The Bartok apartment building, completed in 2018, is part of the inner-city redevelopment of Arnhem and is located a very short distance from the main shopping street in the city centre. Bartok was developed by KondorWessels Projecten (KWP) and built by Wessels Rijssen (both part of VolkerWessels).
"For many years there was an empty office building on the site. Although the location had clear potential, redevelopment - despite all kinds of initiatives - did not get off the ground," says Roy Hasselerharm of KondorWessels Projecten. "At the end of 2013 we looked at the location and asked the municipality whether we could get a few weeks exclusivity to make a plan and make an offer at our own expense and risk. This eventually resulted in the purchase of the location.”
The Bartok building was created in an interactive design process with the municipality of Arnhem, the quality team Binnenstad Zuid and Barcode Architects. The new 9,500 m2 building comprises a varied programme including 62 rental flats, a supermarket, two retail spaces and a public passage to the Rozet car park. According to Hasselerharm, the building stands out for its contemporary architecture, in which the facade has a clear identity of its own. "Bartok has been given a pleasant human dimension as a result. Not only the exterior but also the interior with its galleries and inner garden give the building a lively and unique character."
The realisation of Bartok was not without a struggle. The builders of Wessels Rijssen faced many challenges in the busy city centre of Arnhem. Archaeological discoveries were made during the preparation of the site, including an old city wall. In addition, a polluted soil caused extra work when the foundations were laid. And, as is often the case in city centres, the building site was very cramped, but the use of prefabricated materials, just-in-time delivery and good coordination with the municipality meant that the inconvenience to local residents could be reduced. The building was finally delivered on schedule in October 2018.
Heuvelink Award 2020
As the icing on the cake, Bartok was declared winner of the Heuvelink Award, the biennial Arnhem architecture prize for the best new building, by the professional jury in September 2020. According to the jury's report, ten years ago the area around the Bartokplein was still a supposedly lost part of the city. Partly thanks to the arrival of Bartok, this corner of the city has now developed from 'not spot' to 'hot spot'. The jury was particularly impressed by the attention paid to the finishing and detailing of the interior spaces (from the entrance to the bicycle cellar) and the successful atrium: "Bartok is a driving force for high-quality living in the city centre."
Hasselerharm: "The Heuvelink Award is a nice compliment for all involved. Together we have always strived for a very high level of quality. It is sometimes tempting to make concessions for cost reasons, but we have managed to stay very close to our original vision. The result of a simple approach', we often say at KondorWessels Projects. Bartok is certainly a good example of that."