Beating heart of campus

Beating heart of campus

About circular project Brightlands Center Court

The Center Court of the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Sittard-Geleen is an innovative breeding ground for meetings, events and collaboration where there are no barriers. Gispen provided an innovative and circular interior design, all closely in line with the designs of Ector Hoogstad Architects.

Fast-growing community

The Center Court houses the general provisions for all of the 75 companies and institutes that have set up shop at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus. A fast-growing community of specialists who share a passion for Material Science and sustainable technologies. Among them are researchers from the Maastricht Science Programme, the Master Biobased Materials of Maastricht University and Chemelot Innovation and Learning Labs (CHILL), but also researchers and business experts from DSM and SABIC as well as various SMBs and start-ups.


At the Center Court, they can make use of state-of-the-art meeting areas, conference rooms, laboratories, a conference hall with an auditorium, the campus restaurant, an espresso bar and sports facilities. There is a total of 18,000 m2 of available space. The Center Court will contribute to building the reputation of the Brightlands Chemelot Campus. Some key terms here are: allure, international, scientific and innovation.  

The architect’s thoughts

‘We built the foundation together with the client: the concept of a lobby with a layout of three different zones. This foundation was then further developed together with Gispen, the client and the end-users, right down to the selected shapes and materials. We worked like a tight-knit design team, as equals. Working together with these professionals was a great experience. Gispen contributed by making great suggestions in a constructive manner.’

‘A real challenge that we faced together’

Elisabeth Tukker Interior architect at Ector Hoogstad Architects

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Create an experience

The main function of this building is to bring people together. This can be traced back to the design of Ector Hoogstad Architects, consisting of multiple layers of different materials. The client had an explicit request: it must be a true experience to work or visit here.  

They asked us to present our ideas about this concept in a separate presentation. One of our initial ideas can now be found in one of the elevators, where we created an experience of its own by applying a special wall covering and RGB lighting. We did this in collaboration with interior designer Maurice Mentjens, who is one of our external partners.



The complete package including carpeting and mood lighting

Our convincing presentation led to a second order: design a few subsections of the Center Court. In more concrete terms, we were asked to design a Brainstorming room and all of the offices of the Campus Organisation and the Studio. Our own interior architect Carola van de Bilt took on the challenge, focusing specifically on circularity and acoustics. We delivered a complete package including curtains, carpeting and mood lighting.


Interior architect Elisabeth Tukker of Ector Hoogstad Architects: ‘Brightlands saw that good mood lighting could really add something. Gispen knew right away who to involve.’ We not only realised a complete furnishing, we also delivered all the custom-made lockers. In addition, we arranged the move into the building and took care of the cable management on site, all in close consultation with the internal IT department and AV supplier.  



Circular furnishing

Circularity was an important starting point for us, which we worked on until we got every single detail right. From carefully selected materials up to lighting. We used natural resources, such as durable Eco felt for upholstering the chairs and dividing screens of the modular workstations. Old desk lamps were reused for creating new objects, which can be admired at the Studio of the campus organisation. Gispen Sett can be found in different locations throughout the building – the perfect example of a timeless, modular sofa.



Gispen installed various specials at the Center Court. From the boardroom tables to a soft bar in the Brainstorming room (soft cuddly couch). In doing so, we took standard products and tailored them to the specific needs of the client. Workstations were equipped with sit/stand technology and we even supplied a number of workstations with integrated fitness functionality. 

Interior architect Elisabeth Tukker: ‘Business Manager Mieke Hogenboom from Gispen not only contributed greatly in coordinating things, she was also a great help on campus; she made sure that all installed products were perfectly tailored to their users.’


Image: Dols Photograpy

The client’s thoughts

Innovation is what drives our campus. Our Center Court encourages people to meet, brainstorm and pitch ideas to one another. The furnishing is a key factor in facilitating that. People must feel at home right away and feel free to open up to others. The furnishing that Gispen came up with has the wow factor we envisioned. A sustainable furnishing that inspires and connects and is comfortable at the same time. They were particularly good at finding solutions that suit us and their many years of experience in the furnishing trade really shows.   

Maurice Olivers Brand Manager at Brightlands

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Products included in this project