BP RR, the largest oil refinery in The Netherlands, conveys a dynamic that is reflected in their office, safely located near the oil refinery in Europoort. GROUP A designed a building that expresses the company’s goals and provides a sustainable, safe and healthy working environment for staff.

Client: BP Raffinaderij Rotterdam
Studio Name: GROUP A
Design Team:
GROUP A (Folkert van Hagen, Adam Visser, Maarten van Bremen Edwin Larkens, Ramon Wijsman, Paul Geurts, Roy Grob, Chris Woltjes, Brigitte v/d Tuin, Birgitta Rottmann, Birte Müller, Andrea Gianotti, Anne Derksen, Sander Peter Schuur, Sara Rojo, Gador Luque, Luna Solas, Paulo Moreno),
Contractor: Cordeel Nederland, Zwijndrecht

Contractor: Cordeel Nederland BV
Advisor: EGW International Consulting
Advisor installations: Endenburg Elektrotechniek, Rotterdam
Advisor facilities: Johnson Controls, Amsterdam
Advisor installations: A. de Jong Installatietechniek

Other Credits:
Artist: Gijs Assmann
Area: 10.500 m2
Year: 2011
Location: d’Arcyweg 76, Europoort Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Photography Credits: ScagliolaBrakkee – exterior and Roos Aldershoff – interior

BP Rotterdam Refinery by GROUP A - Sheet3
©Roos Aldershoff

The site – in the curve of the A15 freeway – is situated between the industrial landscape of refineries and the green wetlands of Brielsemeer. The landscape vision has resulted in the formation of a high dune body along the curve of the highway. This, along with the need to create a safe workplace against explosions of the oil refinery, created defining conditions for the office building. The starting point in GROUP A’s design was to enhance these conditions, both exterior and interior.

BP Rotterdam Refinery by GROUP A - Sheet2
©Roos Aldershoff

Because of the explosion hazard, the building is embedded into a landscaped dune. On the south side the building emerges from the dune, optimising the outside view and the entry of natural light. The entrance is logically positioned in the elegantly curved facade on the square side.

In the interior, an elongated and organising atrium space, is carved into the artificial dune, full of light and of varying dimensions due to the undulating cutting edge. The wall is lined with wooden slats that vary in color and size and evoke an association with geological layers; a reference to BP RR’s operations. The extensive use of natural materials like wood, concrete and natural stone, again emphasizes the ‘nature’ and robustness of the company’s core activities.

BP Rotterdam Refinery by GROUP A - Sheet5

The atrium is flanked by two parallel office wings. The office floors, each connected by bridges, are in open communication with each other and the atrium. Meetings take place in box-like volumes, which are slid into the atrium like ‘sky-boxes’. The BP organisation operates in one open space according to ‘The New Ways of Work’, resulting in an interactive environment that encourages communication, collaboration and creativity among staff. All of the building’s qualities align seamlessly with BP Rotterdam Refinery’s core values: the pursuit of an attractive workplace where both young and senior professionals can meet. The result is a working environment where landscape, building and interior completely blend and literally merge into one another.


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