From Factory Hall to Innovation Hub in Three Months

Updated: Feb 21

Once, margarine rolled off the assembly line here. Today, the former Brinkers factory in Zoetermeer is an innovation hub for ICT and education. Commissioned by Dalhem Realty IV, COARE is rapidly transforming a former factory hall into a bright, spacious work environment for Kennisnet — one of the tenants of the complex.

We are no strangers to Zoetermeer. Nine years ago, we were already involved in the design and the first renovation of the Dutch Innovation Factory. Our clients, The Hague University of Applied Sciences, the municipality of Zoetermeer and real estate investor Dalhem Realty IV, wanted to transform the factory from the sixties into a hub where technology, education and startups can pollinate each other, and called in COARE. The result is a beautiful, meaningful place for all of Zoetermeer. In this follow-up project, we have been given the opportunity to rebuild a former hall into an inspiring workplace for the educational ICT organisation Kennisnet, which connects seamlessly with the rest of the environment. One of the ingredients we are adding here is light. To this end, we are creating a series of openings in the walls of the hall. We are also responsible for realising the installations, walls and ceilings, so that in a few months' time, Kennisnet will be able to move into an office that inspires and makes you feel at home.

But the most important ingredient is co-creation. The planned completion date is 1 May and that means that a lot has to happen in a short time. Good, flexible cooperation is crucial for this. As an important link in this joint mission of architect Meijer and Van Eerden, tenant Kennisnet and landlord Dalhem Realty IV, we are happy to take on this responsibility. We monitor communication and transparency, we do not avoid problems and we search for new solutions quickly and decisively together with our partners. The goal: a final result that all parties involved — and the city of Zoetermeer — are proud of.