The head office of the Netherlands Red Cross is located in ‘De Groene Schenk’, a new and dynamic office district in The Hague. The five-storey building is conveniently located close to Den Haag Laan van NOI station and is bounded by attractive greenery. ZENBER Architecten has created a working environment which promotes teamwork and interaction while reflecting the international nature of the Red Cross organization and its work.

“Base camp as a dynamic heart”


The focal point of each floor is a large ‘base camp’ area, with multifunctional workspaces, reading tables and a coffee corner. The various seating areas are delineated by large fabric screens, around which are the larger meeting rooms and areas for quiet work. The staff of all departments know where to find each other, whereupon teamwork and collaboration are facilitated to the greatest extent possible.


On the ground floor, visitors receive a warm welcome at the reception desk. They can then take a seat in the dedicated ‘base camp’ area, beyond which is a large conference room and a vibrant, multifunctional café which looks out over grass and trees.


The open-plan office areas also facilitate contact between the various departments. Nearby are areas from which staff make international phone calls or take part in Skype conferences with their counterparts in other countries. Excellent acoustic design is therefore extremely important and particular attention has been devoted to the acoustic properties of the floor coverings, ceilings and the partitions between workspaces.


The Netherlands Red Cross is part of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Organizations, the world’s leading provider of humanitarian aid with the largest network of volunteers. Zenber’s interior design clearly reflects the international dimension, drawing inspiration from the ‘hands-on’ mentality of the Red Cross movement and the base camps it establishes in trouble zones around the world.

As the first step in the design process, ZENBER held a workshop to discuss the desired identity of the building – its ‘look and feel’ – with representatives of all departments. This brainstorming session gave rise to a design which incorporates a meaningful colour palette and makes extensive use of sustainable materials. The key concept is that of a ‘base camp as dynamic heart’, with large feature walls displaying photographs of the various international humanitarian aid projects in which the Red Cross has been involved.


Client: Rode Kruis Nederland
Location: Den Haag
GFA: 2.900 m²
Completion: 2018

Project team ZENBER: Eric Wezenberg, Diederik Mulder
Building consultancy: Trots

Contractor: debazis
Interior finisher: eN eN Meubelmakers
Lighting plan: ZENBER Architecten, Modular
Graphic design: être-design
Photography: ZENBER Architecten