Croonwolter & Dros head office
After an extensive renovation, the MM25 building along the A20 in Rotterdam is now home to Croonwolter & Dros. The head office of this organisation has five floors at its disposal in this new, state-of-the-art building. ZENBER Architects was responsible for the interior design. Gispen complemented the design with a range of furniture pieces, fully in line with the new housing concept: open, transparent and flexible. Fully geared towards encouraging teamwork.
Plenty of space for meetings
Croonwolter & Dros is one of the largest companies in the Netherlands that specialises in electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, automation and computerisation. The company has branches all across the Netherlands, as well as a brand new head office in Rotterdam as of early 2018 – a building shared with two companies within the TBI group, Mobilis and Servicis, including TBI central 1HR and ICT staff services. Arco Vroegindeweij, Manager Facility Management at Croonwolter & Dros: 'We used to operate from different locations, which didn’t promote teamwork. In addition, our former building was quite outdated, which is such a big contrast to what we have now! At our new office, all the employees share a single space. There is plenty of room for holding meetings or working together and there are different types of workstations to choose from. Exactly what we were looking for.’
The client’s thoughts
'An effective project team. A sound plan from the interior architect to work with. And a perfect execution of this plan when it comes to the furniture supplied by Gispen. This resulted in a new and beautiful, open and flexible work environment. I am very positive about working with Gispen: a great team of people shared their expertise – which really made a difference – and it was great how they dealt with things as an organisation. Short lines of communication and always thinking along with us, also in solving logistical challenges.’
How would you like to work together?
ZENBER Architects designed the new interior. Several workshops initiated the project. Director and interior architect Eric Wezenberg: 'We like to enter into dialogue with the people we design things for. We tried to find out how they prefer to work together at Croonwolter & Dros. We mapped out the requirements and work processes together with the management team, using small scale models. We also involved the employees in the process, through presentations for example. What became clear was that there was a need for an open work environment based on a single concept that could be applied to all floors.' ZENBER Architects designed so-called 'zones' for each floor, where employees can choose the type of workstation that suits their activity best. This brings them closer together with their colleagues and it stimulates creativity and cooperation. Whether you want to work (flexibly) or concentrate on your work, have a short project meeting or hold a larger meeting in a conference room – it is all possible.
A first: old corporate attire becomes acoustic dividing screen
Gispen completely furnished the office and conference rooms, but also managed the project so that everything was moved in on time, was correctly allocated and made ready for use, including professional cable management. Isabelle Fiddelers, project manager at Gispen: 'We installed furniture from the standard Gispen collection which was then customised; standard products with a twist. This includes Ellen Lounges with a higher backrest and SDK sliding door cabinets with upholstered back panels. The TM workstations were given the right cabling solution.' The dividing screens in between the desks are completely one of a kind. Client Arco Vroegindeweij: 'We were looking for a good way of reusing 12 tonnes of old workwear. Gispen was able to incorporate some of it into the interior, by breaking down the material into fibres and using it as the acoustic material of the dividing screens. This ties in well with the circular work method we had envisioned.’
The colour scheme created by the interior architect is reflected in the furniture. The workstations are fairly neutral essentially; the colourful accents are found in the upholstery of sofas and footstools, for example. Eric Wezenberg of ZENBER: ‘Various shades of blue can be found in the interior. The aqua-blue Asido footstools for example, which are scattered in all corners of the departments, some of which in contrasting colours such as cognac.’
The architect’s thoughts
‘During a roadshow along several showrooms, we were immediately surprised by what we saw at Gispen. We talked to the right people and saw well-designed products. When designing an interior, we can be quite explicit in our vision of it; you want to create an identity that suits the organisation. Gispen has shown the flexibility to really uphold our design concept. We complemented each other well.’
Are you satisfied with the result?
Arco Vroegindeweij: ‘So far, I’ve only received positive reactions. Our employees are particularly pleased with the adjustability of the furniture and the variety of sit/stand workstations. I can look back on a very smooth transition from moving out of our old premises to moving here. This is certainly due to everyone's commitment, including that of the employees, as well as the successful partnership of ZENBER Architects and Gispen.
Photography: Gerard van Beek