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The Resident


The Resident 

This large complex next to The Hague Central Station houses the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (SZW). The Helicon and Castalia buildings, designed in the 1990s by Soeters van Eldonk and the American architect Michael Graves, were in need of modernization. cepezed coordinated the entire project and designed the atrium.

  • client(s)
  • central government real estate agency
  • location
  • den haag
  • user(s)
  • ministry of health, welfare & sport and ministry Social Affairs & Employment
  • expertise
  • architects
oude situatie | ronald schleurholts

Modernization De Resident The Hague  

The modernization fitted in with a movement of the national government towards modern work(place) concepts where meeting, interaction and flexibility play a central role.

A consortium consisting of cepezed (design atrium and general coordination), Hofman Dujardin Architects (office interior design) and engineering firm Antea Group (consultant on building services, constructions and fire safety) made the design for the modernization.

lucas van der wee | cepezed
lucas van der wee | cepezed

From external space to atrium  

The external space between the Helicon and Castalia buildings, the current Parnassus Square, has been roofed over. It is now the joint, semi-public entrance atrium for the VWS and SZW Ministries.


The Resident’s atrium  

The atrium, which is more than 70 metres long and 20 metres high, is constructed from large steel portals with a glazed roof above. At the heads of the atrium there are transparent façades with five-metre-high pivoted doors that also function as signage elements.

The compound portal profiles are an impressive one metre deep and are clad in white with sheet metal profiles and fabric canopy. They function as coulisses that provide a unique atmosphere in a longitudinal sight line, but in a corner-spanning sight line, they give a good view of the original building.

léon van woerkom | cepezed

A forty-metre-long ‘piece of furniture’  

A major visual element in the atrium is the large ‘piece of furniture’ almost 40 metres long and 5 metres wide. This construction organizes the circulation streams to and between the two towers, as well as the security zoning. It has a composite-clad steel construction and includes a glass porter’s lodge and lift. The roof is clad with wood and supports three large trees.

cepezed | leon van woerkom
cepezed | Léon van Woerkom

Different ways of working  

The rearrangement of the office towers has facilitated different ways of working. On the lowest floors, functions have been realized with a general governmental character: meeting places, landing spaces, conference rooms, a training centre, library, grand café and restaurant.

The floors above have been transformed from cubicle offices to a more open office environment with roomy working areas: there are concentration and brainstorm places located at various spots. Each floor also has its own living room.

matthijs van rhoon


  • client: rijksvastgoedbedrijf
  • interior design: hofmandujardin
  • stability, building services, building physics & sustainability: antea group
  • main contractor: heijmans
  • contractor steel construction: nelissen van gerwen
  • façades: aks bouw

awards & nominations

  • european award for steel structures | 2017
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