A safe haven for the police

New interior just calls for a good conversation

14-12-2018

The police station in Amsterdam-Zuid was a child of its time. The building was rather introverted, with shut doors and secluded work spaces. A form that does no longer fit the way the police works. Vigilant and serviceable, but also more transparent and accessible. Inbo was given the assignment to give the building a friendlier face, both for the public and for the users. 

For Rodi van der Horst and Tom Oudijk, it was important to create a place where the officers would feel safe and relaxed. In the streets, they are often confronted with less pleasant circumstances. Tough civil servants in heated situations. When they get back to the station, they should have the opportunity to process that and discuss it in peace. Rodi and Tom therefore created an inner space that radiates safety and compensated for the vehement affairs they experience outside. A space that allows for openness and stimulates collaboration. 

The entire interior of the building was renovated. An empty space spanning three storeys was implemented. This created a lot of light and made the premises higher and feel larger. A solid staircase is an eye-catcher in the building. Through installation technological changes, the premises now feel more comfortable within, and are more energy efficient too. An important aspect was the design of a proper routeing in the building. To achieve this, Rodi and Tom visited various police stations, with many questions in mind: ‘Which path does an arrested person follow?’, ‘What are the risks?’ and ‘How can escalation be prevented?’ This paid off, as the layout has now been adapted to the processes the arrested person must go through, making everything safer and better structured. 

The little offices on the first storey have gone. The openness and light of this space have also greatly improved. The work spaces are flexible, and the meeting rooms have been equipped with glass walls. This open approach influences the working atmosphere a great deal, because the station is also a popular spot for meetings within the corps. Team leaders from other districts prefer to visit this location for consultations. Especially the briefing room with its light-brown stand turned out to be a perfect match. 

It was a fascinating and enjoyable design process. Partly due to the significant involvement and input of the enthusiastic police team, which regularly visited the design studio in their police outfits to check upon the progress. 

Further information: Rodi van der HorstTom Oudijk