Year Review 2016

KWR “most stimulating environment” in the Netherlands

Our new KWR building has been named as the most stimulating environment as part of the ‘Best Building of the Year’ prize awarded by the Royal Institute of Dutch Architects (BNA). The expert jury announced this during a celebratory prize-giving ceremony on 19 May at the new A’DAM Toren building. “A beautiful building, pleasant to spend time in, calm and transparent – you almost feel as if you’re outside,” according to the jury. KWR Director Wim van Vierssen: “The prize shows that we have succeeded in creating a building people enjoy working in.”

For this edition, the ‘BNA Best Building of the Year’ professional jury was chaired by Hanneke Groenteman and also included architects Mels Crouwel, Maaike Westinga and Reimar von Meding, as well as AM Director Ronald Huikeshoven and Dike Warden Roelof Bleker. In addition to the judging by the expert jury, the public could vote for their favourite project. The underground parking garage in Katwijk aan Zee has been named the Best Building of 2016. There were also prizes to be won in four categories: Identity and Iconic Value, Liveability and Social Cohesion, Private Living Experience and Stimulating Environment.

Pavilion surrounded by greenery

The KWR building was one of a total number of eight nominated projects and was the winner in the Stimulating Environment category. This category focuses on the way in which the building contributes to improving the functions it accommodates; in the case of an office, improving work performance. The new KWR building has been designed as a transparent pavilion surrounded by greenery, with a strong relationship between the inside and outside. The aim was to create a bright and pleasant work environment, focused on flexible use, interaction and knowledge sharing. The design succeeded in achieving that, say Von Meding: “KWR shows that an office on a business site, a very common but somewhat neglected challenge, can become a very special building. A beautiful building, pleasant to spend time in, calm and transparent – you almost feel as if you’re outside.”

Well thought-out design

The jury praised the consistency with which the concept of the office around a central atrium with stairs was applied. “From the position of the building on the site to the ‘clinical’ look, which fits perfectly with the function as a laboratory; the building is well though-out from beginning to end.” KRW Director Wim van Vierssen agreed that: “From the very start, the intention was to create a building where our employees enjoyed working. That was successful and we are also especially proud that we have won in the Stimulating Environment category in particular.”

BNA Gebouw van het Jaar KWR meest stimulerende omgeving van Nederland