The Council of State is an independent body that advises the government and parliament on matters of legislation and policy issues and is the highest administrative court in the country.
The complex, home to the Council since 1983, consists of three national monuments, among them Kneuterdijk Palace (1716). While preserving the monumental atmosphere, the architects have created a contemporary complex that is inviting and inspiring. The various buildings are now connected to one another in an efficient manner. The new volume and monuments blend smoothly into one another. Transparency and clear organisation are the cornerstones of the design.
The 19th-century buildings on Parkstraat have been threaded together and ‘sliced through’ near the middle, close to the staircases. The monumental façades and all original rooms directly overlooking the street have been preserved. The messy and cluttered rear sides of the buildings were demolished and replaced by a new comb-shaped structure. Thanks to its glazed roof, the 180-metre-long connecting route from the front side on Kneuterdijk to the rear side on Oranjestraat draws daylight deep into the complex and connects all the existing and new office areas to one another.
The concrete shell and the car park of the relatively recent Sleeswijk complex have been preserved. The new square-shaped building ‘merges’ along one side with the historical section on Kneuterdijk.
The public areas are strictly separated from the other spaces. All seven council chambers are located on the ground floor, while the floors above contain offices only. This arrangement creates a logical division between public and private spaces.
Giant-sized numbers next to the entrances make the seven chambers easily recognisable. Apart from recognition, technical requirements helped to determine the design. The graceful floral motifs, for example, a pattern of round holes, and the striped motif in the council chambers are not only decorative but also acoustic.
Most of the alterations to the monuments, such as the modern climate installation, are almost invisible. Each space has been given a new appearance that respects its historical character. The monumental roof construction of the former residence of Van Oldenbarnevelt on Kneuterdijk has been exposed and now accommodates the library of the Council.
A spectacular item of furnishing is the modern rug adorned with empire citations designed by textile designer Edith van Berkel in collaboration with Evelyne Merkx for the impressive ballroom, one of the few empire rooms in the Netherlands.
Michael van Gessel - garden design
Edith van Berkel - carpet Ballroom
Bernard Heesen - glass wall lamps
Ina Meijer - wall textiles
René Knip - graphic design
Jaap Elzas - graphic design parking
Joseph Kosuth - art Phase 2
Job Koelewijn - art Phase 1
Breijer bouw (Hans Kraaijeveld) - contractor Phase 2
Hillen & Roosen (Jan Visser) - contractor Phase 1
Smeulders Interieurgroep - interior builders Phase 2
Gielissen Interiors - interior builders Phase 2
Spanjaard - interior builders Phase 1
TextielLab Tilburg - production wall textiles
Firma Oostendorp (Dick en Pieter Oostendorp) - upholstery and wall textilesFirma De Kruijff - blinds and curtainsVescom - wallpaperX kwadraat - chandeliers
Ingenieursbureau Zonneveld (Jan van der Windt, Leo van Dorp) - consultant building engineering
HE Adviseurs (Jan Andries Boon, Koos de Vogel) - consultant installation engineering
lbp | sight (Luc Schaap) - consultant building physics
SmitsRinsma - advisors greenery
Hans Winsemius - Phase 2
John van der Meijden - Phase 2
Boag Advies & Management (Ed de Roo, Frank Schaap) - Phase 2
Merkx+Girod bv (Klaas Cammelbeeck) - Phase 2
Kraan Consulting - Phase 1