The Catalan architect Josep Lluís Mateo, founder of the Mateo Arquitectura practice, presents the new head offices of the PGGM insurance company in the city of Zeist.
“The aim of the project is to extend the central offices of Dutch pension fund PGGM, duplicating their current surface area on the site in Zeist, near Utrecht.
Our proposal comprises three types of intervention:
1. Freeing up all the land adjacent to the existing building, constructing a large underground car park and demolishing various service annexes. This will produce a large private park for pedestrians, with no vehicular access, forming the building’s new setting.
2. Part of the extension will be built in the large cloister that stands at the centre of the existing building, to improve internal communications and activate this core which is currently rather empty. It will be a building that floats, made of reflective glass and stainless steel.
3. Looking outwards and following the open morphology of the existing building, the new work areas take the created landscape as a nearby external point of reference. They are repetitive glass buildings, with added protective claddings of timber, Cor-ten steel or awnings that introduce a textile fibre into their skins to supplement the reflective abstraction of the glass. The regular work station layouts are supplemented by interior spaces that bring new spaces for communication and informal work, laid out along a backbone, “the Boulevard”. The auditoriums, restaurants and so on provide special functions that make the whole far more complex than just undifferentiated, flexible office space. They are justified by the fact that the building is the headquarters of a big multinational company, requiring a varied, diverse interior.”
Josep Lluís Mateo, June 2006
This project addressed the need to increase the surface area of the existing building and recover the parkland in which it is set, while maintaining the relation between the construction and its setting. The result is a building that mimics its natural context, creating a visual and aesthetic harmony and integrating the existing building by making the most of its full potential.
The indoor space is designed to provide the flexibility required by contemporary corporate activity, offering spaces with multiple possibilities to allow workers to choose the place they work at all times according to their professional and personal needs. Work was also infused with a spirit of innovation at the service of sustainability, with systems of ventilation built into the false ceilings to filter outside air naturally and condition the various spaces, which represents a major energy saving and frees the building of the tubes and machinery that visually and acoustically interfere in the workers’ environment.
Location: Zeist, Utrecht, The Netherlands
Architect: Mateo Arquitectura | Josep Lluís Mateo
Surface area: 25.000 sqm offices + 25.000 sqm parking space
Project year: 2003-2005 | 2008-2011
Budget: € 63.800.000
Photographer: Adrià Goula