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Johnson Wax Office Building and Factory

In the 1960s the American firm Johnson Wax, producer of household cleaning supplies, decided to base its first European branch in the town of Mijdrecht in the Netherlands. Dutch architect Huig Maaskant was asked to provide an ‘unusual design’. Maaskant greatly appreciated American culture and life-style, and had designed monumental and modern buildings in post-war Holland. The offices and meeting rooms are accommodated in a freestanding boomerang-shaped structure suspended above a square pond. This structure is supported by five tapering pilotis executed in poured concrete, and is connected to the factory by an elevated walking bridge. The office units are clearly visible from the outside as they have been arranged between two thin concrete slabs constituting the floor and ceiling of the boomerang, the ends of which are rounded and filled in with concrete slabs. The sculptural quality of the office building is further emphasized by the pond over which it is suspended. The adjacent factory is a boxed edifice containing the production area, staff facilities, storage spaces and an interior garden.  Written by David Geneste



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