Converting two existing buildings in the Dagelijkse Groenmarkt into fourteen short-stay apartments was no routine construction project. Contractor Van Omme & De Groot had to overcome formidable challenges along the way.
Day in and day out, the old buildings in the heart of the city centre were teeming with all manner of specialists: tilers, plasterers, carpenters, and electricians. It seemed as if everything was happening at once - building walls, laying roofs and floors, installing the lift shaft - and all in a limited interior space.
“You really need to work together - it’s completely different from new construction”, said Rob, the head contractor. “In a newly constructed building all the various elements follow nicely in order. But not here. Nothing is standard – you can’t take anything for granted.
You constantly need to improvise and consult one another to achieve the desired result. Rebuilding older properties requires a completely different approach, but also provides enormous satisfaction. You encounter things you’d never otherwise come across.”
Among other things Rob mentioned having to use a crane to quickly unload materials from the lorries via the roof. “To ensure that the operation could be undertaken safely, the electrical current in the wires above the tramlines had to be switched off. So we had to wait until the trams stopped running. We only had a few hours between 1:30 and 5:30 a.m. to get the job done, but fortunately we managed.