The huge concrete construction of a former postal sorting centre within the Netherlands has been reworked into a brand new headquarters for PostNL by Dutch studios KCAP and Kraaijvanger Architects.
Positioned alongside the Hollands Spoor practice station in The Hague, the 30,000-square-metre Stationspostgebouw, which is classed as a nationwide monument, was designed in 1939 in a functionalist type by Gustav Cornelis Bremer.
Seeking to emphasise the constructing’s “monumental character”, Rotterdam-based KCAP and Kraaijvanger Architects made a function of the present prefabricated concrete columns, which now body a full-height atrium beneath the arched, skylit roof.
“The spatial structure and ambiance of the monumental constructing are distinctive: the glass blocks facade, the deep ground areas and the highly effective structural options,” stated Chantal Vos, affiliate accomplice at Kraaijvanger Architects.
With a T-shaped plan, the constructing includes a a lot bigger area to the west which abuts a slender addition to the east, bookended by two staircases.
The primary area centres round a big central atrium with a run of enormous columns down its center, and a zigzagging staircase in black steel and wooden that connects every of the workplace’s ranges.
On the bottom ground, the workplace’s “group centre” accommodates a reception, cafe, frequent areas and assembly areas, wrapped by a landscaped backyard with exterior terraces.
Above, as a way to have a minimal affect on the present construction, the 9 flooring of workplace area are subdivided by picket partitions, curtains and curving planters, which may be organized or altered sooner or later relying on the employees’ wants.
“The atrium, surrounded by cascading flooring and traversed by bridges and stairs, may be learn as a metaphor for the converyor belts and sorting machines that used to ship mail straight from the station,” stated Irma van Oort, accomplice at KCAP.
“Essential to the transformation is creating an workplace constructing for a brand new manner of working, making the work surroundings really feel like a lounge: broadly usable, but additionally safe,” she continued.
The glass brick facade and home windows of the present construction have been retained and restored, with the environmental efficiency and acoustic situations of the interiors improved with the addition of an inside “second pores and skin” of glazing.
The gray brick cladding of the unique construction has additionally been stored, in addition to a sequence of small sculptures on the japanese facade.
Inside, all the constructing’s new additions sit in distinction to the concrete of the present construction, which has been left uncovered all through in giant columns and beams.
Different just lately featured retrofit initiatives embody the transformation of a heating plant in Bratislava right into a cultural centre and workplaces by DF Artistic Group, and the conversion of a historic Ford manufacturing unit in Pittsburgh right into a analysis centre by ZGF Architects.
The pictures is by Ossip van Duivenbode.