Panorama, climate neutral neighborhood center

Film Opening

Urban integration: object in the green
The building is situated as an universal, round, inviting pavilion in the green. A gym is often a closed building. The central location with the other functions around creates an interaction with the neighbourhood. The round shape highlights the exposed character as an autonomous sculpture between the flats from the sixties.
The building has a green roof because of the people from the neighbouring flats which can look on it. The roof accumulates also the heat and buffers water and particles. The gym is slightly higher with a large sloping roof – facing south – with solar panels. An enormous overhanging canopy generates a veranda around and catches the bright summer sun.

Architecture: transparency
The floor plan is based on a play of geometric transformations so that the tapered corridors create more space just where it is needed, such as at the entrance. The round building opens through full glass windows to the neighbourhood, looking inviting. Exterior and interior merge into each other. Behind the glass façade the circular wall is visible which is painted entirely by the people from the neighbourhood as a colourful “inside lining”, which represents all sixty cultures. At night the artwork lights up.

Climate neutral building, building-related energy neutrality (Energy performance coefficient according to Dutch regulations (EPC) = 0):
To realize the increased ambitions the design is optimized by the following steps, based on the Trias Energetica.

Step 1 – Reducing energy demand

  • Use of triple glazing. This is also an improvement of the thermal indoor climate.
  • The improvement of the isolation of all walls adjoining to the outside (Rc = 5.0 m²K/W)
  • Making the building “airtight” through triple draft proofing. This means that less air can ex- or infiltrate, and thus a lower energy loss.
  • Use of daylight regulation and presence detection.

Step 2 – Heat recovery

  • The efficiency of heat recovery from ventilation air is improved. This draws heat from polluted air sucked in, and warms up the fresh outdoor air. The efficiency of heat recovery increases by 20% to 90%.

Step 3 – Sustainable energy use, what nature provides

  • The day lighting of the building is further optimized by use of solar tubes in locations outside the daylight zone.
  • The daylight is improved by applying a glass with high light transmittance factor.
  • The ventilation system is a hybrid system in the gym. This means that depending on the measured CO² concentration and the outside temperature valves in the gym can be opened. This reduces not only the energy required for ventilation but enhances also the functionality and flexibility of the building by the much larger ventilation flow rates.
  • The heat pumps using a thermal storage (heat and cold storage) as heat source. The use of a thermal storage is more efficient compared to the ground heat exchanger system. This applies to both cooling and heating.
  • For hot water solar water heaters are used. By using solar heaters, nearly 30% of the energy for heating water is saved.
  • PV cells are used (approximately 540m2). Where any other measures save energy, photovoltaic cells generate energy. Therefore, they are a very important link in achieving climate and energy neutrality. The PV cells are integrated into the design of the gym roof.


Veenendaal, NL, 2010-2011
Public Buildings

A neighborhood center with an open atmosphere for all ages from about 60 cultures with gym in North Engelenburg in Veenendaal.

Gemeente Veenendaal

Marlies Rohmer Architects & Urbanists

Marlies Rohmer
Fabian van den Bosch
Floris Hund
Thomas van Nus
Begoña Masiá
Kate Griffin

Breed integrateddesign, Den Haag

building services
Merosch, Bodengraven
E&B engineering en bouwbegeleiding B.V., Lekkerkerk

illustration round wall
in coproduction with M2uur bv



GFA: 1.048 m²


Copyright Marlies Rohmer Architects & Urbanists