Employed by Workshop of Wonders

IJsselstein town hall is a UN Studio building by Ben van Berkel from the year 2000. The building is made of concrete and green tinted profile glass and has a rigid appearance.

The town hall function has undergone a huge transformation in the last 20 years. Many civil matters are online arranged nowadays and no longer require a physical visit. In addition the office areas of the building had such excess surface that external parties such as the Police and Provides (the social housing association), have been approached for sharing.

The former building of Provides was a detached building in IJsselstein with an area of approximately 1200 m2. This property was traditionally set up with closed offices and had a relatively large excess. The wish of the organization was to have an area of 600 m2 to rent in the town hall.

It had to become an efficient contemporary office where employees could work ‘activity based’. The twist that is in the original UN Studio floor plan is used for the new office landscape. With a rigorous gesture an oblique zone is introduced by the open office. This axis is visible through the striking Bolon floor in hexagon pattern. A diversity of social functions is situated in this zone, such as different typologies at consultation places, an 8 meter long wooden table that can be used multifunctionally as a lunch / meeting place and a fully furnished living room.

On the left side of the social zone, there are a number closed consultation rooms. On the right side there is an open office landscape with freestanding innovative sitting and working places. The wedge-shaped volume situated centrally in the room accommodates various functions including a boardroom, lockers, storage space and a repro. Large plants ensure visual separation of the different usage spaces.

Provides represents as a housing association ‘the resident Dutch. The identity of the office is homey appearance shaped so that the resident Dutch‘ is also represented in the office. All applied loose furniture looks homely, but it is high-quality project furniture with all necessary office functions, including electrification. By using domestic and earthly materials, such as fabrics and solid wood,  the office landscape is pleasant to stay.

For this project I was the project architect. Together with the client I have drawn up the program of requirements and I have had discussions with users to refine this program. In addition, I played an important role in creating the design, developing the whole and conducting project management.


Client: Provides IJsselstein

Year: 2018

Size: about 600m2

Photography: J. Rodycz