Circular furnishing and entrepreneurship. Reuse. Loss prevention. Limited waste production. Interested?
ABN AMRO Foppingadreef
Take the conventional workstations of the ABN AMRO business offices and transform it all into an open living-room type space. Create different settings which support activity-related and active working. This sums up the order as it was presented to Gispen. The new workplace concept Yello gives bank employees their own department with an own identity and distinctive colours, furniture, layout, plants and quotes on the walls.
The Yello workplace concept offers light, air and space
ABN AMRO was looking for a new workplace concept for all its branches, including their head office in Amsterdam. The separate offices sometimes obstructed employees and departments in their communication with one another. In addition, the closed offices robbed the work environment of light, air and space. Employees have shared that they would like a more living-room type office space, where they can carry out different tasks in different environments and settings. Gispen designed and supplied the furniture and features for the ABN AMRO-designed Yello concept. This new workplace concept hardly includes any conventional offices. The separate offices have been replaced with workstations for-two, lounge areas, conference rooms and sit/ stand workstations. In short, a great diversity of workspaces supporting various working methods.
The client’s thoughts
“As expected, the different parties who were involved in this comprehensive project collaborated successfully with one another; we did not expect anything less of Gispen after all these years of working together. We started the implementation of the Yello workplace concept at our head office in Amsterdam. A total of six thousand workstations have since been transformed to promote activity-related working. We will now focus our attention to other branches in the country. The fact that Gispen is able to keep up with the high pace and large quantities of the project is simply great. And we certainly appreciate that they are actively sharing their expertise when it comes to circularity.”
Gispen’s expertise in sustainability
Over the course of the project, ABN AMRO has made explicit use of Gispen’s expertise in sustainability. Ingrid Spiljard: “Besides flexible working, the new concept also needed to be able to evolve whenever our working methods do. This future-proofing translates into our sustainability demands, among other things. Gispen actively shared its expertise when it comes to circularity.”
A few concrete examples: the frames of used Ahrend and Gispen desks were reused and old tabletops have been converted into colourful dividing screens, placed in between workstations for-two, for example. The request of refurbishing old materials came explicitly from both management and employees.
The employee’s thoughts
“Most executive boards request new furniture. What is most special about this project is the fact that the wish for refurbished furniture and materials is shared throughout the entire organisation: both management and employees. Circularity is a serious subject within the realms of ABN AMRO, which shows in the initiatives that are realised at the innovation centre of the bank. These initiatives are then carried out as a team; various suppliers and partners share their expertise and experience. It’s quite special to be allowed to contribute to this process.”
Creating your own identity
When the Yello concept was being established, the ABN AMRO employees were well represented in, for example, user teams. Every single department was able to leave its mark, even when the renovations were in progress. The Yello-ID colour scheme provided employees with a number of options: Nature, Urban Active or Colourful. There was also furniture to choose from; from armchairs and sofas such as Gispen TST to the Gispen Asido pouf and from workstations such as Gispen Next and TM to our Gispen Dukdalf conference table. In addition, employees could opt for features by Hay, FatBoy, Muuto and Wilkhahn. Ingrid Spiljard: “Each department has given its ‘borough’ an own identity by means of distinctive colours, furniture and objects, but also by adding plants and decorating walls and windows with quotes and enlarged graphics. The new workplace concept leaves room for creating an own identity.”
Collaborating within the innovation centre
Gispen’s advisory role in the field of circularity is currently directed towards the innovation centre of the bank, where our expertise continuous to flow. Together with other partners and suppliers, Gispen contributes to creating innovative and sustainable furnishing solutions. A prime example of this is Gispen Remade; we take returned furniture and make new telephone booths out of the materials, providing bank employees with a private space for conducting privacy-sensitive conversations. Another process taking place at the innovation centre is the 3D-printing of sustainable sofas or round conference tables with a material created from old cabinet doors. Besides a homely atmosphere and more activity-related workstations, the Yello concept has also provided ABN AMRO with more focus and sustainability.
Photography: Chris van Koeverden