Interior Dutch Food Safety Authority, transformation of the Utrecht office

An unprecedented area of offices is vacant and the challenge of this time is how these buildings can be reused.

The Dutch Food Safety Authority
The Dutch Food Safety Authority (NVWA) operates according to the principles of the new work. This requires changes to both organization and employees. The field of NVWA is diverse, focusing on the health of animals and plants, food safety, consumer products and the enforcement of the laws of nature.

Generic building structure
Catharijnesingel No 59 was built in 1995 and is a fairly neutral, somewhat expressionless and without identity brick building. The front presents itself without any stature. Conversely, building a sustainable (and thus flexible generic) building structure, suitable for change of function. The former corridor structure has been lifted, ongoing workplace become open space meanders across the floor there is a very favorable net-gross ratio. By breaking from facade to facade calls daylight deep into the building, where the corridor previously existed.

The working landscape

  • The working landscape is a cradle to cradle “patchwork model” based on (partial) and sublimation of existing layouts, materials and infrastructure. Server rooms, printer, rooms, and other “system specific” areas such as kitchen and other facilities to be reused. By limiting the amount of new added materials and the reusability of the existing installation (ceiling, wet rooms, wall finishes, equipment, etc.). With clustering of heat-producing equipment (printers rooms, copy rooms). By reusing materials from the existing installation and design package (creatively use materials come).
  • The working landscape is consistent with the “core business” of the public: the new work in a sustainable office landscape.
  • The working landscape / Model patchwork (quilt) is a diverse, warm, vibrant concept that in the sometimes slightly desolate emptiness of the new works and the “clean-desk policy” even has a pleasant, non-sterile look.
  • The working landscape offers a combination of open and closed space. The open space “meanders” across the floor. This creates a diagonal view from wall to wall, making maximum use of daylight. The open space is organized into separate areas which are also linked to use.

In contrast to companies where a new style of working is expected, the NVWA is not designed as a designer garden. The accessibility and reliable image of the NVWA does not lend itself for this. The identity of the client has been translated into durable and simple materials like wood, glass, fabric and natural hues as brightly colored panels on topics that deal NVWA bring different accent colors. The topics such as pet, large animal, agricultural, and playground equipment to determine the identity and recognition per floor The panels were designed by Yvonne Kroese.

The interior landscaping is where a integral part of the housing concept for the NVWA The closed bottom of the quiet areas is widening in some places, creating space for planting flower boxes which are an integral part of the wall The high growth Sansevieria’s in addition to the positive effect on the working environment also function as where a filter to view the silence and meeting rooms.


Utrecht, NL, 2009-2011
Interior Design, Public Buildings, Transformation

renovation and furnishing offices for the Dutch Food Safety Authority (NVWA), Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation, Utrecht

Rijksgebouwendienst, Haarlem

Marlies Rohmer Architects & Urbanists

Marlies Rohmer

Fabian van den Bosch
Ronald Hageman
Josje Bollen
Bas van Galen
Dirk Postma

consulting offices
Nelissen Ingenieurbureau B.V., Eindhoven

graphic design
Yvonne Kroes, Amsterdam

Roos Aldershoff Fotografie, Amsterdam



GFA: 10.950 m²


Copyright Marlies Rohmer Architects & Urbanists