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Creative Valley, Utrecht, Netherlands

Wednesday 27 Oct 2010

Bits, bricks and brains

MONK architects 
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Award Entry

MONK architects designs the 'work environment as an ecosystem' 

Like an ecosystem, a work environment has diversity, mutual dependence, individual growth and movement. This requires a building which adapts to the requirements of the ecosystem. The ability to move is essentially the sum of 'bits, bricks and brains'. The building (bricks) must have a clean climate to prevent illness and be good for the climate as a greater whole. It must offer smart spaces attuned to the pace of work and the various work moments. This is supported by high-end technology like WIFI-network and wireless IP telephony (bits). The innovative way of working must be guarded and protected, both literally (bricks) and in a 'human guiding' way (brains), because the transition from traditional work to innovative work is a journey. Creative Valley is designed to embody all of this.

The basic idea is this; Creative Valley is a building for companies that want to work innovatively, mostly 'cultural creatives'. Gathering their wishes, the architects needed to produce a sustainable multi-talented building for multiple companies, each with its own identity yet sharing a certain number of facilities and contacts; an environment in which accommodation and business are merged. The appeal is that Creative Valley makes people feel completely at home from the moment they enter the building and experience an ‘open energy’.

MONK architects have created a work environment that people enjoy being in as well as a building which is future-proof. The design is in fact a literal drawing of the proposed organisation chart. The architecture is inspired by the natural structure of a tree with branches and leaves. It has an enclosed midsection with heavy structural elements and materials in monolithic detail. Boxes with an overhang of 11 m are suspended from the midsection that defy gravity and offer maximum views by means of layered glass façades.

The client wanted to realise a building for creative users containing both public, privileged and private space. Public space is primarily meant for meeting purposes; privileged spaces are the meeting rooms and presentation spaces; the private spaces are the individual business areas. The result is an elongated, relatively narrow (5.4 m) nave with seats, meeting rooms, WIFI, and pantries. At the heads of the nave are meeting and presentation rooms in various sizes and styles. On either side of the nave the glass extensions are hung, in which the individual business units are located. On the roof of the lower extensions are common roof terraces.

Key Facts

Status Completed
Value 0(m€)
Were you involved in this scheme?
MONK architects (now:FeekesColijnMONK architecten)

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