Mecanoo restored and renovated the offices of a consultancy firm located in a villa on Maliebaan, a grand street in Utrecht. Renovating and extending the villa underground offered a major challenge, as the building forms part of a wider heritage protection area.
The design features a tilted lawn at the back that creates room for more office space and a conference room below.
Mecanoo’s integrated approach to the project seamlessly interweaves interior, extension and renovation. Daylight reaches the underground extension via two courtyards, creating a light, comfortable working environment. The north wall is made of smooth concrete that bounces sunlight into the spaces, while the south wall is lined with a forty-metre-long timber cabinet. From the ground level in the main block, oak ship-deck flooring continues down the stairs into the lower spaces.
Restoring the urban villa to its original layout opened up opportunities for future use. Suspended ceilings and small extensions were removed. New windows fill the entrance hall with daylight, and contrasting materials and warm colours create a balanced unity.
The concept of flexible workspaces that Mecanoo used in this project, completed in the late 1990s, makes it a precursor of the New Office.