Location
  • the Hague, Netherlands
Client
  • LIFE
Year
  • 2018 - 2021
Status
  • Under Construction
Program
  • 30.000 m2 building renovation and transformation of a national monument into a multifunctional office building with headquarters for PostNL and the establishment of Fosbury & Sons with catering, Community Centre, co-working spaces and informal meeting places
Disciplines
  • Architecture
  • Supervision
Credits
  • Visualisations: WAX
  • Visualisations: Plotvis
Collaborators
  • Developer: SENS Real Estate
  • Interior design: Kraaijvanger Architects
  • Construction: J.P. van Eesteren / BESIX
  • Installations: Unica
Publications
  • Interaction and visual connections became a vital element in our design for the new office environment and experience. That is why our concept provides for a new heart of the building: an impressive atrium that was created by cutting out a central void. The atrium is alive through large skylights above the airspace with cascading stepped floors and is criss-crossed by bridges and stairs, a metaphor for the conveyor belts and mail sorting machines of the past. This intervention is not only a reminder of the former purpose of the Stationspostgebouw. The new connections also ensure the visual dialogue between the different working environments following the principle of "see and be seen". The newly designed informal routes help to come together physically and explore the space on different roads. They promote a pleasant working environment and offer places where people can meet.

    One of the biggest challenges was to renovate and renew the façade and structure of the building. We wanted to restore the atmosphere of the monumental building and at the same time make it more open, making use of daylight and new voids in the building. New mezzanine levels have been added to the original high floors, connected by large voids in the center so that daylight can penetrate deep into the building. In the restoration concept, emphasis is placed on the main supporting structure and in particular the columns, one of the first examples in the world of using precast concrete columns. 

    The transformation allowed us to make Stationspostgebouw future-proof: our proposal results in a building redesigned according to WELL and BREEAM that will be certified with the highest achievable energy label A.
    Irma van Oort, Partner KCAP
  • The existing double-height spaces, the rounded shapes and the glass building blocks have contributed to making everything as transparent and open as possible. Following the ambition to create openness and solidarity, the plinth has also been opened. The transparency at street level creates a lively visual dialogue between inside and outside and integrates the Stationspostgebouw into the urban context.

  • The interior design by Kraaijvanger Architects responds to PostNL's needs as a new user of the Stationspostgebouw and their desire for a new environment that serves flexible collaboration, flexible use and the well-being of employees and guests. These ingredients have been translated into a social landscape; an environment for working, research and development, focused on collaboration, exchange and connection. The transformation of the special building has been leading in the 'mapping' of activities linked to different areas in the interior; dynamic and informal zones around the voids for meetings, informal and formal zones for collaboration and consultation, surrounded by open, semi-open and closed spaces. And also a more quiet periphery where one can work individually and in peace in the narrow part of the building.

    In order to create the most pleasant working environment possible, mainly natural and technical materials have been used in the interior, such as resp. wood, clay plaster, brick from residual flows, textile and magnetic gray colored glass, aluminum, self-healing steel and terrazzo made with a bio-based binder. The materials determine the interior design. They speak for themselves and are applied undisguised and undecorated. The result is a powerful collaboration of constructive expression and a unique mix in which the restored architecture and the new interior reinforce each other, where the value of the building's history is translated into the interior; no use of ornaments but a fair and simple application of materials.

    The core of our architectural transformation is to create an office building for a new way of working, where the working environment feels like a living room.
    Irma van Oort, Partner KCAP
  • The renovated Stationspostgebouw is the first national monument in the Netherlands to be certified with the highest achievable energy label A and has been redesigned in line with WELL and BREEAM standards. A second glass skin has been placed on the inside of the building and insulates the building in an almost invisible manner, so that the monumental facade is preserved while at the same time meeting high sustainability requirements. This solution helps to save a significant amount of energy as well as to reduce noise pollution from road and train traffic, thereby increasing user comfort. Carefully selected energy-saving measures support these interventions. The core of the building remains intact, and existing materials are reused where possible in accordance with the principles of the circular economy.

    Originally designed as the most prominent building along the railway, the Stationspostgebouw has always been a landmark, especially at night when the illuminated architecture made the building appear from the inside like a magical lantern in the urban context. In KCAP's urban vision for the transformation of the HS Kwartier, the Stationspostgebouw is the first completed project and is therefore a very important element for enlivening public space and guaranteeing the human dimension within an inner-city densification strategy.

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