BP Rotterdam Refinery

building in man-made dune

BP RR, as the largest oil refinery in the Netherlands, radiates a dynamic that is reflected in their office, which is situated safely against the oil refinery in Europoort. GROUP A designed a building that is in line with BP’s corporate objectives, providing a sustainable, safe and healthy working environment for its employees.

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The site – in the curve of the A15 – is situated between the industrial landscape of refineries and the green wetlands of the Brielsemeer. The landscape vision has resulted in the construction of a high dune body along the curve of the highway. This, together with the need to create a safe workplace against explosion of the oil refinery, created interesting conditions for the office building. Starting point in the GROUP A design was to strengthen this circumstances, of both the exterior and the interior.

Because of the danger of explosion, the building is nestled into a landscaped dune. On the south side the building emerges from the dune, thereby optimising views out and the entry of natural light. The entrance is in a logical manner positioned in the elegantly curved facade on the square side.

In the interior in the man-made dune, an elongated and organising atrium space, is cut out, full of light and with changing dimensions by the undulating cutting edge. The wall is covered with timber slats that differ in color and size, and evoke an association with geological layers; a reference to the business activities of BP RR. The extensive use of natural materials like wood, concrete and natural stone, again emphasise the ‘nature’ and robustness of the core business activities of the company

The atrium is flanked by two parallel office wings. Office floors, each linked by bridges, are in open connection with each other and the atrium space. Meetings take place in box-shaped volumes, pushed into the atrium as ‘sky-boxes’. The BP organisation operates in one open space according to ‘The New Ways of Work’, resulting in an interactive environment that encourages communication, collaboration and creativity amongst staff. All qualities of the building fit in seamlessly with the core values of BP Rotterdam Refinery: the pursuit of an attractive workplace where both young and senior professionals can meet. The result is a working environment whereby landscape, building and interior fully blend and literally flow into one another.



BP Raffinaderij Rotterdam


New building, interior, landscape


d'Arcyweg 76, Europoort, NL


10,500 sqm


Head quarter BP

Start design

June 2007

Start construction

February 2010


October 2011


Winner Public Award, Rotterdam Architectuurprijs 2011 / Havenbeeld 2011 / Jaarboek Architectuur In Nederland 2011/12


Scagliola/Brakkee – exterior and Roos Aldershoff - interior
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The makers of this project

Folkert van Hagen
Folkert van Hagen

Architect | Partner

Brigitte van der Tuin
Brigitte van der Tuin

Interior architect

Chris Woltjes
Chris Woltjes

Architect | Projectleader

Birgitta Rottmann
Edwin Larkens
Ramon Wijsman
Paul Geurts
Roy Grob
Birte Müller
Anne Derksen
Andrea Gianotti
Sander Peter Schuur
Sara Rojo
Gador Luque
Luna Solas
Paulo Moreno
External stakeholders