Police Station – Prototype
Client: confidential
Design: Monolab, team: Jan Willem with Kuilenburg with Rositsa Atanasova, Filippo Catttano, Erika Ferrari, Federica Minervini, Alan Shadap
Year: 2019


….a transparent, open, light, inviting and adaptive architecture..


We have searched a prototype with team and individual working environments that is open, transparent, flexible, adaptable, reusable, cheap, quickly buildable and energy efficient with a beautiful, flexible working climate and with a positive and active architectural appearance. As a first step, we have designed an overview with a wide variety of possible building typologies based on modular thinking and, as a second step, we have elaborated one prototype as an example to make the “ins & outs” of our approach transparent.


We apply three principles:
1. the easier a building is assembled, the easier it can be transformed. 2. the more generic and robust a building, the easier it can be used and reused. We are going one step further than recycling. From a structural point of view, a building is only really circular if the components that make it up can easily be reused for rebuilding. 3. In terms of energy, the building must be energy neutral and that is possible with the help of solar panels.


Our approach starts from an overview of possible building typologies from which we have elaborated one example, an atrium typology. In this prototype we discovered that cavities in the building, in the form of a ‘divisible atrium with an open roof’ and a ‘large corridor’ on the first floor, can provide the surrounding work environments with greenery, views, air, sun and daylight and social space. We have built the prototype, digitally, with the module dimensions 120/240/360/720/1440 that perfectly match all industrial building products up to and including the 30×30 cm sidewalk tiles in the visitor foyer. The principle of repeatability does not lead to repetition but to a transparent, open, light, inviting and adaptive architecture by use of minimal resources.


Because we avoid a container-like construction, we can realize an open architecture with great user flexibility. The concept is aimed at open buildings where all exterior and interior facades are transparent and glazed and where privacy can be arranged with screens, blinds and curtains. Glass is reinforced and / or semi-transparent. To prevent large façade surfaces and to emphasize the human scale, the vertical glass profiles protrude like fins from the facades.


It is important that the public functions and areas of cooperation with external partners are at the front and that they are received and hosted in the heart of the building. The public and partners are then surrounded by all functions, as in an active hive.


The floor areas with a depth of four modules (14.4 m.) Make all possible work processes possible and guarantee many possibilities for logistics and traffic flow. Floor fields of two or three modules wide are also possible and have a reduced multi functionality.


The modules of 3.6 x 3.6 m are extremely suitable for flexible work forms and for the application of industrial building products. A number of spatial basic typologies are possible that lead to many alternative building forms and masses. Patios and atriums are important within the building mass as ‘oases’ that greatly improve the working qualities by sunlight, vegetation, fresh air, visibility etc. and make larger meetings or events possible.


The 3.6 x 3.6 m modules guarantee equal conditions in four directions. This allows versatility and adjustments on all sides. Buildings can easily be adapted with cantilevers, cut-outs and terraces.


Dry assembly and disassembly guarantee a quicker and therefore cheaper construction and renovation process. Assembly and dismantling are extremely easy with a limited number of components. Floor tiles and flat roofs consist of concrete channel plates that are hoisted in and are laid on steel box frames without the usual wet concrete top layer. With steel frames, that support both floor elements and facades, we will avoid columns that would delay construction. The frames are only required in two types: type 1 is open to all facades and type 2 has an X and acts as a bracing element in a few places. The facades are supported by vertical fin-like mullions. The floor elements, frames and facades are dry mounted and can easily be easily dismantled and reused. Reusable robust carpet tiles are laid directly onto the concrete floor elements. Floor elements, frames, façade packages, interior walls, floor coverings, climate installations and vertical logistics are coordinated with each within the 1.20-m modular system in order to be dry mounted and dismantled.


Deep interiors can have internal climate treatment that is electrically controlled and have a lowered ceiling zone as a backbone. The spaces along the envelope are naturally ventilated via the facades. Coated glass is used to prevent solar heating. Also horizontal slats are used on the south side and vertical screens on the east and west sides.


We show a number of environments for the interior: from individual, quiet and closed to team-oriented, dynamic and open. It varies from office work to consultations, meetings and presentations to events.