B30 is a national monument of the Netherlands, built and designed as a Ministry in 1917 by Daniel E.C. Knuttel the then chief government architect. It was a hierarchical building that had to convey a message of strength and austerity, as it was customary at the time. This message was not altered by the renovation realised in 1994 by Professor Hans Ruijssenaars. The KAAN Architecten project, instead, aimed at transforming the building and its austerity so that its users could perceive it as open and inviting, in line with a contemporary and state-of-the-art working environment.
This transformation started from the ground floor, that became an accessible and transparent public space including a restaurant, a café, a library and meeting rooms. The internal layout aims at simpler passageways and orientation inside the building. This solution was implemented through the wide central atrium, visually connecting the four floors dedicated to offices and open ssightlines that create connections and interactions with the street, the city park and the new side gardens. An immediate example of that is the mosaic floor, realised by Dutch artist Rob Birza in the great central atrium. The garden abstraction he created is an internal landscape visually connected to the building side garden. There are no interruptions, as the foyer partitions are created by large pivoted glass doors encased by high-gloss aluminium frames.
Design: KAAN Architecten (Kees Kaan, Vincent Panhuysen, Dikkie Scipio)
Design team: Tjerk de Boer, Timo Cardol, Kevin Claus, Sebastian van Damme, Paolo Faleschini, Raluca Firicel, Cristina Gonzalo Cuairán, Walter Hoogerwerf, Marlon Jonkers, Hedwig van der Linden, Loes Martens, Marija Mateljan, Giuseppe Mazzaglia, Maurizio Papa, Ismael Planelles Naya, Christian Sluijmer, Koen van Tienen
Location: The Hague (NL)
Photos: Karin Borghouts, Sebastian van Damme