Project DescriptionFROM THE ARCHITECTS:
The head office for Vreugdenhil Dairy Foods is a highly energy-efficient design with a 2,850 square meters working environment in Nijkerk, the Netherlands. Vreugdenhil Dairy Foods, for the past few decades, has been the leading international producer of full cream milk powder and column-based specialties for the food industry.
The design provides space for working, meeting and conference rooms, a restaurant, lounge and support functions. Central themes on the development were: identity, experience, interaction, new office concepts and flexibility.
The design has been developed with a focus on sustainability and the environment and has been awarded with a five-star BREEAM-NL Outstanding certification.
The site is located in the industrial area Arkerpoort, prominently situated near the A28 in Nijkerk. The Arkerpoort is a roughly triangular area located between the Arkemheenweg, the A28 and the Verbindingsweg Nijkerk.
Because of its location, between these adjacent roads, the location is highly visible from the surrounding area and the location has a round orientation and constitutes a major southwestern entrance of Nijkerk. On the three corners of the Arkerpoort terrain remarkable architecture, a landmark, was expected.
The triangular building is projected on the plot in a way that the façades of the volume are not parallel with or perpendicular to the highway. Hereby the design has an all-sided, 180 degrees, orientation to the surrounding landscape and with regard to any nuisance caused by traffic noise, the highway is not made more prominent than it already is.
Workplaces and conference rooms are located on the upper floors, creating more distance from the highway and providing more height to the given program. An aspect which also strengthens the relationship between landscape, building and interior. From all workplaces and conference rooms on the upper floors there is visual relation with the surrounding landscape.
All functional program components are situated around a central reception area, in the form of an atrium. Here one enters the office building and there is room for a lobby and reception. Looking up into the atrium, several workplaces, meeting rooms and a gangway are perceived. All connected by an elegant stairwell. This is the heart of a glass roofed atrium which acts as an informal social space, connecting the different floors. It encourages visitors to use the stairs instead of the lift as the main circulation route through the building.
From the central hall one can wander by a spiral staircase to the restaurant. This is allocated on a lower level the typical office floor, leaving the restaurant in direct, open relationship with lobby and reception. This also provides room for a sheltered outdoor or patio, located directly at the restaurant.
The lower stage of the staircase is highly accessible with alternate landings every two steps and the inner string of the staircase gradually builds from the lower stage to circle a decorative tree placed in the stair’s center.
From the restaurant there’s a small staircase to the first floor. Workstations, conference and meeting rooms are located on this floor. By placing them around the atrium, interaction is made possible by the layout of the floor plans. Distinctive for these floors is the bright, spacious, open and transparent nature.
Panoramic views from different areas from the building are generated by a transparent façade. By increasing the ground of the adjacent terrain, there is the possibility to directly reach the outside area from the restaurant level on the first floor. The raising of the ground level is used to locate parking places, from both the building and the immediate area, withdrawn from direct view as far as possible.
The façades of the office building are entirely executed in glass, partially structural glazed. Hereby, the building has an open, transparent and modern character. The glass façade is equipped with a screen print pattern which regulates the degree of transparency of the façade. At eye level maximum transparency, while at the floor level more closed. In detail the design of the façade aims for modern, smooth and clean presence, giving the building a product-related appearance and further underscores the image of Vreugdenhil Dairy Foods.
Our client aimed for a highly-energy efficient and sustainable office. The highest BREEAM Outstanding certificate is earned by a full cooperation with all building partners. BREEAM is a method to determine the sustainability performance of buildings in the Netherlands and this is the quality mark to review new projects and major renovations on sustainability performance. BREEAM-NL is for offices, retail, schools, industrial buildings, houses, public and accommodation functions and data centers. Buildings are rated on nine different sustainability topics: management, health, energy, transport, water, materials, waste, land use and ecology and pollution.
This text was lightly edited for clarity.