The New World of Work upgrade, Assen Town Hall

The town hall of Assen, design by De Zwarte Hond in 1994, has been given a major upgrade. The municipality wanted a single central building for all its staff, using the principles of The New World of Work. Technical installations and acoustics also had to be improved to create the best possible working environment in terms of health and comfort. In addition to being an integrated solution of functional aspects, the architecture of the working environment has become an inviting and lively meeting place.

The existing cellular offices in the long and narrow four-floor building have been replaced with an open office environment. The linear structure has made way for a meandering route that leads like a footpath to a succession of different workplace types, interconnecting them. The concept optimises the use of the elongated floor plan. Meetings are stimulated as the route passes ‘standard’ flexible workspaces, silence rooms, open and closed meeting rooms, project workplaces, and incidental workspaces. Meeting areas such as coffee corners and reproduction rooms are also located along the  connecting zone. The location of the meandering route ensures that staff are not distracted by passers-by.

The eye-catching pink staircase has become a new focal point, stimulating meetings between staff passing from one part of the building to another, or from one floor to another. The stairwell also allows daylight to reach workspaces located in the depths of the building.

The striking palette of bold pinks and oranges is based on the Assen town arms and emphasises the meeting areas. The main route and the individual workspaces use contrasting grey tones. The wall rising four storeys high behind the public service desks in the atrium shows a pixellated image in the same colours projected onto acoustic panels. The wall panels help to break up the noise from the bustling central lobby to keep sound levels down in the workspaces. The enticing play of colours creates a visual distraction on every floor, in particular in the central hall and waiting areas, to brighten up the time spent waiting or working in the building.

For more information, please contact Tjeerd Jellema.