Optimising a Dutch monument

    Originally built as a private residence in 1781, the monumental building on Herengracht 182 has been subjected to a series of functional adaptations to accommodate new companies. After this the building consecutively house a charity establishment, an insurance company, a university, offices and a start-up incubator. The layout of the monument has proven its resilience over time, not having to undergo any radical changes. TANK’s proposal for the monument aims to revalue the historical monument and maximise its functional potential, optimising the original monument instead of transforming it. By removing additions implemented by previous users and adding tactic architectural elements, we further enhanced the performance of the building.

    The changed demands of modern day companies require a wider range of environments and workspaces that are not solely dedicated to production focused activities. For instance, a meeting or brainstorm session that takes place in a non-generic office space could increase productivity. Work is no longer bound to a specific time, place and/or activity but rather to a lifestyle and identity. By vertically splitting the monument from its neighbor, we were able to change its function in the zoning plan from offices into housing - change the buildings regulatory limitations - which permitted us to create a entirely new range of functional possibilities. Each room now allows for temporary, non-conventional and flexible corporate use, day or night. For example: a nocturnal art-exhibition, a hybrid 72hour pop-up experience or collaborative corporate event sparking creativity.

    Inspired by its original residential purpose, and referring to the social gentleman clubs of the 18th century, the building is reprogrammed to The Residents. Three different pillars define the types of spaces within the building: The Etalage, The Suites and The Club. The Etalage addresses both front sides of the building and houses a shop, café/restaurant and gym. A multitude of specific workspaces with their own logical organisation and theme are collectively named: The Suites. The Club refers to all communal spaces including the monumental ballroom on the second floor and the lobby on the top level with the panoramic view.

    The new architectural elements are tactic, in a way that we propose smart interventions that maximise the performance of the building. A staircase is placed in the left patio to create a second escape route that makes overnight stays possible and create a separate horizontal or vertical connection between floors for tenants that occupy multiple floors. A lighting installation is placed in the right patio to optimise lighting conditions to compensate with the depth of the building. The panorama room on the upper floor connects to the tower room, which has a 360 view, making the top floor a unique feature. TANK proposed to remove all interior walls and introduce a large-scale space for collective use: The Lobby. The new roof scape consists of structural beams spanning the full width of the building. This maximizes height, optimizes daylight, blocks direct sunlight and creates a diffuse distribution of light. It also includes vegetation for rainwater management, trees to naturally block sunlight in summer and maximise daylight in winter and integrates artificial lighting.