Ministry of Economic Affairs
Designed by architect Gijs Friedhoff in 1956, the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality is an example of post-war reconstruction architecture. This monumental complex is organized around three courtyards with the pronounced transverse wings defining the articulation of the volume. In addition to a full renovation, its large-scale restructuring included a number of essential architectural interventions. A glass arcade that connects the vertical junctions, for instance, was raised next to the building to create a new, open spatial structure that is the backbone of the entire plan. The demolition and replacement of wings 0 and 5 provided the necessary extra office space and at the same time improved circulation through the building on all floors. Finally, a new glass orangery was built over the former officer’s mess. Also accommodating a multifunctional conference centre with auditorium, this represents the new identity of the Ministry on Theresiastraat. In the interior, the original cellular organisation was transformed into a new ‘paperless’, transparent en semi-open work environment.