The European Patent Offices in the Haag required and extension to their existing offices, stipulating 83% of the program should be dedicated to concentration with the remaining 17% to communication. The existing tower is reused to house the principle communication space, and is turned into a Tower Park. Its levels are filled with foliage, realizing and communicating the institutions sustainable philosophy.
Analyses of the existing EPO-complex shows that the building can be seen as a combination of different buildings with mainly concentrated cells for specialists around a communal wedge building, the core of the complex which acts as a reception, a leisure space, a meeting space: the escape from the cells. The office wings are composed out of a series of different office typologies from different epochs, each representing different interpretations on the theme of the cellular office: the slab, the structuralistic mini patio.
In the current era of cost reduction and sustainability, public and semi public, institutions obtain a certain responsibility to investigate cost effective and sustainable building investments. The existing structure is unable to create the desired office sizes and the service technology quality. An 'in situ solution' by adding extra space with innovative but expensive servicing from the façade due to the low floor to ceiling height in combination with fact that the users have to be moved to a temporary structure, would, according to extensive research, lead to a solution that is significantly more expensive than the erection of a new building and the demolition of the existing one.
But can the existing one really not be reused? Maybe not for all the program but maybe for a small component of the program? It could save parts of the budget, that could be used to maintain and to enlarge other needed aspects of the campus: leisure, communal spaces, meeting spaces. It leads to additional 'free' space. By stripping the current façade and opening up parts of the existing floors, it can lead to a vertical 'park', extending the existing horizontal one. It can be used in time by unknown functions. It leads to a 'Green' park tower that can act as a messenger for the sustainable intellect of the company.
By positioning the new extension at the only left over spot in front of the Hinge building, the existing structures of the parking garage and the park as well as the existing office doesn't need to be demolished, enlarging the sustainable qualities of the enterprise. This avoids complexity in the building process and therefore enlarges cost efficiency and annoyances.
By leaving enough space for the current entrance during construction time, the complex can function without major interference. This position allows to create a new entrance building that can introduce the visitor and user to the power and of the work of the European Patent Office.
- Principal in charge
- Design team