The Netherlands Trade Union Confederation (FNV) has been a loyal and valued client of COARE Architecture and COARE Realisation for many years. Throughout our long and fruitful collaboration, both COARE branches have had the pleasure of working together on many projects,
starting with the renovation or alteration of offices at various locations in the Netherlands. Transitions tend to be more difficult for companies with a strong and traditional corporate culture. This also proved to be the case for the FNV. In order to arrive at a suitable design concept, COARE Architecture organised comprehensive workshops, in which trade unions members and employees from all levels of the organisation could provide input on their expectations and requirements. The result was a design that all stakeholders were not only supportive of, but excited about. In addition, the workshops allowed us to calculate that a smart design of the building resulted in less space needed, reducing the number of floors from ten to seven. The resulting savings in rent could be used for FNV activities.
As a result of our successful collaboration, we were selected to advise on a new project for the FNV. To maintain a close relationship with its members, the FNV wanted to build 32 trade union houses for members to meet and work. The concept for these houses was developed by COARE Architecture. The trade union houses provide the FNV with opportunities to profile itself locally and increase its visibility for members. Members now have a single address for advice, work or income-related questions, or help with tax returns. Not surprisingly, accessibility and a low-threshold setting were key elements of the initial design. The first trade union house opened its doors in Nijmegen. The FNV expects all locations to be completed in 2019.