‘Presentable and welcoming setting for international collaboration’

‘Presentable and welcoming setting for international collaboration’

About the circular project Eurojust

Eurojust assists national authorities in fighting organised, transnational crime in the EU. One thing was central when they moved into their new location in The Hague: the building had to improve collaboration between the representatives of different countries. Facilitating strictly confidential meetings and offering hospitality at the same time, both to its own employees and members of foreign delegations who visit the building on a daily basis. Gispen furnished the building – from representative furniture to workstations including cable management services.

The necessity of a tranquil work environment

Terrorism, drug trafficking, human trafficking, fraud, corruption and other activities related to the presence of criminal organisations in the EU. These are only a few of many issues which Eurojust is committed to act upon. Eurojust provides support and, if needed, coordinates collaboration between national authorities in every single stage of criminal investigations and prosecutions. Jacques Vos, Head of Security, Facility Management and General Affairs at Eurojust and supervisor for the new construction project: ‘The people who work here deal with some dismal cases. Thus, it is even more important to offer them a work environment that has a friendly, warm and tranquil atmosphere. An environment where they can fully concentrate, while staying in touch with what’s going on around them – by means of sunlight and a friendly atmosphere.’

The client’s thoughts

‘Mecanoo has provided us with a striking design and ambience. Gispen was the only supplier who could make it all happen, with timeless and high-quality furniture. From neatly cabled workstations to the (semi)public areas; everybody has been extremely positive about our new work environment. More importantly: the environment contributes to our objective: improving international collaboration.’

Jacques Vos Head of Security, Facility Management and General Affairs at Eurojust

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Confidentiality as well as accessibility

Eurojust moved into a new building in The Hague in July 2017; from two locations to one central location. Mecanoo architects was called in to create a design for both the exterior and the interior. Twynstra Gudde supervised the construction- and transition process. Jacques Vos: ‘Our goal was to erect a building that was tailored to our business processes. An open work environment would not suffice, considering the high level of confidentiality of the cases we work on. We required a more traditional office environment with multiple rooms. We did include a request in our proposal to make informal communication and interaction possible for the sake of improving international collaboration. Mecanoo has fulfilled this request by creating multiple communication hubs which can be found throughout the building on different storeys; areas that are very accessible, where people can meet one another.’

A complete furnishing

Eurojust’s new building consists of twelve high-rise storeys and four low-rise storeys, surrounded by dunes. The building not only houses workstations, there are also various (semi)public areas to be found: from lobbies and reception areas to state-of-the-art conference rooms, a business centre, a restaurant, library, silent office areas and a terrace. Gispen furnished the entire building, providing both office- and representative furniture. Gispen also supplied the rugs, including a unique, 26-metre long piece for a lobby.

Welcoming (semi)public areas

Groups of experts, who are flown in for a day from various member states for a meeting or the establishing of a strategy for active cases, are accommodated in the (semi)public areas. This is where they have every amenity at their disposal which they need to carry out their jobs and to stay in contact with the field. There are enclosed conference rooms for confidential meetings as well as break-out rooms with a view of the garden. Gispen installed all the necessary electronics in the interpreters' booths, where translations are provided in 23 different languages. People who need to focus can occupy a space at the business centre, where they have all the comforts one could need. The College Meeting Room, which is the only enclosed conference room with daylight, is where visitors such as the King and the Ministers of Justice and Home Affairs from the different member states are welcomed. Products that have been applied here include Wilkhahn Contas and Casala Temo conference tables, Vitra ID Trim conference chairs and Take a Line for a Walk armchairs and Fjord seats, both from Moroso.

The employee’s thoughts

‘Furnishing the new Eurojust building was a great project for us. We did not only supply the furniture, we were also given the task to arrange the cable management of the workstations. Gispen Greenlife made sure the old furniture from the two former locations was removed and recycled responsibly. From carpet to coat hanger; Eurojust wanted a timeless look and a warm atmosphere for its new building, which we realised together.’

Mandy Pupping Gispen Project Supervisor

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Cable management for the best possible result

The electrical wiring in the new building is run through the floor, instead of through the walls. Gispen was asked to supply a number of custom products to accommodate the system. The desks are adapted to it, the wiring is neatly tucked away and each desk has been equipped with an Ergotron LX arm – the very best of ergonomic monitor arms. Jacques Vos: ‘This process was truly an interactive one. Our ICT- and Facility specialists visited Gispen, who presented various trial setups to them. A considerable amount of time was invested on both sides, and it shows.’

Is it a success?

Since Eurojust moved into its new building in July, daily operations have increased by 50%. The number of meetings that are held have risen, as well as the number of visitors. Jacques Vos: ‘People mention how fantastic the rooms are. Employees come together more often. We have an ongoing partnership with Europol, who are housed in the neighbouring building, and whose people have also been highly complimentary. In short, the result is everything we could have hoped for. Despite the complexity of the entire project, which was an international endeavour in itself, we were able to be open and transparent towards all the parties involved. Our mission is a success.’

Photography: Chris van Koeverden

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