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A future work space for the Dutch Ministry of Justice

What does the workspace of the future look and feel like? Can a space take responsibility for its occupants, adapting to a variety of different needs? What challenges do we face in a new era of hybrid work? We got the opportunity to rethink the whole third floor of the Ministry of Justice and Ministry of the Interior building. It offered a chance to explore these questions at the second largest office space in The Netherlands.

The bridge between the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of the Interior, the space in question is bustling with activity between 12pm and 1pm when it hosts lunch for up to 750 employees, yet is mostly unused for the rest of the day apart from special events and receptions. In collaboration with Studio LONK, we embarked on a longterm R&D project to transform the third floor into a fluid, dynamic and multifunctional space – without touching the existing architecture.

Informed by detailed data of how people move through the space and what they would like to use it for, we came up with the Sluispoort – a responsive mechanism that optimises the flow of water – as the backbone for a series of modular spatial interventions. Intelligent structures that can both create new spaces that facilitate exchange whilst also influencing the existing architecture around it, these Sluispoorten can be customised to respond to a range of needs.

Depending on the activity in the space, they will also be able to change state, opening or closing as required – for example, to create a quiet, clean portal through a busy space during rush hour then change into smaller meeting compartments later in the day. At this prototyping stage, there are four archetypes that are operated manually but they will eventually be autonomous and responsive to data received through sensors and able to predict the activity of the space.

A digital map will communicate the state of each Sluispoort, giving insight to the current situation, including available spaces and a preview of scheduled events. During this testing phase, we are collecting data on how people use these new structures, how the Sluispoorten interact with each other and how the digital map influences their use. Using data from this prototyping phase, the final design will be fully influenced by how the structures are used on the ground.

Ministry of Justice and Security (Ministerie van Justitie en Veiligheid)
Creative Concept, UX/CX Design, Experience Design, Art Direction, Spatial Design, Prototyping, Software Development, Installation Engineering, Research

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