/CONCERN #108 zlto

ZLTO (Zuidelijke Land- en Tuinbouw Organisatie) is the Southern Dutch Federation of Agriculture and Horticulture, an entrepreneurial and employers’ organization.

Representing almost 18,000 agricultural entrepreneurs, the ZLTO – one of three cooperating regional agricultural organizations in The Netherlands - works in support of their economic and social position.
Dutch agriculture and horticulture show enormous diversity, with agricultural entrepreneurs distributed over various animal and crop sectors like arable or dairy farming, bulb growing, glasshouse horticulture, tree cultivation and pig farming. The majority of these farmers and horticulturalists are organized in and represented via LTO Noord, ZLTO and LLTB under the umbrella of LTO Nederland. Their membership underlines the added value of this entrepreneurial and employers’ organization which effectively promotes the farmers interests at local, regional, national and international levels.

The building – designed by de Architekten Cie. – is a clubhouse where employees and visitors are welcomed by a sense of homecoming. The building gives the ZLTO a modern public face that alludes to waving cornfields and barns but is at the same time a state-of-the-art, representative office building: an embassy for agriculture. Setting the airy stairwells immediately behind the front elevation provides visual contact between all the floors, spacious zones that also serve as informal meeting spaces. The building’s clubhouse atmosphere is enhanced by the expressive, timber roof composition in combination with the curving, vertically oriented bands of fenestration. ZLTO, de Architekten Cie. and Concern made every effort to approach the assignment with sustainability in mind, devoting much thought to safety, energy efficiency and the working environment. And, further into the design of the interior, focusing on smart production techniques, durability and usability.

An example of this intensive approach is the custom woven carpet by M.I.D Carpets. Made with sustainable commodities like Laneve wool (traceable to environmental, social responsibility and animal welfare standards) and Rubia dye (vegetable, suitable for industrial use). The patterns, custom designed by Concern, allude to a diversity of Dutch landscapes from different agricultural regions.
The agricultural diversity is also clearly visual in the floorplan. It is set up like an old farm plan concept; a divers pallette of fields left and right of a central path. This plan is layed out on all floors, upwards gradually becoming more formal and functional.

Project team Concern: Gilian Schrofer, Koert Broekman, Taro Yoshikawa, André Guenther, Elsa Geurtzen

Photography by Scagliola/Brakkee