Custom Office projectmanagers
(Quality Control Bureau)
Semi-public body that inspects plants, vegetables and fruit.
A typical 1980s office, 1,600 m2, with a modular width of 180-360 cm. Cut out for a traditional cellular office that can house about 150 employees.
WISHES OF THE CLIENT
The KCB is an independent administrative body that inspects the quality of plants, vegetables and fruit under the supervision of the Ministry of Economic Affairs. KCB is also responsible for disciplinary proceedings. We are relocating. The only things we are taking are the sturdy workstations and that means the rest has to be designed once again from scratch. The layout has to fit all the employees like a glove.
Custom Office is a specialist in office renovations and was commissioned with doing their last renovation and design 15 years ago. It was once again commissioned to do the design and completion of the new office in Zoetermeer.
I was called in to work with Custom Office on developing the design. Some organisations are not interested in an office landscape or the ‘new way of working’. They function optimally in a tried and trusted cellular office. And that’s KBC all over. But, the refurbishment of a property that at first looks amortised is sustainability at its best.
The success of this commission was the actual listing of the inventory that would be kept and the modernising of the ‘look & feel’. To create a new appearance, I worked intuitively and associatively on the design. Nature, of course, springs to mind when we think of plants, vegetables and fruit. Soft materials with a clear texture, organic form and oftentimes a delicate structure. But you also associate checking and monitoring with selecting and preventing. You also associate it with transparency. Hard materials that hardly budge, appear sturdy but which also reflect clarity.
The challenge was creating one whole from such conflicting material characteristics.
‘Eco meets tech’.
The cellular offices were more or less a trusted design, seeing as how these excellently met their needs in the past. The new style is especially recognisable in the public areas where guests and visitors are regularly received.
CORRIDORS BECOME GALLERIES
Four corridors meet at a central junction at the entrance, main stairwell and lift. This is also the break-out area for the large adjoining conference rooms. The corridors are naturally lit from the newly installed glass doors of the offices. Large LED screens that display a changing selection of photo art provide additional lighting. As such, the corridors act as a permanent gallery and the product on which the staff works can be seen by the public.