Financial services provider Nationale Nederlanden, sets out to make an impact with a thorough renovation of their office spaces: sustainable, healthy and agile. The offices in Rotterdam and The Hague will emanate the dynamic workstyles of the company with agile and activity-based working and many spaces to stimulate interaction. The decision to aim for a fully circular, zero waste renovation, to be WELL Platinum Certified, is the result of a people minded approach.
Client Nationale Nederlanden
Location Rotterdam and The Hague
Square 36.000 m2
Timeline March 2019 - December 2021

Nationale Nederlanden envisioned a renovation which takes existing materials as the starting point for a sustainable, healthy and inspiring environment. With an extensive harvesting plan for the two sites, Delftse Poort and Haagse Poort, we have realised the biggest circular mining pit of the Netherlands.

Fokkema & Partners’ design for the complete work environment incorporates the latest technologies for a digital minded, forward thinking workforce and its partners. It offers a large variety of atmospheres and spaces to support interaction, team collaborations, meetings and concentrated working. The offices also include fully equipped collaboration floors, a far from standard typology to facilitate people working from home and only sporadically meeting each other at the office.

WELL Platinum for a zero waste and fully circular design

Nationale Nederlanden is realizing a 100% circular renovation, with Zero Waste and WELL platinum realising a whopping total of 36.000 square meters office space. Of the existing walls, floors, ceilings, materials and furniture as much as possible is re-used on site, sometimes adapted, extending its service life. Where new materials have been added, they are fully circular, weighing the alternatives with life cycle analysis.

The design then considers standard sizes of the materials to minimize cutting losses and waste upon processing materials. The design is exuted to be remountable, to ensure that the raw materials remain in-tact for future harvesting. With eliminating construction and packaging waste, the environmental impact of the renovation is kept to a minimum.

But first and foremost, Fokkema & Partners made the design to match user needs.

The decision to aim for a 100% circular, zero waste renovation and to achieve WELL Platinum is the result of a people minded approach.

It’s all about people

To optimally support people at work the design follows the most ambitious guidelines of the WELL Building Standard.

The workspace is set to be WELL V2 Platinum Certified upon completion to enhance people’s health and wellness with providing a healthy and stimulating environment. In terms of design this means a focus on biophilia, using non-toxic materials, excellent acoustics, lighting and ergonomics, building a sense of community and promoting healthy lifestyles.

Nationale Nederlanden not only wants to support its people, it also wants to inspire with the sustainable choices that are made. This way including their people to become part of the bigger story. To communicate the level of detail, some of the choices that were made are highlighted by graphic imprints for each user to take in.


Selected in 2019, Fokkema & Partners started an intensive co-creation process with the user, project partners and market parties. The design was developed in close collaboration with user groups of Nationale Nederlanden. Workshops, or so-called atelier sessions, were initiated to bring in expertise from various angles in the market, resulting in surprising finds and creative solutions.

The Nationale Nederlanden Art Committee was asked to curate a pitch for young artists to make a work that ultimately transforms waste into art. The pitch concerns the walls around the building cores, clad with standard white trespa pannels that had become redundant and harvested from other building sites. Tobias Lengkeek and Said Kinos won, and their unique artworks are now milled out of the trespa, revealing its black core to form the graphical backbone of the offices. By upgrading second-life materials in this way, the circular ambitions also result in a super exciting and contemporary interior.

Materialising a circular, healthy and (inter)connected office

Each design intervention is packed with examples of circular design, the most straightforward being that 99% of all contract furniture in the project is a one-on-one re-use from existing Nationale Nederlanden interiors, and only supplemented with second-life furniture. Existing installations are adapted and complemented with motion detection and CO2 sensors for healthy and efficient exploitation.

For example, the concrete, extracted cutting the voids which instigate movement and interaction, is re-used to make the void's balustrades. The remaining concrete is used to make the benches along the facades. Mounting plates, not glue, are used to connect wooden elements. These are punched out of metal sheets according to a design to form a pattern. It makes the left-over sheets (otherwise seen as waste) an asset to the design by using them as space dividers. Interconnecting all material flows and allowing manufacturers to bring in expertise on efficient processing of harvested materials, led to an array of examples making the design an inspiring reservoir of ideas, with a sturdy design to bring it all together.

Project partners

Nationale Nederlanden
Stevens van Dijck
Royal HaskoningDHV
bba binnenmilieu
Superuse Studios | Oogstkaart
Gielissen Interiors
JP van Eesteren