Rijnstraat 8, The Hague

Designed by: OMA
For client: Rijksvastgoedbedrijf Floor area: 100000.00 M² Year of completion: 2017
Nominated for: 年度市政空间

About the Project

Upon its completion in 1992, Rijnstraat 8, the former Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment (VROM) building represented both an innovative office typology – its atriums served as conservatories where the outside was brought inside – and a leading example of sustainability. Today the building, designed in the 1980s, no longer offers the flexibility and openness required of a contemporary office space. In collaboration with the original architect, Jan Hoogstad, and in the context of a Public Private Partnership under the name of PoortCentraal (consisting of BAM, ISS and OMA), OMA has developed an integrated concept for the building based on a renewal of its existing architectural qualities.

What’s unique about it

Rijnstraat 8 is an example of how the workplace of the future might look like applied to the (often resistant-to-change) governmental office. OMA partner Ellen van Loon, backed by a group of progressive Dutch politicians, took an existing building of the former Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment (VROM) and transformed it into a flexible workspace, housing multiple ministries and governmental organizations.

The building features open floor offices, hot desks and a variety of flexible meeting spaces (reducing the required office space). Particular features worth noting are related to Rijnstraat 8's return as a leading example of sustainability. For example: 99,7% of the demolished material was reused in the transformational process; more light was brought into the building by replacing the original cladding with a transparent façade; energy consumption was optimized by using the atriums as a system of warm/cold air storage; the building generates energy with its waste being turned into biogas and the installation of solar panels on the roof. The interior is done entirely by OMA and was enriched with works of art found in the archives.

Being radical but at the same time responsible in the use of resources, Rijnstraat 8 brings the design of the office one step further into the future.

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