HOUTEN, the Netherlands – ONVZ, a health insurance company, gets a taste of its own medicine when the company’s philosophy of health and well-being is put to work in its headquarters’ atrium space designed by HofmanDujardin.
As employers across the globe combat absenteeism and ‘presenteeism’ – when employees come to work regardless of their own health, leading to ineffective work – the actions taken can be seen in the spaces they use. Here to contribute with this ongoing evolution of the modern-day office space is HofmanDujardin’s take on a health-conscious space.
Originally housed in two separate buildings, ONVZ’s offices are now connected by a large interior space. The atrium hosts the entrance lobby with a generous seating area, a restaurant and a set of large meeting rooms. The double-height space is crowned by large white beams tracing the roof and holding up the extensive skylight. Within the beams, the insulation, ventilation, lighting, and acoustics are encased.
Different spaces and functions are created in the new connecting space. Like a funnel, the entrance lobby is dedicated to group work while quieter areas are provided for individual work towards the back. A stairwell at the back welcomes users to a wooden gallery on a mezzanine level, which overlooks the fully-glazed entrance façade.
Colour accents remain sparse – the yellow of the company’s logo is spread throughout and then contrasted by pastel blue and green pieces of furniture. Materiality changes throughout the space emphasize the spatial hierarchy – the wooden gallery offers a more intimate setting, while the grey sofas and carpets stimulate group work.
HofmanDujardin achieved a BREEAM certification with its efforts in creating a health-conscious environment with sustainable features. Technical aspects such as heating, lighting, and ventilation were all optimized. Flexible furniture and ‘vitality points’ both inside and outside – nooks dedicated to exercise and refreshment for the space’s users – create a personal and unique experience for each employee and visitor, where work is no longer limited to sitting but includes standing, walking and exercising.