This office building ‘La Defense’ appears in its urban context as a modest building volume reflecting the direct surroundings in its metallic façade finishing. The outer skin expresses urbanity and a degree of closeness of the units. Entering the inner-court yard the building reveals its genuine characteristics. The façade adjacent to the courtyard is built-up out of glass panels in which a multi-colored foil is integrated. Dependent on the time of the day and the angel of incidence, the façade changes from yellow to blue, to red or from purple to green and back again. La Defense is located behind Almere Central Station. The plan shows a neutral, rational organization with four separate bands of different lengths and heights covering the irregular plot. The proposal links these bands to some extent in a more integrated urban solution which ties in with the new, larger-scale center development of Almere Town.
The essentially closed complex is interrupted at two points, creating a link with the park to the rear. Raising the ground level from the town side strengthens the link. Parking facilities are provided under the building rather than in between the units, creating a pleasant inner area. The units vary in height from 5 or 6 to 3 or 4 levels, the top level often being doubled.
The design is based on the complex being used by a number of companies. The density and program are balanced in such a way as to keep the price per square meter low, making the development more attractive to local users. A large number of entrances are provided to highlight the complex's accessibility. On the street side, access to the units is via entrances at ground floor level, on the inside via raised entrances. The organization accentuates the flexibility of the office block.
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