The Royal Netherlands Embassy in London is housed in a 19th century building on the south side of Hyde Park. The public facilities, including departments issuing visas and passports and an entertainment space for official functions, are located on the ground floor. Administrative offices are above and staff apartments are on the upper floors. The redesign of the visa department was the first stage of a planned refurbishment of all public areas. It provides a comfortable and elegant yet very secure environment for visitors and staff, that is built to withstand heavy use. Durable, easily maintainable materials were used in response to the heavy use of the space including stone for the floors, custom designed stainless steel seating and perforated metal screens. The screens form an acoustic and secure division between the public and office areas whilst still allowing visibility. Internal and external areas are further connected visually by continuing the same materials throughout to form a coherent space. All elements, from the perforations in the acoustic screens to the linear public seating, were carefully designed to produce a complete scheme, which responds to the client’s requirements for efficient and robust yet elegant and smoothly operating spaces.