Construction of Russian fruit and exotics exporter Art Fruit's new DC is currently in full swing. This Russian market leader distributes exotic and soft fruits and vegetables. These go to retail chains, restaurants, and production companies throughout Russia. It is realizing a state-of-the-art new 24,000 m2 building. There is also 5,000 m2 of office space. The company commissioned the Dutch firm Bogaerds Architects and Engineers to design the building.
"A Dutch contact from that company referred us. That contact knows we have know-how and expertise in fruit and vegetable warehousing," explains architect Rafael Krijgsman. "We've designed structures like Nature's Pride's new building. So the company was aware of our track record with such warehouses. Our designs include every last logistics requirement."
A Russian firm is carrying out the DC's construction. The building should be wind and watertight by next month. Completion is scheduled for the summer. "Russian buildings require a different design than in Western Europe. Their climate is more extreme. So you have to work with different snow load parameters, for example. We adapted the construction to that. After all, you want the building to last for years," says Rafael.
The new building is divided into a side for exotics and one for soft fruit. "We thought hard about how we could optimize the processes internally. Labor isn't as expensive as in the Netherlands. But there's certainly room to improve efficiency. We translated that into a logistical design. And the architectural design, too, was tailored to that."
"Berries and exotics are fantastic product groups. We incorporated that into a design that reflects our client's pride. Both the interior and exterior bars were set high. That translated into a colorful building. It's definitely not a bland box. The building backs onto a vast Russian forest. We don't offer encounter such elements in the Netherlands. But it makes for a wonderful whole," continues Rafael.
The global pandemic meant the whole consultation process was largely digital. "And that went perfectly. Digital consultations for overseas projects used to sometimes be difficult. But since the pandemic, everyone's developed further in that area. The client visited us several times to get acquainted and to talk. They also went to see reference projects."
"But we haven't yet been to Russia. We hope to visit the new building this spring." When asked if this Russian project could lead to more, the architect replies, "If this is the benchmark of future collaboration, then yes, absolutely."
For more information:
Bogaerds architecten en ingenieurs
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