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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

KCAP and Kraaijvanger Architects rework postal warehouse into "monumental" workplaces

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The huge concrete construction of a former postal sorting centre within the Netherlands has been reworked into a brand new headquarters for PostNL by Dutch studios KCAP and Kraaijvanger Architects.

Situated alongside the Hollands Spoor prepare station in The Hague, the 30,000-square-metre Stationspostgebouw, which is classed as a nationwide monument, was designed in 1939 in a functionalist model by Gustav Cornelis Bremer.

Photo of the exterior of PostNL offices
The PostNL workplaces have been retrofitted by KCAP and Kraaijvanger Architects

Trying to emphasise the constructing’s “monumental character”, Rotterdam-based KCAP and Kraaijvanger Architects made a characteristic of the present prefabricated concrete columns, which now body a full-height atrium beneath the arched, skylit roof.

“The spatial format and environment of the monumental constructing are distinctive: the glass blocks facade, the deep flooring areas and the highly effective structural options,” mentioned Chantal Vos, affiliate accomplice at Kraaijvanger Architects.

PostNL has a concrete exterior
The construction was a former postal sorting workplace

With a T-shaped plan, the constructing contains a a lot bigger area to the west which abuts a slim addition to the east, bookended by two staircases.

The primary area centres round a big central atrium with a run of huge columns down its center, and a zigzagging staircase in black steel and wooden that connects every of the workplace’s ranges.

Interior of the PostNL offices
The inside is organised round an atrium

On the bottom flooring, the workplace’s “neighborhood centre” incorporates a reception, cafe, widespread areas and assembly areas, wrapped by a landscaped backyard with exterior terraces.

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Above, with the intention to have a minimal influence on the present construction, the 9 flooring of workplace area are subdivided by wood partitions, curtains and curving planters, which will be organized or altered sooner or later relying on the employees’ wants.

“The atrium, surrounded by cascading flooring and traversed by bridges and stairs, will be learn as a metaphor for the converyor belts and sorting machines that used to ship mail instantly from the station,” mentioned Irma van Oort, accomplice at KCAP.

“Essential to the transformation is creating an workplace constructing for a brand new approach of working, making the work surroundings really feel like a front room: extensively usable, but additionally safe,” she continued.

Interior photo of a stairway at the office
The architects referenced the constructing’s former use

The glass brick facade and home windows of the present construction have been retained and restored, with the environmental efficiency and acoustic situations of the interiors improved with the addition of an inner “second pores and skin” of glazing.

The gray brick cladding of the unique construction has additionally been stored, in addition to a collection of small sculptures on the jap facade.

Interior photo at the workspace
It’s situated by the Hollands Spoor prepare station in The Hague

Inside, the entire constructing’s new additions sit in distinction to the concrete of the present construction, which has been left uncovered all through in massive columns and beams.


Different just lately featured retrofit initiatives embrace the transformation of a heating plant in Bratislava right into a cultural centre and workplaces by DF Artistic Group, and the conversion of a historic Ford manufacturing facility in Pittsburgh right into a analysis centre by ZGF Architects.


The images is by Ossip van Duivenbode.



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