STATE OFFICE DE KNOOP - Fokkema & Partners Architecten
Photo credit: Lucas van der Wee
The former ‘Lieutenant General Knoop Kazerne’ has been transformed into State Office ‘de Knoop’, a contemporary office building with additional representation as a central meeting hub for all Dutch Central Government Ministries. To house its new users in a transparent and inspiring environment, the original military compound with a closed structure was stripped completely. The virtues of the old construction with its wide octagonal concrete columns were reinterpreted in the design to offer intimacy and character: a profound counterbalance to a bright and daylight flooded new atrium. At the FRAME Awards 2020, State Office ‘de Knoop’ was awarded the people’s vote for the Governmental interior of the year, thanks to its user-centered design.
The new state office ‘de Knoop’, comprises an old building hull and a new building extension with a connecting atrium. The complex is wrapped with a rhythmic new glazed facade with vertical articulation and strongly embedded in the urban fabric. Precise logistics throughout the building and clever separations allow the building to meet high-security standards and a great capacity for adaptations in (future) use.
Voids, balconies, and staircases make a continuous sequence of spaces in the new Government Office building that was created in collaboration with Cepezed and Rijnboutt. The interior offers a customer journey that centers on users’ needs. This ranges from the open, buzzing environment at arrival, to the restaurant, the break-out areas and social hubs, and which becomes increasingly more personal towards the working domains, with the workplaces and small meeting areas.
The working domains are mainly situated in the characteristic existing building structure. The floors are now interconnected with new voids and staircases. Anchor points provide a meeting hub on each floor and are strung together with routing like a string of pearls in a necklace, each anchor point slightly different in order to do justice to the representation of the various users. In the conference center, situated in the new construction, open areas are defined along with the voids and staircases. These can house up to 300 people to informally connect before and after meetings. Its color schemes refer to the four seasons.
Trees and plants are integrated into the design, while views of the city’s landmarks provide orientation. The integration of art and every detail up to the graphics of the wayfinding was designed with a meticulous passion to create a truly integrated design. Studio Drift made an enchanting design for the installation above the coffee bar in the connecting atrium.