Three stories come together in this design: the history of the old Palace of Justice Den Bosch that fits seamlessly with the law firm’s identity and their desire to use the office as a place to meet each other. With modest means, the building has been given an upgrade into the 21st century. From a closed and high-security building, the old courthouse with adjoining prison has been transformed into a more transparent office with a welcoming entrance, lively corridors and attractive event rooms.
Client Banning Advocaten
Location Den Bosch - The Netherlands
Square 3446
Timeline July 2021 - April 2022

Brand identity blends with history
Banning Advocaten is the perfect match for this national monument dating from 1924. For centuries, the historic building has been associated with the judiciary. Located at an old city wall on the border between the city and the countryside, people have been imprisoned and tried here since French rule.

Because of its history, the building fits seamlessly with Banning’s brand identity. The courtrooms are used to train new lawyers, memorise famous old cases, hold professional meetings and organise events for companies in the region. It fulfils the wish to act as a clubhouse for SMEs in Den Bosch, promoting knowledge exchange.

Maximum effect with modest means
How do you modernise a building and make it attractive, without major architectural interventions and with respect for its history? The project is an example of good lighting, paintwork and floor finishes making a real difference.

The integration of biophilic lighting gives the rooms a warm and enhanced natural feeling. The off-centre spotlights can be rotated playfully in all directions, giving depth and creating pleasant places to stay. Deviating from symmetry promotes liveliness, just like in nature.

A renovation to increase connectivity between employees and act as a clubhouse for SMEs in Den Bosch.

From archive photos, the corridors have been restored to their original spacial composition. The new ceiling islands and the pattern in the oak floor follow the rhythm of the classical pilasters. In the main monumental courtroom, the floor is fitted with a parquet whose colour and laying pattern follow the historic panelling of the room.

The office as a meeting place
The closed and formerly heavily secured entrance has been transformed into an enlarged, transparent reception area.
With new windows, provided by the Renschdael Group, more natural light enters and the building is better insulated - ready for a more sustainable future.
At one location, the closed corridor structure of the original building has been broken open from façade to façade to increase connectivity. It forms a centrally located social space where employees can meet and co-work.

With minimal means, the objectives have been achieved. Banning Advocaten realized a unique 'brand identity', which attracts and welcomes new people in. The renovated building has regained its former grandeur and is enlivened which the users and even Monumentenzorg Den Bosch is proud of. Watch a 3-tour with videos of the renovated building via this link, and discover all its (historical) stories.

Photography: Lucas van der Wee

Biophilic design enhances the enjoyment of a space; as if you are walking through a forest and the light varies through the rhythm of the leaves.