The forest returns to the tax office
Sunlight, filtered through the canopy, a winding path of wooden decks through dense fern cover, and the unmistakable scent of pine trees. The renovated Walterbos complex blends harmoniously into the Veluwe environment. The site houses the national headquarters of the Tax and Customs Administration and also functions as an urban park for residents of surrounding neighbourhoods.
It was different at the turn of the century. The site was rather cheerless. Calls to do something about it were getting louder and louder. Now, a new design has been created, with input of local residents. The result is a unique garden in three parts: a woodland park, a heather garden and two sunken inner gardens. The office buildings underwent a thorough metamorphosis, and two brand new office towers arose among the treetops. Modern, open buildings, with glass walls that blur the boundaries between inside and outside.
A valuable shell
The woodland park embraces the office complex like a green shell. Open and transparent, thanks to the restructured undergrowth. Impenetrable hedges have given away to new, mature trees. A new footpath creates a detour through this green shell. Instead of extensive parklands, it is now a place where wood anemones, ferns and grasses grow. For local residents, the woodland park also gained significance as a recreational space, with a sculpture garden and a playground and ‘pile forest’ for children.
Tall pine trees prominently guard the entrance to the two recessed inner gardens of the plinth building that connects the six tower offices. Visitors pass their robust trunks, while their green tops tower over the plinth building’s water roof. In the evenings and on dark winter days, the trees in the inner gardens are attractively lit. A third, unique garden has been designed as a heather garden, located on the roof of an underground park house. A natural reference to the surrounding Veluwe heath landscape.
Landscape Architecture: BoschSlabbers
Design year: 2001-2006
Year Built: 2007 – 2010
Photographer: Jeroen Musch
Manufacturers of playground equipment: Speel Projecten
Client: Tax office Apeldoorn (Belastingdienst)