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The Green House 

In 2014, cepezed was commissioned to transform the former Knoop barracks in Utrecht into Government office De Knoop. The client, Central Government Real Estate Agency, asked us at the time to devise a solution for the space between the Knoop barracks and the adjacent head office of the Rabobank. That became The Green House.

  • client(s)
  • Central Government Real Estate Agency
  • location
  • Utrecht
  • user(s)
  • Catering and rental of meeting rooms
  • expertise(s)
  • cepezed, cepezedprojects
lucas van der wee | cepezed

Temporary and lively  

Our assignment was to design a temporary stopgap for the site: the final function for this location would not be determined for another 15 years.
cepezed therefore developed a plan in which both the function and the architecture are based on circularity. The Green House accommodates a ‘circular’ restaurant concept with meeting facilities.

Entirely in accordance with the principles of circularity, the building (including its foundations of prefab concrete blocks) can be completely disassembled. In 2029, it can be demolished and rebuilt elsewhere.

Temporary and lively
lucas van der wee | cepezed
lucas van der wee | cepezed

Building kit  

So the two-storey pavilion is a ‘building kit’ with a removable steel frame made of galvanized profiles. The dimensions are derived from the smoked-glass façade panels on the former barracks building. In fact, the panels were reused for the second skin and the pavilion’s greenhouse.

Circularity is also repeated in the floor. Paving bricks from an old quay in Tiel have been used instead of the classic poured ground-level floor. They have been laid on a compacted sand bed with underfloor heating. On the first floor, prefab wooden elements have been used.

Building kit
lucas van der wee | cepezed
lucas van der wee | cepezed

100% recyclable  

For the roof, we chose a light steel sheet that was also perforated and filled with insulation. With a glass curtain wall, the plinth of the pavilion is completely transparent. For the closed parts of the façade on the first floor, prefabricated timber-frame panels were used. These are 100% recyclable and (H)CFC-free.

100% recyclable
lucas van der wee

Vegetables from own Green House  

The 80 m² vertical greenhouse is located on the first floor, next to the meeting rooms. Here vegetables and herbs are grown for the restaurant kitchen. Thanks to a void in the pavilion, you can clearly see the freely accessible greenhouse from the restaurant below. The large greenery wall also contributes significantly to the experience of The Green House.

Vegetables from own Green House
lucas van der wee | cepezed
lucas van der wee | cepezed


  • primary client: rijksvastgoedbedrijf
  • contractual client: r creators (strukton, ballast nedam en facilicom)
  • interior design: coster design
  • stability: pieters bouwtechniek
  • building services: strukton worksphere
  • circular construction consultant : cepezedprojects
  • building physics & sustainability: dgmr
  • main contractor: ballast nedam
  • contractor building services: strukton worksphere
  • contractor steel construction: kampstaal
  • façades: de groot & visser

awards & nominations

  • dutch sustainable construction awards | 2019 | public choice award
  • dutch sustainable construction awards | 2019
  • architecture & circular economy juryprize | 2018 | gg-awards
  • dutch building award | 2018
  • entree awards | 2018 | category best hospitality concept
  • sustainability prize utrecht | 2017
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