1997-1998, Tilburg, the Netherlands
The Interpolis headquarters lies on the main axis with the station area in the city of Tilburg. The garden covers approximately 2 hectares. It forms a calm and introverted world, separated from its surroundings by hedges and a dark green, steel fence with a holly leaf pattern. The garden is freely accessible for both employees and the Tilburg public.
The large scale of the headquarters required a compatible garden design. Large Douglas firs were chosen as a counterbalance for the tower designed by the architect Bonnema. The grass surface has a loose pattern of ‘tectonic shifts’, their edges defined by dark grey, concrete retaining walls. Elongated watertables of varying lengths (20- 85 metres) with ecology of water lilies and frogs form the central theme of the garden.
Their shifting orientation and nonparallel shapes create a strong, constantly changing sense of perspective in the garden. The garden is designed as a space for relaxation and enjoyment and as a space where employees can work in green surroundings. Computer connections in the garden provide electricity and access to the headquarters mainframe.
An elongated plateau of large, counter-shingled slate slabs has been laid out directly against the building. Every spring the blossoms from the magnolia grove spread across its surface punctuating the massive slate layering.
A folded, wooden bridge crossing the plateau connects the entrance square with the garden.