Collective Business Commission

Wednesday 28 Apr 2010

How many commissioners does it take to design an office building? Ten, with the CBC

This project is not only distinctive due to the striking diagonal grid covering its facade, but also because of the design and building process in the run up to its construction. Three years ago, architecture firms BNB and B06 decided to self-develop an office building for their own use. The municipality gave them a two month option on a building plot on Steigereiland. As it was, the two companies could only manage to take 700 sq m of the 3500 sq m plot and therefore created the Collective Business Commission (CBC). The premise of the CBC was that anyone who decided to join would be entitled a ‘Commissioner’ and would have a hand in any decisions made throughout the project. At the end of construction, commissioners would be able to purchase condominiums at a stated cost. By the end of the two month option given by the municipality, eight commissioners had signed up to the project to develop their own offices and acceptance of the option was confirmed. Due to the innovative nature of this process, Lingotto real estate were hired as a delegated commissioner as the CBC had to be invented, as an organisation as well as in law.

The CBC wanted to make a building that was elegant and distinctive, yet ‘sturdy, industrial and no-nonsense’. In an attempt to accomplish this, the choice was made to rotate the window frames by approximately 45 degrees and cross these with diaphragm ribs to create a triangular pattern, covering the entire facade. As the diaphragm ribs are set outside of the facade, views of the exterior change depending on the angle from which it is being observed. From inside looking out, an array of shadow lines appear across the window panes. After consulting facade builders ‘Bos brothers’ from Goudriaan, Jatoba wood was chosen for this use, which was given a protective treatment against construction damage, but which will eventually turn grey as the building weathers. The shell of the building is constructed from steel columns and concrete floors, with under-floor heating and cooling systems.

Inside, the entrance hall is designed to sit parallel with the north facade, connecting twenty separate units (five on each floor). The wall between the hall and each of the units is completely transparent to create optimal viewing between the individual areas and to encourage interaction between companies. Along the south side, the climatic shell has been retracted 1.5m creating a balcony area, partially blocking the interior from direct sunlight. All doors and windows in this project are 3.3m tall. For more information on B06 architects click here or for more information on BNB click here

Sian Disson
Editorial Assistant

Key Facts:

Commercial Offices

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