Goede Doelen Loterijen & Dutch Charity Lotteries Head Offices, Amsterdam is designed by Benthem Crouwel Architects, known for its design strategies that combine efficiency and pragmatism. The Goede Doelen Loterijen is the biggest group of charity lotteries in the Netherlands founded with a distinct social purpose to incorporate sustainable lifestyle and environmental awareness into every aspect of their operations. The brief was to design an office that would feel like a home to the 600 employees who had been dispersed among different offices and locations for years. By working closely together with the office’s future users, architects found the answer to the challenging brief. 

Goede Doelen Loterijen & Dutch Charity Lotteries Head Offices by Benthem Crouwel Architects: Under one roof - Sheet1
Mediterranean square with tree-shaped columns ©Jannes Linders

From the beginning of the design process, it was clear that people’s wishes, comfort, and the future would drive this design. Everyone was encouraged to share their opinions, and through this distinctive process of co-creation, a building emerged that matches the unique atmosphere and work system of this organization. The client’s articulated wishes were expanded by intensive workshops and meetings with employees, resulting in an office that genuinely feels like a home to its users. A comprehensive and ambitious transformation of a vacant office building near Zuidas, Amsterdam’s flourishing business district, provided the Dutch Charity Lotteries their new office: a sustainable, mixed-use building.

A roof created spans the existing volume, adapting the old courtyard into a sunny Mediterranean square that functions as the building’s vibrant heart. A dynamically changing light texture plays with space through biophilic design. Hence, the past atrium was turned into an Italian piazza, featuring a huge tree-shaped column and organic insulation. The supplementary layer between the top floor of the existing building and the new roof regenerates to a Green Zone with plants and trees – both inside and outside, on the various roof levels of gardens and balconies. The office floors surround an atrium space with a mix of partially closed meeting-rooms and informal spaces, all within the existing concrete structure. This airy and bright atrium is encircled by translucent, symbolic panels that look like Mediterranean façades and balconies that translates the drawings the employees made during workshops. 

Goede Doelen Loterijen & Dutch Charity Lotteries Head Offices by Benthem Crouwel Architects: Under one roof - Sheet2
Office with neighborhood ©Jannes Linders

The Charity Lotteries’ social ambitions and idealism are now visible in their office building- a transparent, accessible building that assists the employees and the neighborhood as a value addition to the nearby business district. With its public restaurant, TV studio, auditorium, and 500 bike parking spaces, the building promotes and symbolizes the client’s core values: sustainability and a sense of community. It is an open building for the staff and the organizations that receive funds from the Charity Lotteries and local residents. Accessible and beautiful, this building is not just a home for the Charity Lotteries’ 600 employees but functions as an essential boost for the entire business district and the adjacent residential area.

With the sustainability ambitions of the organization, architects were inspired to cover the existing structure with a new roof. This roof shelters the organization and its employees and brings them all together. The greenery at the park trees near the new site is represented in the roof and construction. The roof, which is both literally and figuratively ‘green,’ is supported by tree-like columns and holds the PV cells that provide the building with energy. The roof comprises 6,800 polished aluminum ‘leaves’ that create an elegant dappled impression on the walls and floors, reminiscent of an original walk in the forest. Colors, brightness, and atmosphere vary, depending on where and when one is in the building. The shimmering forest layer covers a new roof made with cross-laminated timber slabs, with skylights to flood light into offices below. The list of sustainable solutions and innovations incorporated into the building is endless. There are power-generating windows incorporated into the south facade. Myco Foam, insulating material from fungi and mushrooms, has also been employed in part of the building.

Goede Doelen Loterijen & Dutch Charity Lotteries Head Offices by Benthem Crouwel Architects: Under one roof - Sheet3
Explode Activity Diagram ©Benthem Crouwel Architects

In the case of the Goede Doelen Loterijen office, the intensive dialogue with clients and users, together with the thorough process of BREEAM certification, has given the client a building that not only meets but even exceeds their expectations: a highly practical, comfortable, and inspirational workspace in a completely energy neutral building. By willing to renovate and expand an existing building instead of designing a new one and using the latest and most cutting-edge sustainability techniques, it became not just an energy neutral but an energy-positive building. Materials from the demolished elements of the old building have been reused. All newly utilized materials were also tested for sustainability and can be repurposed in the future if necessary. 

Goede Doelen Loterijen & Dutch Charity Lotteries Head Offices by Benthem Crouwel Architects: Under one roof - Sheet4
Patterns of a forest light on walls ©Jannes Linders
Goede Doelen Loterijen & Dutch Charity Lotteries Head Offices by Benthem Crouwel Architects: Under one roof - Sheet5
Courtyard housed with the roof ©Jannes Linders

These measures led the building to be rewarded with the BREEAM rating ‘Outstanding,’ making it the most sustainable renovated building in the Netherlands. The design meets this requirement due to a cross-laminated timber roof with skylights allowing natural light and maximum solar panels. It also incorporates 863 black solar panels – generating enough power for 80 households per year – and a large rooftop herb garden that connects community groups with their office neighbors. A rainwater collection system supports the garden, sprinkler system, and the building’s flushing needs. A building can define and influence the way people behave. There was a unique collaboration between Benthem Crouwel Architects, interior designers D/Dock, and Yolanda Loudon to design the building that suits this organization and embodies its core values.

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Swara is an architect and a keen traveler with a significant interest in writing and blogging. She likes to work on exploratory yet grounded approaches and understands architecture from the perspective of human values and sensitivity. She believes that if drawings speak more, words articulate the most.

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