‘A challenging vision of form translated into a circular furnishing’

‘A challenging vision of form translated into a circular furnishing’

Circular Project Design Alliander Bellevue

The Bellevue head office of network provider Alliander in Arnhem has been completely modernised, renovated and made more sustainable. COARE Architectuur is responsible for the new concept. Gispen translated this concept into a matching furniture- and material plan and furnished the entire building, from the office environments and meeting areas to the various restaurants. All of the selected products and materials meet the circular requirements of Alliander. The result is a renewed Alliander Homebase for everyone.

Meeting one another and flexible working

In early March 2017, Alliander opened its completely renovated Bellevue head office, housing 1,000 employees. The old building was built in an era when employees would come to the office on a day-to-day basis, and work in the same room with one or two colleagues. This is now a thing of the past. Instead of having long hallways with offices on either side, Alliander wanted a more open work environment with flex workstations, along with many meeting areas where employees can work together. Linda Anbeek, Alliander Renovation Project Supervisor: ‘Sustainability and circularity is very important to us. This is not the first time we have worked together with Gispen. They furnished a few of our regional offices, including our positive-energy building in Duiven. The bar is now set even higher with our head office.’ 


A design that belongs to us all 

The concept of COARE Architectuur forms the base of the new building. In the words of Jan Willem Leverstein, partner at COARE, ‘A design that belongs to us all. The input of the client and its employees was crucial to the realisation of the final design. In about four weeks’ time we spoke to 150 people, in groups of 10 to 15. We discussed both their personal ambitions and the ambitions they have as an organisation. We then took these ambitions and translated them into form.’ Important requirements: transforming the introverted building into a more extraverted one and connecting the inside with the outside. The result is a high level of transparency; you can now look through the building from one side to the other. There was also a need for a closer connection between the different areas of the office – which has been accomplished via the many stairs and voids there. The new building had to become the home base for all Alliander employees, with ample room for meetings and interaction.   


Studio, Office and Library

The Atrium is where employees and visitors enter the building, a large open area that encourages people to get together. Besides the Atrium, there are three different types of work areas to be found, each with its own distinctive atmosphere. The Studio brings people together, a dynamic work environment with an abundance of light and colour, with the look of a modern, creative mansion. At the Office, employees can work individually or work together in the more standardised, flexible office area. And last but not least there is the Library, a place of serenity with a Harvard-like atmosphere. Gispen furnished all these areas and the various restaurants as well. Firstly there is ‘Praet’ near the entrance, where you briefly stop by for a healthy snack. Then secondly there is restaurant ‘Spijs’ on the second floor, where small groups of people can have a bite to eat together or relax a bit. And finally we have restaurant ‘Proef’ including a roof terrace on the fourth floor, where entire teams and large groups of people (also suitable for training courses) can get together. You can simply choose a spot that matches the purpose of your visit.

The architect’s thoughts

‘Gispen translated both our vision of form and the circular ambitions of Alliander into a matching furnishing for the renewed Bellevue. And they did an outstanding job. We wanted to deviate from the standard office layout and create a variety of inspiring work areas that each have their own distinctive atmosphere. Gispen has gone to great lengths to realise the desired look. In my experience, the people at Gispen are very much involved and are highly motivated to create something special together.’ 

‘Gispen has gone to great lengths to realise the desired look’

Jan Willem Leverstein Owner and architect at COARE Architectuur

Contact me

* Required Fields

Ontwerp van iedereen

Aan de basis van het nieuwe pand ligt een concept van COARE Architectuur. In de woorden van Jan Willem Leverstein, partner bij COARE, een ontwerp van iedereen. ‘Het ontwerp kwam tot stand na een intensieve dialoog met de opdrachtgever en medewerkers. In zo’n vier weken tijd hebben we 150 mensen gesproken, in groepen van 10 tot 15 personen. We spraken over hun persoonlijke ambities maar ook over de ambities als organisatie. Deze hebben wij vervolgens vertaald naar een vorm.’ Belangrijke wensen: van een introvert gebouw mocht het pand meer extravert worden en binnen met buiten verbinden. Een grote transparantie is het resultaat: je kunt nu door het pand heen kijken. Ook binnenin was behoefte aan meer verbinding tussen de verschillende werkvloeren – daarvoor zorgen de vele trappen en vides. Het nieuwe gebouw moest hét Alliander (t)huis worden voor alle medewerkers, met veel ruimte voor ontmoeting en interactiviteit.      

Atelier, Kantoor en Bibliotheek

Medewerkers en bezoekers komen binnen in het Atrium, een plein dat uitnodigt tot ontmoeten. Binnen de rest van het pand zijn drie typen werkgebieden te onderscheiden, elk met een herkenbare eigen sfeer. Het Atelier brengt mensen samen. Het is een werkgebied met veel dynamiek, licht en kleur en de uitstraling van een moderne, creatieve villa. In het Kantoor kan men individueel werken of juist samenwerken in meer gangbare, flexibele kantoorvloeren. En dan is er de Bibliotheek, plek van rust met een Harvard-achtige sfeer. Gispen verzorgde de inrichting van alle werkgebieden én de verschillende typen restaurants. ‘Praet’ bij de entree is er voor de snelle, gezonde hap tussendoor. In restaurant ‘Spijs’ op de tweede verdieping kunnen kleinere groepen samen eten of ontspannen. Op de vierde verdieping kunnen complete teams en grotere groepen (ook voor trainingen) terecht bij ‘Proef’, inclusief dakterras. Men kiest dus waar men wilt zitten en eten op basis van de behoeftes.

The client’s thoughts

‘To me, this is the perfect example of a co-creation project, realised together with COARE and Gispen. The three of us went all the way in translating our ambitions into the various work areas and accompanying furnishings. We kept the design open to interpretation and we really challenged both parties to come up with good suggestions. The result is impressive. I have only received positive reactions. The building facilitates that what we actually wanted to achieve: working together and meeting one another more.’

Linda Anbeek Project Supervisor Renovation at Alliander

Contact me

* Required Fields

Non-visible reuse

Rob Lotstra, interior architect at Gispen: ‘Each furniture brand, type of furniture and manufacturer was measured against the circular ladder (the Design Framework) in order to determine whether they met the circular agreements that Gispen and Alliander established together. Reusability was an important requirement. At the same time, this was not to be visual as such; the building had to look brand-new.’ Gispen revitalised the old four-legged desks with new Ecoboard tabletops. The old tops now form dividing screens, upholstered in an Ecolabel cover. We transformed old filing cabinets into lockers. The reused furniture was supplemented with new and, of course, circular products such as the Triennial and Nomi chair from Gispen, as well as the Dukdalf and Sett sofa. ‘We also applied products from the MultiLounge programme. We installed modular bench elements in cubbyholes that were constructed by the interior construction contractor. This solution prevented Alliander from having to come up with a tailored seating solution.’


Responsible logistics

We also searched for a way to organise the logistics of the project in a responsible, circular way. The sheltered workshop of Presikhaaf in Arnhem, where they normally restrict themselves to assembling school furniture, is where we now assembled the workstations. Old table legs were sent from Alliander to Gispen for a technical update and a new coat of paint. The upholstered dividing screens were directly shipped from Gispen to Alliander. Components that did not require any work, such as the table top supports, were directly shipped from the storage location to Presikhaaf by the TopMovers moving company. The tabletops were directly shipped from the manufacturer to the sheltered workshop. These methods have saved us and Alliander quite a few trips back and forth. 

Photography: Chris van Koeverden

Logistiek verantwoord

Ook in de logistiek hebben we gezocht naar een verantwoorde, circulaire opzet. De sociale werkplaats Presikhaaf in Arnhem, waar normaal gesproken alleen schoolmeubilair gemonteerd wordt, is ingezet voor de montage van de werkplekken. Oude tafelpoten gingen van Alliander naar Gispen voor een technische update en lakbeurt. De gestoffeerde tussenschermen zijn rechtstreeks van Gispen naar Alliander vervoerd. Onderdelen die geen bewerking nodig hadden, zoals de bureaubladdragers, zijn vanuit de opslag van verhuisbedrijf TopMovers rechtstreeks naar Presikhaaf vervoerd. Ook werkbladen zijn rech


Fotografie: Chris van Koeverden

Products included in this project

Meer lezen over circulair inrichten