Van Gelder

Wholesaler fruit and vegetables

A logo for the sector: it’s all about perception

Visibility, recognizability and experience are the key themes for this hypermodern supplier of fruit and vegetables.

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Van Gelder

Striking design and transparency give the company and the sector a recognizable and dynamic appearance

Van Gelder is a leading, hypermodern supplier of potatoes, vegetables and fruit. In response to the growth of the company, a new complex is planned close to the A15 motorway in Ridderkerk. With this new development, the traditional Dutch company not only wants to structure its operating processes but also present a clear image with an experience centre that is all about perception. In an invited competition EGM designed an iconic building that showcases the operating processes and ensures a constantly changing environment.

Operating process and experience

The design distinguishes between operating process and experience. The main building, housing the processing and dispatch departments, is sober and efficient, while the experience centre is all about perception. The centre is where sample crops are cultivated, tested and tasted, and exhibitions and congresses are hosted. The perfect place to learn about the company and the industry.

Transparent and visible

A broad transport zone between both buildings forms the timber-clad backdrop for the experience centre, which refers to the crates of fruit. ‘Hanging’ from this are volumes containing cooking studios, newly cultivated crops, meeting rooms, exhibition spaces, the restaurant, the reception and the auditorium. These are connected to one another by footbridges and stairs. Formal and informal routes alternate with each other, guiding visitors, customers and employees past all sorts of activities and thus ensuring constantly changing scenes from outside the building.

A clear logo

The building has the distinctive outline of a complex of greenhouses and is thus clearly visible and recognizable from the motorway. At night, special illumination picks out the building’s contours and transforms it into a beacon of light. The auditorium that punches through the front façade creates a dynamic appearance: a smoothly running and modern machine that symbolizes the innovative power of the company. 

Sustainable and future-oriented

Since in terms of sustainability the client aims to achieve a BREEAM Excellent certificate at the very least, EGM came up with a number of innovative solutions, such as: the use of PV panels, integrated wind turbines, fermentation of processed waste (biomass), heat and cold storage in an ice cellar, and rainwater collection. Combined with the design choices, these measures ensure a recognizable, innovative and sustainable building that anticipates the future.