Porcelain carpets like Flemish paintings
Matthijs van Roon
Hofman Dujardin Architecten B.V.
Tegelgroep Nederland B.V.
The floors of this project are packed with references to Holland’s rich artistic heritage and are finished in bright colours and motifs inspired by works of Flemish masters. A walk through the offices of the Ministries for Social Affairs and Employment and Health, Welfare and Sport in the Hague therefore becomes a unique journey of discovery through Dutch architecture and art.
With their 60,000 square metres of floor, the Helicon and Castalia towers, jointly known as “De Resident” are the work of postmodern architects Michael Graves, American, and Sjoerd Soeters, Dutch. The two towers incorporate many characteristic elements of Dutch architecture along with frequent references to the works of De Hoog, Berlage and Escher. Their refurbishment and adaptation to the needs of two government ministries was supervised by a multi-disciplinary team formed by cepezed and Antea Group HofmanDujardin.
From the well-lit and welcoming entrance halls of the Helicon and Castalia buildings, new stairways lead to the first five floors, occupied by offices, meeting areas and catering facilities. The offices of the ministries themselves are on the fifth floor, while administrative offices occupy the sixth and seventh floors. The top floor of the Castalia tower is used for public events, conferences and meetings and offers a spectacular view over the Hague.
The HofmanDujardin architects’ studio cleverly reinterpreted the designs of Berlage and the art of Vermeer in the De Resident project, “painting” the floors exactly as if they were canvases. The tiles from COEM’s T.U. collection use different shades to “paint” the floor. The semi-public first floor, for example, portrays the architecture of the complex.
“The De Resident project was really special,” explains the architect Michiel Hofman. “In the Castalia tower we reproduced the sloping roof using a pattern based on diagonally cut tiles. In the Helicon we tried to represent the visual rhythm of the two buildings. Tiles of the same colour are laid in different ways to create a different feel and to offer visitors and the people who work in these large buildings a sense of direction.”
Inspired by Graves’ predilection for Dutch classics, the designers of HofmanDujardin reproduced themes of famous Flemish paintings, old and modern, using only rectangular and triangular-cut tiles. Each floor of the offices features a different design based on a famous work of art (30 in all). The theme of “health and leisure” was chosen for the Ministry for Health, Welfare and Sport, while “work” was thought more appropriate for the Ministry for Social Affairs and Employment. The large floors in 50×50 cm ceramic tiles are complemented by colourful, fitted carpets that complete the representations. The result is a total of over 300 different patterns and images, each identifying a specific office or public space.
Coem, T.U. collection
60x60 cm, 15x60 cm, 10x60 cm, 30x30 cm, 10X30 cm, Triangoli 15x60 cm
Cold White, Warm White, Cold Black, Warm Black, Havana, Anthracite
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): 0.06 %
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): ULA
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): 123 MM3
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): 45 N/mm2 (valori medi riferiti alla nostra ultima produzione)
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R9