The former ‘Luitenant Generaal Knoop Kazerne’ (military compound) in Utrecht has been transformed into a contemporary and transparent Government Office ‘de Knoop’ with additional representation as a central meeting hub for all Dutch Central Government Agencies. The sustainable transformation was designed, financed and executed by the consortium R creators, including maintenance and operation for an exploitation phase of 20 years.
The intimacy and character of the original construction of the building offers a profound counterbalance to the bright and daylight flooded atrium which connects to an efficient and spacious new construction. The complex is wrapped with a new façade and strongly embedded in the urban fabric. Precise logistics throughout the building and clever separations allow the building to meet high security standards and offer great capacity for adaptations in (future) use.
Voids, balconies and staircases make a fluid and continuous sequence of spaces in the new Government Office building. The interior offers a customer journey which centres on users’ needs. This ranges from the open, buzzing environment at arrival, to the restaurant and to the break out areas, becoming increasingly more personal in the meeting- and working domains.
Trees and plants are integrated in the design bringing the outside inside while views on the city’s landmarks provide orientation. In the meeting center, open areas are defined along the voids and staircases that can house up to 300 people to informally connect before and after meetings. The anchor points in the office area are strung like pearls on a necklace throughout the building, but differentiated from each other to do justice to the representation of the different users. Elaboration of the design was executed up to the graphic wayfinding concept. The concept integrates furniture and arts of mainly Dutch designers. Studio Drift made an enchanting design for the installation above the coffee bar in the connecting atrium.
R creators consists of the executing parties Strukton, Ballast Nedam and Facilicom. The design was created by Cepezed, Fokkema & Partners and Rijnboutt.
Photography: Lucas van der Wee.
On May 17th the building was officially opened!
The redevelopment took 2.5 years and was captured in a film made by R Creators. You can watch it by clicking video on the projectpage.