Text description provided by the architects. The CaballeroFabriek is a former tobacco factory, dating from 1953, which was recently acquired by the Municipality of Den Haag as part of the redevelopment plan of the entire Binckhorst industrial area. The CaballeroFabriek has been the first project to be realized within this program, in 2009. GROUP A was commisioned to redevelop the complex into a work-centre for offices, companies and ateliers in the fields of culture, IT and media.
The original building from 1953 has been kept untouched, while recent additions were demolished. The complex has then been subdivided in common, circulation and service areas, and various-size units to be rented out. The intention of the project is to declare the new interventions by using contrasting language and different, recognizably new materials and colours. The meeting rooms are wooden painted suspended boxes, while galvanized steel and glass sliding doors indicate the working units entrances.
The qualities of the existing structure have been kept as advantages for the project: the spacious layout and the natural light from the roof contribute to the comfort of the working units and to maintaining the industrial identity of the complex. New interventions like the central courtyard, the outside terrace and the added split-level add new qualities.
Cross-fertilization is the main target for the centre: an environment where companies could easily meet, interact and inspire each other. This is achieved by providing lounge areas on large corridors, common spaces and a cafeteria. Not only used by the tenants, the cafeteria, the meeting rooms and the lecture room are accessible to external visitors and can be rented. This gives the CaballeroFabriek the character of a public building, which increases its value in terms of urban significance within the Binckhorst area redevelopment.
In 2006 the CaballeroFabriek has won both the Jury Award and the Audience Award of the Nieuwe Stad Prijs of the City of Den Haag. Moreover, lately the project became runner-up for the Daylight Award 2010, a prize awarded once every two years to projects that reach an optimum result in combining daylight, artificial light and design. Rookje Meijerink by GROUP A