Paul de Ruiter

Ziggo call center

The most sustainable call centre in the Netherlands

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The Dutch cable operator Ziggo commissioned Paul de Ruiter Architects to design an office building that would allow it to consolidate its call centre and technical department under one roof, thereby enabling them to share facilities. The new building, on the Harlingertrekvaart in Leeuwarden, was to accommodate 450 employees. The bases of our design would be innovation, energy efficiency and the well-being of the employees.

Offices, GPR, BREEAM

Distinctive profile

The site was not suitable for building an underground car park. So we raised one end of the building on stilts, thereby creating a covered, street-level car park at its base. The car park floor dips about one-third of the way in, expanding the space into a semi-sunken, double-height section that accommodates, among other things, the reception and staff canteen, which allowed us to keep these functions immediately accessible from the street. We lowered the other end of the building, which overlooks the open air car park, to make the visual connection with the building’s surroundings more immediate. Raising one end and lowering the other lent the building a distinctive “tilted” profile.

The lowered end is four storeys high, while the side overlooking the canal boasts six floors. The difference in height provided room for a roof terrace atop the lowered end. The heart of the building consists of two large atriums, which fill the building with daylight and allow clear sightlines from end to end. The building’s light and airy quality is reinforced by the layout, which is open-plan, boasts 14.4-metre aisles and lends itself to internal reorganisation.

Sustainable in every way

The building’s compact form and its two large atriums allowed us to minimise the surface area of the façade most exposed to direct sunlight, which would otherwise admit too much heat and necessitate air conditioning. The facades are equipped with heat reflective louvres, which keep the building cool without compromising daylight admission. Heating and cooling needs are met by a geothermal energy storage system with heat pumps, in combination with an energy exchange system that uses water from the nearby canal, and electrical power is provided by photovoltaic rooftop panels. These and other measures earned the building the country’s first BREEAM Excellent certificate.

Project details


Location Leeuwarden, The Netherlands
Total floor area 7,800 m²
Project description Sustainable office with car park
Start of design November 2008
Start of construction June 2010
Project completion October 2011


Client Triodos Real Estate en Ziggo
Project architect Paul de Ruiter
Project team Richard Buijs, Marieke Sijm, Wilko de Haan
Project management Noud Paes
Sustainability certification BREEAM Excellent, GPR-score 8.3, energy label A
Building services engineering Deerns
Cost consultants Traject
Contractor Van Wijnen & Wolter & Dros
Structural engineering Jansen Wesselink
Photography Pieter Kers, Gerard van Beek & Topshot

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