The design challenge the team stood for was to strengthen the rather unobtrusive character of the existing building by means of a new interior. GROUP A resolved this by designing an interior that uses the more noticeable aspects of the existing building as a guiding principle, while reflecting AOC’s identity.
This identity is based on the cultural background of AOC, which is part of the Saudi-Arabian oil company Saudi Aramco. The interior subtly refers to this background by using patterns, colors and materials that are typical for Middle-Eastern architecture, in an abstract, contemporary manner.
The building comprises two wings of five office floors each, situated around a central atrium. GROUP A’s design strengthens the atrium’s function as the heart of the building, and is based on the rationality of the existing building. It is fitted out with large cubic elements which serve as lighting elements, and make the atrium glow with light. The atrium walls are partially covered with mirroring glass, which leads to an unexpected play of connections between the different floors. A meandering reception desk serves as a connecting element between the atrium’s different functions and areas, and as a guiding element for visitors.
The concept for the offices on the upper floors is based on a combination between a classical cellular office and a more informal open office layout. By inserting a continuous wooden element over the full length of each floor, visual coherence is ensured.
This element at the same time serves as an entrance to the cellular offices, and comprises cabinets, wardrobes and seating units. The other divisions are mainly made up by glass screens, covered with an abstract, semi-transparent print. Glass and wood, open and closed are deployed in such a way that there is maximum use of daylight.
The original concrete walls, which are visible at a number of places throughout the building, are covered in textiled panels, like large paintings.Shared functions, like the break-out which is located on every individual floor, are situated along the atrium. On the ground floor, the office wings house a number of special facilities, among which a restaurant, an exhibition area and a prayer room.
The cooperation between AOC, GROUP A and Verwol was very successful, making it possible to create an exceptional project in an exceptionally short period of time....more