Investment manager/developer Amvest had a goal for its new office: to become a best practice of its own development qualities. Showcasing the epitome of how a good office, embedded in a good environment, has to relate to its users. To reinforce that image, Amvest started pioneering in its own backyard, a former industrial zone turned into a residential area.
In a time where work and private life are increasingly intertwined, an office is more than a place of desks and chairs. More than ever, the influence of the working environment begins to emerge. Amvest were aware that a well-designed environment leads to higher productivity, lower absenteeism and, more importantly, a higher degree of connection with the identity of a company. These insights stood at the basis of the interior design; an environment that exudes both the identity of Amvest and at the same time embodies the best possible working environment.
This project is anything but standard; everything is specifically designed and tailor-made. This applies both to the beautifully designed exterior by Rietveld Architects as to the well-crafted interior by Firm architects.
The journey starts when entering the building, stepping into a 20m2 elevator, doubling as a meeting room complete with furniture, plants and art. It travels slowly between levels, affording visitors to capture the views. An important effect of this choice is it encourages the use of the central staircase for the employees.
Keywords for the design are sustainability, flexibility and innovation. These form the basis for everything from floor to ceiling. For example, the sustainably produced carpet looks like a fabric version of a concrete floor, referring to the old concrete factory that stood on site. The informal areas have recycled oak herringbone flooring uniquely developed for Amvest. It has a magnetic layer, ruling out the glue and therefore enabling reuse in the future. The specially developed ceiling panels serve as cooling and heating and provide acoustic enhancement. A healthy environment is also stimulated through the use of many plants, and a roof garden with WiFi access and different areas to boost working outdoors.
The plan is open, light and encourages interaction. The custom-made workplaces are height adjustable and all situated on the same floor to stimulate interaction. Set up along the double-height windows to allow an optimum of natural daylight, ensuring a minimum of additional lighting needed. In the less lit and therefore more intimate middle areas, there are different uses to accommodate the various activities of work. On the top floor, special benches and tables are integrated into the ceiling and offer instant seating capacity on the push of a button. This flexibility is also found in the upholstered mobile wardrobes, serving as acoustic screens. This high level of customisation is leading in the design and is used as a decisive, stimulating and moving part of the interior.