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CAK   landscapem

In 2022, De Unie Architecten and Coare Realisatie designed new conference rooms, meeting areas, dynamic office floors and a cosy workplace café for the CAK premises. Gispen fully furnished the building, enabling the employees to adopt a hybrid working method. 'The renovated building and its new interior have been received with enthusiasm. It truly supports us in our new, hybrid working method.'


The government body CAK supports around 1.5 million citizens in the Netherlands and abroad. This public service provider implements laws and regulations on behalf of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. Through its services, CAK contributes to the accessibility and affordability of healthcare. What CAK learnt from the pandemic is that the combination of working in the office and from home proved to be a good option for them. An internal survey supported this; employees appreciated working from home and had begun to see the office more as a place to meet up, work together and hold meetings. CAK therefore decided to reduce its traditional office environment from 16 to 10 floors and from 1,100 to 420 workstations. In turn, they introduced inviting meeting areas, colourful office floors and a warm workplace café to their building.


In addition to scaling down its office environment, CAK has made a transition towards different working methods and styles. Milou Simons, interior architect at De Unie Architecten: 'It was CAK's experience from the pandemic that remote working is a good addition to working in the office. An internal survey showed what activities employees come to the office for; there was a need for more and different types of teamwork and meetings. Thus, we redesigned the first three floors with a workplace café and a variety of consultation areas. From spaces that will hold only two to an entire group of people, enclosed or open. But also a mini-lecture room with interconnected chairs for presentations.'


In terms of architectural design, De Unie Architecten broke the rhythm of the columns with two mezzanines. These were installed to create more spaciousness in the building and to connect the workplace café with the consultation areas. What had to be translated into the   furniture was not only a hybrid working method, but also the transition to an office that encourages exercise and activity during a workday. Christa Paauwe, senior account manager at Gispen: 'In order to get a better idea of hybrid and dynamic working in practice, I visited the pop-up government office Terminal Noord with Milou and Caroline. This inspired them to put more focus on alternating between sitting and standing while working, conferring or consulting.'



Naturally, the furniture also had to match with the colourful look & feel that the interior designer created. Christa: 'By giving the walls and pillars a different colour on each floor, a challenge arose for the furniture. The interior designer wanted to achieve unity in diversity. We applied this principle to our furniture by, for example, matching the colours and upholstery of new and repurposed NOMI chairs to the particular colours of each floor. All 420 workstations are identical across all floors. The meeting areas and conference rooms have been finished in different shades of the main colour of their respective floor. This means that each floor has its own identity, but is still unmistakably 'CAK'.'



Caroline Dinkla of CAK: 'The result is stunning, from the flooring to the colour scheme, from the sit-stand desks to the individual workstations. It is an open, light, transparent and colourful environment. Staff members can decide for themselves which area of the office is the most practical, efficient and effective for the task at hand. They simply choose or reserve an area or workplace that is suitable for them. This new approach improves productivity, work-life balance and job satisfaction. Moreover, they can use the booking app to see who else is working in the office that day and where this colleague is located. This makes it easy for colleagues to find each other or reserve a workstation next to each other. The renovation has been received with great enthusiasm. It truly supports us in our new, hybrid working method.'


Photography: Chris van Koeverden

portrait of Milou Simons
Milou Simons - interior architect at De Unie Architecten

A word from the interior architect

‘De opbouw van de tien verdiepingen, van entree tot de laatste verdieping, verloopt  geleidelijk. De entree is mede dankzij het werkcafé open en uitnodigend. De eerste drie verdiepingen zijn bedoeld voor overleg, vergaderen en samenwerken. De verdiepingen daarboven gaan dan van levendig naar rustig. Dat hebben we in kleur uitgedrukt. Hoe lager, hoe feller de kleur van een etage. Om die kleur te benadrukken en de verdieping een eigen identiteit te geven, is een groot deel van het meubilair in de kleurstijl uitgevoerd.’

Caroline Dinkla Manager Facility Management at CAK
portrait of Caroline_Dinkla
Caroline Dinkla, Manager Facility Management at CAK

The client’s thoughts

'Gispen has been our contract partner for a number of years, which started through a European Tender. Gispen knows all about our organisation because we have been working together for a long time. As such, Christa Paauwe put us in touch with Gispen's Circular Hub, where furniture that could not be reused for the new interior is given a second life elsewhere. It's reassuring that our old furniture could be reused and still had residual value. Gispen also tipped us off about the Stoel foundation in The Hague. This is where we had our used office chairs refurbished by people who are distanced from the labour market.’

Brightlands Center Court   landscapem


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