The former ‘Luitenant Generaal Knoop Kazerne’ has been transformed into a contemporary and transparent Government Office ‘de Knoop’ with additional representation as a central meeting hub for all Dutch Central Government Agencies. The sustainable transformation was designed, financed and executed by the consortium R creators, including a maintenance and operation phase of 20 years.
Client Rijksgebouwendienst
Location Utrecht
Square 30.000
Timeline January 2014 - February 2018

The intimacy and character of the original construction of the building offers a profound counterbalance to a daylight flooded atrium which connects to a spacious new construction. The complex is wrapped with a new façade and strongly embedded in the urban fabric. It meets high security standards and offers great capacity for adaptations in (future) use.

Trees and plants are integrated in the design bringing the outside inside while views on the city’s landmarks provide orientation. In the meeting center, open areas are defined along the voids and staircases that can house up to 300 people to informally connect before and after meetings. The anchor points in the office area represent the different users. Elaboration of the design was executed up to the graphic wayfinding concept. Studio Drift made an enchanting design for the installation above the coffee bar in the atrium.

Elaboration of the design was executed up to the graphic wayfinding concept.

Trees and plants are integrated in the design bringing the outside inside while views on the city’s landmarks provide orientation. In the meeting center, open areas are defined along the voids and staircases that can house up to 300 people to informally connect before and after meetings. The anchor points in the office area represent the different users. Elaboration of the design was executed up to the graphic wayfinding concept. Studio Drift made an enchanting design for the installation above the coffee bar in the atrium.

R creators consists of the executing parties Strukton, Ballast Nedam and Facilicom. The design was created by Cepezed, Fokkema & Partners and Rijnboutt.

Photography by Lucas van der Wee.

The former Knoop barracks date from 1989. For years the building near Utrecht Central station was the seat of the Royal Netherlands Army. In line with the redevelopment of the area to a more dynamic urban character, the military compound was transformed into a transparent building with interconnected office spaces and a central meeting hub for the state. Image: Cepezed, Leon van Woerkom

The former Knoop barracks had a closed structure and a low ceiling height. With the new connections, opening up the spaces, the interior is radically transformed. Image: Cepezed, Leon van Woerkom

State Office de Knoop was awarded Governmental Interior of the Year at the FRAME Awards 2020, winning the people's vote! It proves a design that optimally supports and inspires the people working at ‘de Knoop’ while also appealing to the design-loving audience of FRAME.

Winner FRAME Awards 2020