Heerema, the Dutch company involved in designing, building, installing and transporting diverse facilities for the offshore industry, had been seeking a new head office for some time. cepezed created an enthousiastically received design for a desired parcel along the railway line inLeiden. For various reasons, however, this was not realized.
Conceptually, the building is compiled out of different sub-volumes that form a whole and fit seamlessly within the contours of the parcel. An eight-storey rectangular volume with a chamfered end on the Plesmanlaan side contains the parking facilities. The parking decks are connected via slopes that form a rounded distension corresponding to the contour of the parcel on the Schipholweg side. Another rectangular block, at a slight distance from this parking volume, houses the office functions. This volume is taller than the parking block and the upper storeys overhang the lower block. The ends are characterized by three-storey-high spaces with an appropriate programme, such as conference rooms, lounge, meeting spaces and canteen. The roof of the parking volume functions as a terrace for the office block. Between the parking and the office building is a core with the vertical transport and access/safety amenities. A wedge-shaped volume is positioned against the offices, in the ‘armpit’ between the office volume and the parking slopes. This contains an atrium that stretches up the entire height of the building, with the office floors partly extending into this area. Bordering on the atrium, they recede step by step, from the bottom upward, thus forming a terrace-like configuration in which a cascade stairway has been included. This makes a strong vertical link between the floors and also generates a large degree of spatial perception. Because the parking functions are not under the office but next to them, people can park next to their own work place. This is a rare luxury, certainly in the case of inner-city offices. By organizing the parking vertically, instead of horizontally in the lower layers, the plinth of the building remains available for a gallery where company exhibitions, for example, can be held.