de Alliantie HQ, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Studioninedots cuts out an atrium inside renovated 1970s office building

Studioninedots’ design transformed an existing 1970s office building on the Lucent site in Hilversum into the new headquarters of De Alliantie, a Dutch housing corporation. The most eye-catching intervention involved the removal of large areas of infill floors and walls from the sturdy concrete structure. This created a spectacular four-storey-high void, the light and lively new heart of the building that connects the different departments.

In this way the concept of connection was integral to the design wherein architecture and interior design are inseparable. The new headquarters functions to consolidate De Alliantie’s regional offices and their 400 employees, and facilitate new interactions between both colleagues and visitors through collective functions, which are centred around the atrium. These functions include the lobby, a public restaurant, library and kitchenettes on each floor.
Spatially, the dynamic character of the atrium is accentuated by crisscrossing steel staircases, cantilevered balconies, walkways and vistas, but most of all through the void that zigzags within the concrete frame. This dynamism is also expressed on the facade: large glazed surfaces within the structural concrete framework cut out a Tetris-like form from the anthracite-coloured facade, which lends the building its prominent new identity.

Internally it’s immediately clear that the removal of floors and walls has literally resulted in more openness and daylight, which now floods the 22-metre-deep floor plates of the once dark building. The structural framework in the atrium is infilled with perforated wooden panels and steel frames. Besides their acoustic function and being the perfect basic layer for the graphic signage, the walls also incorporate various functions such as the kitchenettes, library, storage and displays.

The last companies vacated the former Lucent industrial site in the 1980s, and two of the five office buildings were retained. Being in good condition, especially the concrete structure and the ingenious installations Philips applied at the time, these buildings could be renovated to easily gain a new life. Estimations state that a completely new build headquarters of 6.300 m2 would have cost about 50% more than this transformation (of 851 euro/m2 + 450 euro/m2 for the interior) does now. On top of that the building scored energy label G before renovation, now its A.

By physically sharing social spaces, staff now interact with each other socially and professionally, and contribute to the new shared identity of the company.

Thursday 08 Jun 2017

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