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Dutch ‘blunder building’ bans dancing

Dutch civil servants have been warned off dancing in their staff restaurant for fear that the floors of their renovated building might not take the strain.

The foreign ministry has circulated a memo saying safety concerns mean they should also avoid over-stacking photocopier paper, placing a second row of chairs around conference room tables, or installing heavy cupboards and safes in their offices, the NOS public broadcaster reports.

King Willem-Alexander himself opened the building in The Hague in November 2017 after extensive renovation work, but it has been plagued by staff complaints from the start.

‘Dark and depressing’

Rijnstraat 8 also houses the infrastructure and water ministry as well as the immigration and asylum services, and the 6,000 staff told a workplace survey that they have to cope with lack of privacy, a serious shortage of workstations, and “dark and depressing” decor, among other indignities.

This prompted Foreign Minister Halbe Zijlstra to have the black walls repainted white soon after the building re-opened, but complaints have kept coming.

Government minister Raymond Knops had to assure parliament last year that stairs will be evened out after two civil servants injured themselves falling over steps in what critics have taken to calling the “blunder building”.

The steady stream of media criticism has stung the OMA team of architects, who maintain that they worked strictly to the specifications they were given for the renovation work, which won an award for sustainability.

The foreign ministry warning comes after a car park under construction at Eindhoven Airport collapsed during stress testing in 2017, where the floor panels were of a similar design.

Bron: BBC, 13 maart 2019

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