From 2021, the service center and workplaces of the local municipality of social affairs department of The Hague must be relocated to a new location. Sustainability and comfort were outdated in the current building. The structure and location no longer matched the service concept. Visitors did not feel at home and found it difficult to navigate, often feeling socially vulnerable. They deserve a real welcome. The goal? It’s a safe place for citizens of The Hague who are homeless or have difficulty in finding a job for various reasons. It’s also includes a future-oriented office environment for employees.
The characteristic elongated office building from the 1950s on Fruitweg is characterized by high ceilings and large windows and is accessed by stairwells on both sides. Due to the free layout within the concrete skeleton, with a repeating width dimension of 6.35 m, it is very suitable for the use as an office.
In our design we will place the service center on the ground floor and in the basement. A place for citizens of The Hague to get started in their job search. You will find a cozy coffee bar for a welcome feeling; spaces for group lessons and various courses; an area equipped with computer stations in order to be able work, for example, on your CV. Homeless people can have here their mailboxes and gain advice from working professionals.
We will mobilize the now empty and dark basement by replacing and enlarging the window frames and introducing a new wide grandstand staircase, centrally and strikingly located on the ground floor. We will alsoenlarge the existing skylights in the facades. These interventions ensure an increase in daylight entry and it answers the demand for overview. The interior is organic and friendly, the open design makes it easy to find your way and all the employees and security have a good overview of the visitors.
On the first floor you will find a restaurant, publicly accessible, equipped with a professional kitchen where participants can learn the catering trade under supervision. At the same time, it functions as a company restaurant for the approximately 500 employees who have their workplaces from the 1st to 3rd floor. This office environment is divided into smaller clusters. The employees can work activity-oriented. There is a great variety of workplaces, quiet places and meeting places. We placed the meeting rooms in the middle to create more space and light for the workplaces.
As an architect, LIAG is responsible for the Preliminary Design. VORM started as a contractor in December 2020 with the construction of the design. Studio Leon Thier and Wessel van Geffen architects developed LIAG's design into a ready-to-implement design.