VERBOND VAN VERZEKERAARS

 

ZENBER Architecten designs working environment for Dutch association of Insurers.

 

The Dutch Association of Insurers (Verbond van Verzekeraars) is the leading federation of private insurance companies in the Netherlands. Its members represent over 95 per cent of the national insurance market. The Association’s headquarters in The Hague – the Verbondsgebouw – plays a prominent role as a meeting place.

 

It is here that members interact with each other and with the outside world. The building is seen as a modern ‘clubhouse’ and serves to establish the Association’s image as a transparent, innovative organization. It must provide a fitting ambience and a warm welcome for guests and visitors.

 

ZENBER Architecten was asked to incorporate the same principles into its design for a new and dynamic working environment.

Flexible and transparent

As part of a re-profiling programme launched in 2014, the Association of Insurers wished to upgrade its offices to provide a thoroughly transparent working environment which will promote cooperation, enhance quality and maximize flexibility.

“The building is seen as a modern ‘clubhouse’ for the insurance sector”

Interaction and learning

ZENBER Architecten has totally transformed the nine-storey building with its total floorspace of some 6,500 m². The somewhat gloomy, closed offices have given way to a dynamic open-plan design in which interaction and learning are the order of the day. The large open areas on each floor are interconnected by light wells. Long sightlines ensure that these areas are inviting while also presenting an orderly appearance. Multifunctional meeting rooms are clustered on the various floors, surrounded by both permanent and flexible workspaces.

 

The building’s core accommodates the lifts and sanitary facilities. Each floor has a distinct wall finishing and unique character.

Inviting and dynamic meeting place

The ground floor has been redesigned to include a spacious entrance hall. The former mailroom and archive have been opened up, creating ample floorspace for the inviting reception desk. The hall now enjoys more natural daylight and has a direct relationship with the outside world

 

There are several meeting areas, both open and private, which can be used by staff and members.

 

There is also a lounge area for visitors, with comfortable seating, a coffee machine and facilities for working. The ‘homely’ design reinforces the welcoming image of the reception area, which has become a dynamic and inviting meeting place: a true ‘clubhouse’ for insurers and their guests.

Central areas combined with quiet work zones

The design of the first floor is more formal. Various meeting rooms, including a large multifunctional auditorium with state-of-the-art technology, surround the central area which provides access to the staff restaurant. Long sight lines ensure visual contact with the ground floor and all upper storeys.

 

On all other floors, the working environment has been adapted to match the nature of the activities. Surrounding the open central area are quiet zones for work which demands concentration, and rooms for making phone calls or video-conferencing. These have been carefully sited to ensure privacy and optimum acoustic properties.

Sustainability

ZENBER Architecten attaches great importance to sustainability and circularity. By re-using existing materials and interior elements, we can achieve the best possible results at relatively low cost. d.

 

In this project, many of the existing interior walls, doors and ceilings were retained and repainted. The traditional Eames chairs and Thonet armchairs are timeless and were also retained. The seating for the auditorium was sourced secondhand and re-upholstered in an appropriate colour scheme. The frames of tables and desks could be re-used with new tops fitted.

Wonder and optimism

Artworks throughout the building were selected in close consultation with the client and form an integral part of the interior design. They are intended to engender a feeling of ‘wonder and optimism’. The lighting plan includes a combination of functional light for working and softer decorative lighting to create the desired look and feel.

FACTS EN FIGURES

Client: Verbond van Verzekeraars
Location: Den Haag
GFA: 6.500 m²
Completion: 2018

Project team ZENBER: Eric Wezenberg, Ingrid Heijne, Edwin Kamphorst, Helma Teernstra
Building architect:
Building consultancy: Twynstra Gudde
Installation consultant: Halmos

Contractor:
Interior finisher:  Verschuren Interieurbouw
Lighting plan: ZENBER Architecten
Graphic design: ZENBER Architecten
Photography: ZENBER Architecten