EEA & Tax Offices, Groningen, NL, 2011-2014
Following the completion of the EEA & Tax Office building in Groningen in 2011, the underground car park, the pavilion building and the new City Garden complete the development.
Designed by Lodewijk Baljon Landscape Architects, the new City Garden forms an important addition to the city’s parklands and combines the secure atmosphere of a garden with the liveliness of an urban public space. Through the planting of an appropriate selection of native and exotic plants the City Garden provides food and shelter for both birds and insects. A total of 55.000 plants in a range of 200 species have been planted and several native types of herb have been sown.
Situated within the City Garden, the two storey garden pavilion designed by UNStudio relates to the design of the main EEA & Tax Office building but presents a more extravert character. The South and West elevations of the building are fully transparent and link the pavilion’s interior directly to the garden. A gently sloping exterior staircase provides access to the rooftop terrace which forms an extension of the gardens. The pavilion houses a variety of programmes (fitness, restaurant café and business centre).
The underground car park can accommodate 700 vehicles, of which 60 are pre-fitted with electrical sockets. A separate section of the car park with its own entrance can store 1500 bikes of all types and sizes. The underground car park is punctuated by three open skylights, the so-called kieuwen (gills). These complex spatial elements provide inclusive connections from the cark park to the City Garden. They additionally serve as emergency staircases and informal entrances to the parking facilities. Their main function however is to provide fresh natural air, natural daylight and wayfinding.
Dutch artist Giny Vos, in close collaboration with UNStudio, designed a connecting light installation in between the entrance to the underground car park and the main entrance to the office building. ‘Possibility Plant’ is a black box on landscape level but reveals its secret coded data at the entrance level of the underground parking garage.
Client of the consortium: Dutch Government Buildings Agency (RGD)
Client UNStudio: Consortium DUO² (Strukton, Ballast Nedam, John Laing)
Client pavilion: Strukton Vastgoed
Location: Groningen, the Netherlands
Programme: Underground parking: 1.500 bicycles and 700 cars. Pavilion commercial: 1.500m2
Landscape/planting diagrams: © Lodewijk Baljon Landscape Architects
Photos: © Ronald Tilleman
UNStudio: Ben van Berkel, Caroline Bos, Gerard Loozekoot with Frans van Vuure, Jacques van Wijk and Filippo Lodi, Machiel Wafelbakker, Wendy van der Knijff, Tatjana Gorbachewskaja, Marie Prunault, Derrick Diporedjo, Nemanja Kordic, Chenqi Jia, Patrik Noomé, Jesca de Vries, Alicja Mielcarek, Maud van Hees, Lars Nixdorff, Ramon van der Heijden, Pablo Herrera, Martijn Prins, Altan Arslanoglu, Alexander Hugo, Arjan van der Bliek, Eric den Eerzamen, Erwin Horstmanshof, Gary Freedman, Jack Chen, Leon Bloemendaal, Machteld Kors, Nathalie Balini, Norman Hack, Peter Moerland, Remco de Hoog, René Rijkers, Timothy Mitanidis, Wesley Lankriet, Willi van Mulken, Yuri Werner
Landscape: Lodewijk Baljon
Installations: Strukton Worksphere
Installations pavilion: Harwig
Facade pavilion: DeGroot&Visser, Sorba