In general, new residential areas receive more attention than transformations of industrial sites. This is not entirely fair, as very exciting developments take place in these transformation areas. For some time Minervahaven has been subject to major changes. The former port-oriented transhipment area is increasingly becoming home to several creative corporate headquarters, ranging from fashion companies such as Hugo Boss to workplaces for self-employed professionals, artists, and start-ups. It even has its own (temporary) theatre.
These companies settle in this area for a good reason. They want a closer relationship with the city, and prefer locations with a strong and unique identity. An attractive working environment in, or close to, an urban area — with good public transport and cycle connections, and accessibility to city amenities — has become an increasingly important factor in attracting good employees.
500 Moermansk, a compact freestanding building of approximately 4,950 m2, is designed to match other developments typical in this area. It is one of three buildings located at the head of the pier and surrounded by water. As part of the vast area of the port industry, and within walking distance of the rapidly developing Houthavens and the rest of the city, the location combines the best of both worlds. The design reacts to these conditions with a strong, individual character: simple and tough. The 500 Moermansk building consists of five stacked volumes, which are shifted in relation to each other. This gives the individual floors their own expressive identity. The volumetric shifts not only make each floor unique, but also create large outdoor spaces on various sides of the building. Tops floors can accommodate large roof terraces. It turns out that outdoor spaces are just as highly valued in the workplace as they are at home.