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  • 29/04/2021

The head quarters of the Triodos bank is also a material bank

The first large-scale 100% wooden, movable office building, namely the head office of Triodos Bank, is located in the beautiful De Reehorst estate in Zeist. For this special building, RAU Architects aimed to build sustainably and circularly in order to keep the CO2 footprint to a minimum. We were closely involved in the design process of this fully rebuildable office.

Exceptional location

Landgoed De Reehoost in Zeist has a rich history. The estate is located along the railway between Utrecht and Arnhem and was founded in the 19th century. In addition to the villas, culture and conference centres, a research institute, and artists’ residences, in 2020, this estate was enriched with the Triodos bank’s head office. With the new office, this sustainable bank wanted to symbolise a physical expression for a ‘new building culture’, in which there is more awareness of the relationship between nature, culture and the economy.

The office building leaves enough distance from the trees and thus respects the living environment, including the flight paths of bats. The main entrance of the building is a stone’s throw from Driebergen-Zeist train station and the busy road that runs under the railway.

Inspired by the nature

The organic shapes of the building beautifully merge with the natural environment of the office. This has been taken into account in the composition as well. Although the building has five floors and is almost 13,000 m2, the office is never visible ‘as a complete mass’. As a result, the building never looks too big and perfectly visually melts into the environment. Various types of outdoor spaces are created around the building, each of which having its own character.

For the composition, the architects were inspired by nature, the surrounding estate and the flight paths of the bats. The wooden floors, shafts and columns form a construction that resembles a cathedral. The three transparent, uniform towers immediately catch the eye. These towers run from south to north and are connected alternately on the ground floor, first floor or second floor. This offers bank employees a spectacular view of the beautiful nature, wherever they are in the building.

Sustainable materials

Triodos Bank’s new head office is a 100% wooden construction. The office is built with CLT (Cross Laminated Timber), laminated wood, and raw wood components. This makes the building strong and at the same time elegant and durable. Some of the wood comes from the neighbourhood, to make the building even more sustainable. Even the shafts are made of wood, while they are usually made of concrete.

Partly for the durability and partly for the aesthetic aspect, there is little finishing inside the office. This way, the wood really shows to advantage. At most, a layer of oil was applied to the wood, as protection and against discolouration. Drywall has been used as little as possible. There is virtually no paint or wallpaper.

In addition, a total of 165,315 screws were used to make the building demountable. Triodos Bank’s head office can thus be dismantled and relocated without loss of materials, components, and products.

Sustainable architecture

All materials are registered, documented, and archived in the Madaster platform. The value of the material is indicated on the basis of historical data and current exhibition stands in the Materials Passport. In fact, this building serves as a ‘material depot’, because nothing is permanent.

The durability goes beyond the choice of materials and demountability. For example, the roofs collect the rainwater, which is used to flush the toilets. The parking lot is equipped with solar roofs that provide energy. It has also been decided to use two small pumps instead of one larger pump. Although the purchase price is more expensive, this saves energy in the long run.

Do you have questions about Triodos Bank’s sustainable head office? Are you inspired and would you like to discuss your ideas with us? Do let us know! We would be happy to talk to you.

Want to read more about this office? Check out the posts on the following news and architecture websites: (partially Dutch, partially English)