy system, using solar and wind power.
  • Waste water treatment: a grey water system for rainwater is providing water for toilets and irrigation and energy is collected from the waste water
  • All manufacturers and suppliers remain owner of the used materials – In the future, every building cam be dismantled completely dismantled
The video gives an impression but is in Dutch


Have you seen this?

Inspiring, green, circular architecture (dossier)

Circular economy: cheaper resources, more jobs (dossier)

MegaCities: challenges for mayors, engineers and planners (dossier)

Trending renewable energy technologies and initiatives (dossier)

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