Appropriateness of the case

The architectural concept was the architect's answer to special demands by the owner in regard to the desired architectural character of the new building. It had to provide the users with the same feeling that they were accustomed to in their old premises: a variety of freestanding houses mostly built in the thirties, referred to by the employees as their 'urban villas' (Fig. 8.1). The new building had to be a home rather than an office. Table 8.1 shows how this requirement was incorporated in the bill of requirements.

The owner, who realised that such ambitious architectural objectives would require not only functional concessions but also more money, made a budget of € 18.18 million available, some sixty percent more then what would be required for a standard office building. A standard office building for the spatial requirements as listed in Table 8.2 would have cost about € 11.60 million.

Deadlines in the design phase were extended several times, but this hardly affected the date of commissioning. We will, therefore, consider only the criterion of functionality and investigate if in this extremely complex case inappropriate application of PI practices led to a loss of functionality that could have been avoided by adoption of PII practices. As we will see, that is indeed the conclusion of our analysis.

Figure 8.1 Villa 65, one of the old office villas (all figs. from Wennekes (1997))

Table 8.1 Architecture and associative identity of the building

Apart from being an association with idealistic objectives, the VPRO self-image is that they are an organisation of programme makers for television and radio. The architecture has to be in line with the identity of the VPRO and, preferably, reinforce it.

Concessions with regard to functionality and efficiency of the building needed in view of architectonical demands are discussable with the owner. There is freedom in the choice of materials.

The associative meaning of the building is described by:

• opinionated

• daring, beautiful

• stylish, tasteful

• sober, but not prestigious

• classic, no office façade towards the highway

• low building, pavilion structure (like old existing buildings)

• atmosphere as in the former villas

• exceptional forms, materials, norms

Table 8.2 Spatial requirements

Working stations area per employee (m2) gross floor space (m2) parking places

353 26.3 9 562 165

(115 in partial basement, 50 in the grounds)

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