DE ZWARTE HOND, 2000-2005, Helperpark 270-298, Groningen
Jurjen van der Meer
Zwarte Hond, de
Industrial and public-utility buildings
Built in 1931, the Helpman Centrale was one of the first electric power stations in the Netherlands. It has since been recast as a mixed-use building for media-related companies. At its centre is the large turbine hall, with office space in the bays on either side. In the south-east, a new building segment, partly glazed and partly clad with aluminium ribs, has been added, half of it tucked into the former turbine hall. Part of the imperforate north-east elevation has been replaced with glass for the rooms of the regional broadcasting company (RTV Noord) and new volumes have been added on the other long side. These interventions have preserved the character of this industrial monument.