Situated in the Business & Science Park in Enschede, opposite the FC Twente stadium (the Grolsch Veste) and the railway station, is the new head office designed for ICT company Sigmax by Architectenbureau Paul de Ruiter: a prominent, streamlined architectural structure. The uninterrupted glass facade ensures that sufficient daylight can enter the building, creating a pleasant working environment and direct contact with the surroundings. Inside the building, Ex Interiors has managed to retain and even emphasise this open character.
Sigmax is a specialist ICT company which provides innovative mobile solutions for, among other things, the enforcement and monitoring tasks of municipal councils, police forces and public transport. Sigmax also creates and (remotely) manages the ICT infrastructure for businesses. The company wanted to merge the two different departments in a new office, with scope for further expansion. A fitting and sustainable working environment was created for Sigmax, a building that energises and inspires.
A SMART BUILDING
The design of the building is based on the specific work process and organisational structure of Sigmax so that, based on the management philosophy of Eckart Wintzen, it can flexibly respond to every development in the rapidly changing ICT world. The cell office and the open work landscape in the building alternate to create a synergy between the various divisions, thus safeguarding the implementation of smart ICT solutions and products and related knowledge in the future.
The building has been designed in the form of a stacked pavilion, whose horizontal lines and spectacular glass facade with rounded corners highlight its spacious and transparent character. The slim, floating floors seem to extend outside and are only separated by the glass, minimising the visual boundary between indoors and outdoors. The extending floor areas are designed as a vegetal roof with moss growth, optimising the impression on each floor of working in a green environment. This reflects the landscape design at ground level; the outdoor design has also been based on a completely green environment around the building.
A CONNECTIVE BUILDING
The design of Sigmax’ new building is very compact. The floors are organised as efficiently as possible, using a very flexible layout. This makes it possible to create cell offices as well as open office landscapes. The compact structure of the building, together with the atrium in the heart of the building, promotes the connection between floors and stimulates contact and ‘chance’ meetings between personnel. The aesthetics of the building’s architectural design primarily manifests itself in the spatial design of the white steel sculptural staircase, which dominates the double, welcoming entrance on the ground floor. This open and light space is used as (company) restaurant, presentation area and meeting place.
A SUSTAINABLE BUILDING
The building has been rotated on the plot for an optimal position in relation to the sun. Each wall has its own climate concept and all the climate control is managed directly via the facade. The cantilevering of the floors varies according to the side of the building; for example on the south side they are a metre wide to act as shutters. At the bottom they have stainless steel panels which allow indirect light from the outside to penetrate deeper into the building. On each floor, optimal daylight enters the building, with a particular role for the atrium. The regulation of daylight and good climate control ensure a pleasant working environment. The forty-five centimetre high floors incorporate climate units, concrete core activation, sun protection and ventilation. All the installations are concealed where possible.
Inside the building, Ex Interiors has extended the open character of the building in order to optimally emphasise its spacious and transparent nature. Through the predominantly glass interior walls, there is a constant connection between indoors and outdoors. The few closed panel walls are covered with sound-absorbing wall coverings designed by Ex Interiors: strips of colourful felt in a matching colour combination made from recycled textiles from the car industry and old carpets that have been pressed together and felted. Strips were then cut from the felt and incorporated in the acoustic panels. The floors are partially carpeted, with a pattern specially designed for this project. The entire building is lit with sustainable LED lighting. The lighting fixtures, round disks in different diameters, are applied in a varying pattern throughout the building, which ensures surprising light effects, particularly in the evening.
Location: Enschede, NL
My Role: project architect
Additional Credits: Interior architect: Ex Interiors
Landscape architect: OKRA landscape architects
Advisor construction: Lucassen Bouwconstructies
Advisor installations: Deerns raadgevende ingenieurs bv, Rijswijk
Construction management: Kloos2, Ambt Delden
Photography Pieter Kers, Daria Scagliola, Toon Grobet