MVRDV has completed transformation of a disused Dijon Mustard laboratory (closed in 2009) into an innovative call centre with an education centre, incubator and social program. For MVRDV it represents an exemplary project: Transformation through reuse is one of the contemporary issues in European architecture since the current crisis.
Completion of the 6500m² refurbishment into a 600 work spaces call centre for operator Teletech has cost just 4 million. The interventions possible on such a budget were directed towards quality enhancement with maximal maintenance of existing structure and services.
All over Europe buildings are vacant and waiting for a new future. Transformations are usually all about the preservation of historically or architecturally significant parts of a building. In this case the building was completed in 2004 and the preservation act directed towards reuse. The building is a former Unilever Amora Dijon mustard laboratory completed in 2004 and closed only five years later in 2009.
The building was in a good state but due to its wide volume not suitable for traditional work spaces. The construction budget was too low to exchange the façade or make serious alterations to the structure.
The budget makes literal reuse necessary and leads to less replacements and a better sustainable profile of the transformation act. A fine balance between intervention and intelligent re-use of the existing is the essence of the project.
MVRDV sees this transformation as an exemplary project for contemporary European architecture in times of the current crisis. How to reuse a building which is structurally in good shape but not suitable for a traditional transformation and use? The more reuse of the existing is possible the more budget is liberated for interventions. The unusual building evokes an unusual use and in the end will adjust perfectly to the Teletech work rhythm.