With more than 2500 staff in Rijswijk (near The Hague), the EPO is the largest international organisation in the Netherlands. Last year saw a breakthrough in solving the long-standing issue of office accommodation for its staff there: in June the Organisation's Administrative Council decided to endorse the recommendation for a new office building to replace the main tower built 40 years ago.
In September 2013 the EPO signed a contract with the winning consortium of four companies belonging to the TBI Group, one of the largest construction, mechanical and electrical services companies in the Netherlands, to design and construct the new building, in co-operation with two leading architectural firms, Ateliers Jean Nouvel (Paris) and Dam & Partners Architecten (Amsterdam). The contract paved the way for finalising the design and landscaping, and for construction to begin in spring 2014.
With its gross floor area of over 80 000 m2 to house some 1 750 workplaces, this is one of the largest construction projects of its kind in the Netherlands today. The selected design, a tall glass building surrounded by a landscaped pond, is a bold example of modern architecture. The design also focuses on sustainability, aiming to minimise the building's impact on the environment, while ensuring that the indoor environment for staff and visitors meets very high safety, health and comfort standards.