Some spaces have great difficulty in becoming places. Let us take the example of the ‘neutral’ spaces of large open-plan offices where the large, free area claims to allow each working unit to establish itself with maximum flexibility. In spite of the contribution of numerous specialists in the area of social sciences, it has turned out to be difficult to build a ‘home’ in the absence of a structuring order of stable architectural cues.
Herman Hertzberger created a real alternative in 1972 with the Central Beheer offices at Apeldoorn. He substituted a structured space for a vague space by arranging numerous implicit divisions suited to designating possible places for work and leisure. He created a spatial hierarchy, focal points, high and low spaces, balconies, which contribute to the distinction between one place and another. It is sufficient to talk to the users to understand how the identity of place and the identity of human beings have become interwoven in this place.《 Elements of Architecture：From form to place 》