Van Rossum Raadgevende Ingenieurs
building services adviser:
Deerns Raadgevende Ingenieurs
building physics adviser:
Lichtveld Buis & Partners
The assignment was the design of the interior for the new offices of solicitors’ firm Baker & McKenzie in the building designed by Michael Graves on the Zuidas (South Axis) in Amsterdam: the Baker & McKenzie House. This building, which is part of the Mahler 4 complex, provides accommodation for approximately 300 employees.
In terms of style, the Baker & McKenzie House fits in extremely well with its user. The building has a classic red brickwork façade, red natural stone cladding and a copper-coloured roof and as a result stands out clearly from the surrounding buildings. In addition, it has the same characteristics as their previous accommodation: the Hirsch building. The ground floor is not entirely used by Baker & McKenzie. Part of this level is rented as retail space, which ensures a lively atmosphere on the ground floor. Beside the entrance hall and the lift core, the right-hand side of the ground floor serves as the company restaurant, which is also directly connected to the goods delivery area. The parking garage, which stretches out under all the Mahler 4 buildings, provides sufficient space for cars and bicycles.
The mezzanine floor is arranged for public functions. This so-called intermediate level is actually the entrance to the offices. Originally the technical area was also located here, but that has been moved to the top floor. This choice was made because the entrance hall with all the additional requirements was too small to accommodate everything. Additionally, the monumental staircase gives the entrance much more style. This floor is specifically intended for receiving visitors, seminars and other types of consultation. The desk with telephonist space, the quiet area and the waiting area are located in the front office, where two special spaces are also situated. The library, the showpiece of every firm of solicitors, has an attractive, open character and is eminently suitable for small receptions and the Due Diligence room. This is a meeting room intended for dossier research or meetings with an external focus. For this purpose, the space has special cabinets that can be locked and a sliding wall, for occasions when more than one piece of research is being carried out at the same time. In the back office, the closed part of the meeting centre is located with the following spaces:
A Boardroom that can be used as a meeting room for the partners or as a seminar area. This provides space for 36-40 people and has a stylish appearance. All the required audio-visual facilities are available here, such as back projection. A video-conference room in an optimum setting for 10 people. Five meeting rooms in a stepped setting for 8-12 people and a large conference room for 22 people in the so-called front room. This level has four service points: a coffee unit at the desk, a pantry and two service units at the boardroom and front room.
The offices are situated on the upper six floors. These levels are intended for internal use. Because the building has no completely perpendicular façades, the offices could be made in an exciting stepped way. The rooms located on the outside shell have hook-shaped intermediate walls clad with leather and glass fronts, which also give them a transparent appearance. In the inside zone there are the open secretarial workplaces. The huge number of files is housed in rotary archives in extended cores. The toilet groups are also located here. Each floor has one or more meeting rooms on the outer edges. The character of these office floors in light in colour and stylish but modern. On the uppermost staff level, there is a fully equipped fitness area and training room behind the technical area.