ZENBER Architecten have designed a dynamic and inspirational business centre for VNO-NCW, the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers and MKB-Nederland, the organisation that represents the interests of SMEs in the Netherlands. ZENBER transformed the interior of the existing building, creating a welcoming and contemporary working and meeting environment that enables staff to work individually or in groups and where members and partners can gather both formally and more informally.

About VNO-NCW and MKB-Nederland

VNO-NCW and MKB-Nederland have strengthened their existing alliance and aim to connect all entrepreneurs under the motto ‘Nederland Onderneemt!’ (‘Enterprising Netherlands). The aim is to facilitate the world’s best conditions for business with a view to achieving a prosperous Netherlands with a good quality of life. Their updated cooperation agreement and a new way of working are important steps towards achieving this. A programme of change is guiding staff as they adopt the new working style, which is supported with the new ICT resources needed and facilitated by a modified home base in the centrally-located Malietoren in The Hague.

Designed by Benthem Crouwel, the striking tower provides 18,000 sq. m. of office accommodation.
The building is located above a thoroughfare that runs under the building and is diagonally opposite The Hague Central Station, making it perfectly accessible by public transport. The office floors occupied by VNO-NCW and MKB-Nederland have views across a leafy green area on one side and an urban environment on the other.

Dynamic and welcoming lobby

Enterprising Netherlands! – this identity is clearly visible and tangible in this vibrant contemporary business centre, where members come together and connect with the world.

The ground floor is dynamic and inviting and has the welcoming appeal of a hotel lobby. On arrival, staff and guests alike are given a personal welcome at the reception desk and have free access at any time to the dining/working lounge to enjoy coffee and lunch. The open kitchen serving area –with ‘front cooking’ – features prominently at the heart of the building. This inviting zone encourages people to meet up and interact in one of the many varied seating areas in this space. Strategically-positioned LCD screens showing news offer a window on developments in the Netherlands and the wider world.

The ground floor has been extended into a mezzanine section that provides seating and connects to a new staircase giving access to the underground car park or reception.

“Dynamic and inspirational business centre”

Transparent working environment connects a variety of meeting places and types of workspace

The working areas are located on the upper floors. In order to encourage collaboration, interaction and the sharing of knowledge, staff need to be visible, easy to find and accessible. This is why the working area has been designed to be open and transparent, with just the right mix of meeting places and types of workspace. Exterior sightlines and plenty of natural daylight ensure that the office floors provide a pleasant and spacious working environment.

Each of the office floors features a welcome zone in the form of a secretary’s office or galley kitchen area and the central core, clad in wood, gives the entire floor an inviting appeal. The dynamic business centre also provides plenty of space for people to work in peace and in private, together or individually: transparent offices are located on the quiet periphery of the façade, offering views and natural daylight. Toilets, lifts, staircases, etc. are in the wooden central core surrounded by the dynamic zone featuring consultation rooms and galley kitchens.

Meeting and conference centres

The sixth and seventh floors are home to the meeting and conference centres, with reception desks or galley kitchen zones as welcoming points. The meeting and conference centres offer a flexible layout in terms of diversity and functionality. Thanks to sliding panel walls, spaces can be extended into each other and the foyer expanded. Glass has been used as far as possible to maximise transparency and natural daylight.

Warm look & feel of a lobby

The use of materials on the ground floor emphasises the inviting look & feel that resembles a lobby. The existing black natural stone floor fits perfectly into the design and has been left intact. The natural stone floor accentuates the openness of the space, marking a stark contrast with the warm materials used, including wood, acoustic upholstery and green elements.

This warm and contemporary appeal continues in the upper floors and features in the wooden cladding of the central core. The seventh-floor conference centre has been upgraded and given a new look & feel. The carpet has been replaced and the walls painted. The furniture has been replaced in the large hall.

Sustainability and reuse

Maximum efforts have been made to reuse existing interior elements and furnishing.
Walls on the office floors have been reused and the existing natural stone floor on the ground floor has been integrated into the new interior design. Any new interior elements and products used are sustainable or circular as far as possible.

  • Densification: more efficient use of the available square metres, from 5 to 3 office floors
  • Walls: thick 25-year-old system wall panelling from the existing site has been harvested and replaced in revitalised form
  • Wooden wall cladding + fixed furnishings: completely circular
  • Ceilings: existing grid-style ceiling used as far as possible, supplemented by 100% LED lighting
  • Furniture: maximum efforts have been made to reuse existing interior elements and furnishing.
  • Existing conference/meeting room furnishing has been reupholstered.


Opdachtgever: VNO-NCW en MKB-Nederland
Locatie: The Hague
BVO: 8.100 sq. m.
Jaar: 2021

ZENBER Project team: Eric Wezenberg, Ingrid Heijne, Edwin Kamphorst
Building architect: Benthem Crouwel Architects
Project management: Hevo
Building consultancy: CBB
Installation and construction consultant: Arcadis

Contractor: DCV Bouw
Interior construction: Visker interieurbouw
Lighting plan: ZENBER Architecten
Graphic design: ZENBER Architecten
Project photography: Roos Aldershoff