In a multi disciplinary team with cepezed and Antea Group HofmanDujardin connected and renovated two existing office towers in the center of The Hague. Known as ‘De Resident’ the new 60.000m² office houses the combined Ministries of Social Affairs and Employment (SZW) and Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS).
From the light and welcoming entrance in the atrium new stairs, bridges and voids give access to the lower five floors where a great variety of meeting areas, work zones and restaurants can be found. The fifth floor of both Helicon and Castalia are dedicated to the offices of the ministers and their staff. The regular office floors can be found between the 6th and 20th floor. The highest floor of Castalia is reserved for a shared meeting center with grand views of The Hague.
The new spacious atrium is realized between the Helicon building with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment and the Castalia building with the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. The new slim white contruction creates in one direction an abstract decor and in the other direction it gives openess to experience the post-modern brick buildings. The reception for both ministries is positioned in the new central pavillion.
Enlarging Dutch Classics
On the Sunday after handing over the definitive design to the Central Government Real Estate Agency, Arjen Aarnoudse, Senior Architect at HofmanDujardin, visited the newly opened Rijksmuseum and posted a photo of a painting by De Hoog, a famous Dutch painter. In this painting a floor can be seen which has a remarkable resemblance to the tile patterns that can be found on the fourth floor of Castalia. Could it be that Graves found his inspiration not in an Italian Classical palace but in famous Dutch art.
Triggered by this resemblance HofmanDujardin started a research in which many other references to Dutch art and architecture were found in the interior architecture of Castalia. Alongside De Hoog, Graves was inspired by paintings from Vermeer, by architecture from famous Dutch architect Berlage and by art from Escher.
Paintings and floors
Inspired by Graves’s enlarging of Dutch classics HofmanDujardin used this theme as a concept to enrich and improve the colors and materials in the interior design. Paintings from famous traditional and modern Dutch painters were selected related to the identities of both Ministries. For each floor of the combined offices a different painting was selected, resulting in a selection consisting of over 30 different paintings. For the Castalia offices for the Ministry of VWS the paintings were selected on the theme ‘health and leisure’. Paintings with the theme ‘work’ were chosen for the Helicon office floors of the Ministry of SZW.
One of the most spectacular flooring designs you will ever see
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Each of these selected paintings was enlarged to the size of the floor. The painting then was translated into 50x50cm carpet tiles and projected onto the floor plan. For this 70 additional carpet colors were developed with the chosen carpet supplier to be able to transmit all the beautiful tones of the paintings. The carpet patterns are used at specific locations in the closed rooms. This approach resulted in over 300 unique floor patterns throughout the offices and meeting areas. A great diversity of lively, dynamic and colorful floor patterns is the result.
De Resident combined Ministries of Social Affairs and Employment (SZW) and Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS)
Interior design within the post-modern buildings of Michael Graves and Sjoerd Soeters
Central Government Real Estate Agency
The Hague, Netherlands
Interior Design, Workplace Design and Restaurant Design
Barbara Dujardin, Michiel Hofman, Arjen Aarnoudse, Anne Boonstra, Jeroen Semeijn, Clara Hernández López, Roel Driever, Cynthia Deckers, Claire Ginguene, Marjo Langbroek, Melinda Delst, Paul Coenen and Pieter Mulder
Stevens van Dijck
Advisor light design