Rotterdam, NL | Amsterdam, NL
The office for local civil servants is part of the development of the Chassé terrain in the centre of Breda, for which Rem Koolhaas’ Office for Metropolitan Architecture has devised the master plan. The programme – office space – and the envelope – a beam – were already laid down.
In the beam the optimal depth has been sought for an arrangement with offices for one or two persons on one side of a central corridor and large offices on the other. The construction of the building was also determined. The placing of the columns was deduced from the requirements that lorries going to or from the Chassétheater must be able to turn and that cars must be able to access the entrance to the underground car park.
The desired visibility of the building amid the other buildings from the square that is also the roof of the underground car park led to the accentuation of the horizontality of the building with horizontal lines. The south façade consists of alternating strips of steel and glass. The north façade has large windows which become slightly smaller per storey as a rational response to light incidence. By making the façade jut out slightly, the view of the civil servants who work here is not of the existing building where the beam is connected with two raised walkways, but of the ground.
The building is a black box on a light and open base. Matt glass volumes beneath the building light up at night like lanterns. The white ceiling reinforces this lightness of the space between the columns, which makes you forget the presence of the weight of the black mass above for a moment.
Location: Breda, NL
My Role: Architect