Amsterdam-based architectural practice Hollandse Nieuwe has enlisted the help of virtual reality to create a dynamic and colorful workspace for civil servants. Commissioned by the local government as part of the city’s current policy to provide homes and semi-public workplaces for civil servants, the architects designed a flexible office space conducive to collaboration, health and creativity. The 1,650-square-meter office development was completed in 2019.
To meet the government’s brief for a semi-public workspace open to all civil servants, the architects took cues from a grand cafe for the design of the ground floor. To promote social activity, the building features a plaza-like area that hosts diverse meeting places as well as a catering facility and kitchen that provides high-quality coffee.
In the extended part of the plaza is the ‘superflexzone,’ an area comprising workspaces as well as flex-spaces that can be used as overflow for rentable units and civil servants interested in “hot desking,” or staying in the building for just a short period of time. The office also has a conference center for formal meetings. Although the office space follows an open-floor plan, the architects have clearly delineated the busier zones from the quieter areas while bright color schemes aid in way-finding. Proper insulation provides pleasant acoustics and indoor comfort as well. VR technology was also used to communicate the vision to the client for optimal results.
The project follows the architecture firm’s goals of sustainability and recycling. Elements from the original interior, for instance, have been repurposed for the design of the new interior. The materials and finishes are all environmentally friendly. Well Standard principles have also been followed, and the existing pillars were covered with a new layer of foil to make them look fresh. Plant motifs are woven throughout the design to create a connection with nature.
Images via Hollandse Nieuwe