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Laying down the eco-law

Sian
Friday 12 Mar 2010

Erick van Egeraat creates sustainable office for Dutch law firm

With his design of the 90m tall Erick van Egeraat office tower, also known as The Rock, Dutch architect Erick van Egeraat has created a landmark for the Zuidas (South Axis) in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Prominently located in the Mahler 4 area, the 22-storey office tower now houses the headquarters of the Dutch law firm De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, who also assigned Erick van Egeraat for the interior design of their offices.

The new headquarters is a dense but flexible office building, in which the energy use has been reduced by up to 30%. The use of sustainable, high-quality materials such as natural stone have also been used in an attempt to prolong the building’s lifetime. The block is centrally situated next to a public transport hub to significantly reduce the use of cars arriving at the office.

The glass façade, from ground-level to the 15th floor, is composed of aluminium profiles consisting of isolated glass and/or aluminium panels with or without a screen print. The design of the open/closed façade enables the following; the possibility to position interior partitions at every 1.80m, allowing for a flexible interior lay-out; each combination to comply with necessary temperature demands; to make additional sun-blinds unnecessary due to the specific orientation, placement and size of the fritting.

As opposed to the rock-like character and material expression of the exterior, the interior of the office building was designed to be warm and comfortable as well as representative, with the frequent use of materials such as natural stone, wood and brass. An auditorium, to facilitate seminars, training sessions or presentations, is located in the 22-storey atrium of the office building. Functional and elegant, the auditorium has been deliberately designed to be a comfortable place to work. Eight rows, each offering ten work spaces, are gathered along a bow-shaped brass-finish wall, thus creating private work spaces.

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