B A R / architecten Van Mourik
Rarely will architects be as intensely aware of their client’s involvement as when they are designing for fellow architects. So when the Royal Institute of Dutch Architects (Bond van Nederlandse Architecten [BNA]) selected the young Rotterdam-based firm of BAR Architects (now merged with architecten Van Mourik) from a field of eight competitors to design the interior of its new offices, BAR’s principals Joost Glissenaar and Klaas van der Molen were very conscious of the weight of the commission. They formulated a light and airy response.
“They liked us because our work is contemporary without being too hip or too ornamental,” says Glissenaar. In early projects, such as a hostel for aging junkies [record, Design Vanguard, December 2006, page 89], they displayed a talent for wrapping a social agenda in confident forms. Also in 2006, BAR won the prize for young talent awarded by the Netherlands Architecture Institute and the developer AM.
The BNA was housed for many years in a patrician canal house in the 17th-century city center. When Marie Hélène Cornips was appointed director in 2004, she decided to move the association to a more contemporary venue, an office building by Kees Christiaanse and Partners (KCAP) on the recently redeveloped banks of the IJ River.
Hiring a young firm was part of the BNA’s own strategy of rejuvenation. As new director, Cornips wanted the interior to express the organization’s move toward a new transparency and public engagement. That meant an open floor plan to facilitate communication and an anticlutter “clean desk” policy. Every worker now has a locker and a set of drawers on wheels in which to put everything away at the end of the day. Director Cornips is nothing if not consistent, so not even she has a room of her own. According to Glissenaar, “That was quite a change for the employees, who were used to working in a private space of their own. It was not an easy sell.”
Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Building physics: DGMR, Arnhem
Jeroen Musch 00 31 (0)6 50241662 (3 pictures)
CAD system, project management, or other software used:
Interior Finishes :
Glass walls + library: Marc van Bokhoven Glas, Helmond
Technicall installations: Breijer,Woerden
Floors: rubber Noraplan by Freudenberg
Steel ceiling: Lindner, Ede
Workingtables and seats: Vitra