Conversion of the former De Constant Rebecque army barracks


In 1937, because of the increasing threat of war, Captain A G Boost designed a new type of army barracks in an expressionist style of architecture. His type of army barracks was revolutionary in the extent of standardization of the various building in the army grounds which made rapid construction possible. In that way a substantial number of army barracks could be built in the east of The Netherlands in a comparatively short spell.

Task: The Boost army barracks in Eindhoven were abandoned by the Dutch army in 1996. The army barracks will be converted into a campus for the Eindhoven International School. New buildings shall be added to the barracks grounds and the historic buildings shall be refurbished. For this purpose a tender takes place involving three competitors. One of the three competitors ‘Matrix onderwijshuisvesting’ asked Erfgoed Installaties to devise a plan for the future indoor climate and the saving of energy in the listed buildings.

Approach: Two reports had already been written about the cultural history of this type of army barracks in general, and of these army barracks in Eindhoven in particular. Both reports have been studied by Erfgoed Installaties and translated into opportunities for an indoor climate and energy strategy.

Results: Nearly all historic window panes were still present. For reasons of loss of cultural and historical value Erfgoed Installaties rejected a draft design that was thought to save energy by replacing all the windows. Based upon the above-mentioned two reports Erfgoed Installaties indicated which structural parts ought to be preserved because they are a link to the military past of the buildings. Without these elements the story of the army barracks is lost. Unfortunately, in a later design, which was submitted for the tender, it was decided to remove these elements arguing that otherwise standards for structural and mechanical engineering would not be complied with.

Client: SMT Bouwvastgoed (real estate developer)

Completion: 2011