axo drawing-ministry of social affair

Open Structure- Super Grid

Open Structures open to interaction with the outside world; they can influence their surroundings and also be influenced by their surroundings. In architectural terms this mainly relates especially to consequences in time and therefore to expansion or transformation.

Cities always begin from somewhere and generally grow from a nucleus under the influence of centrifugal forces, from which heading to forms that shape themselves. There is no notion of a controlled, designed periphery of the city, cities are usually not pre-designed, they design themselves from the inside outwards, ultimately lead by hardly controllable forces within society.

In contrast to cities, buildings are conceived from the outside in. In addition the architect generally has to conform to urban stipulations. On top of that the building should fit into its surroundings, which poses its demands on the shape of the building mass. This perhaps better explains that the limitation to view buildings as an independent, completed and closed constructions standing in the city, it is definitely not a final state which does not easily let itself be changed or expanded. Indeed, it is a connection open to the city, to the society, to the people and all of the livings surround.  Articulation and repetition take over the effect of an organic whole and make sure that that what we see we always experience as an entirety.

This research is mainly about the reformation strategy of the Dutch Ministry building of Social Affair designed by Herman Hertzberger in 1970s. We start from the case study of the city fabric of Barcelona, for its grid system and the exceptions. Aiming to illustrate the developing processes of the entire city and the certain hierarchy within the grid city, in order to explore the possibility of opening the status of  the Ministry building of Herman Hertzberger.

We strategically propose to enlarge the existing diagonal grid of the building, not only inside but also extend to the exterior environment and urban fabric. The implicit super grid takes the role of articulating the park, railway station and the surrounding blocks. A programmatic variation is also suggested to illustrate the additional program such as offices, educational facilities and housing units.

nb:  Masterclass with Herman Hertzberger







grid and extension of Barcelona

grid and extension of Barcelona

grid and exception

grid and exception

grid extension

grid extension


floor plan 01-02-ministry programmatic-viaration