Municipality of Amsterdam – Town Hall
Gispen is the leading supplier of all standard workstations to the Municipality of Amsterdam. The municipality’s Town Hall is one of its prominent features. We are replacing all its fixed workstations with flexible workstations. Circularity is our guiding principle in this; reuse, refurbishment and recycling are key elements of the project. At the request of the municipality, we are managing the entire project.
Contributing to a circular economy
The Municipality of Amsterdam has roughly 13,500 employees that are active across 40 different municipal locations. The municipality has set out to change over to flexible working throughout all its office buildings. The height adjustable workstations, fully adjustable office chairs and collective cabinets (per 5 employees) will ensure that all can adopt the new working method. The Town Hall is no exception, where full attention is given to flexibility and circularity.
‘The Municipality of Amsterdam attaches great value to the reuse of furniture and wants to adopt a circular method wherever possible. This was also one of the key requirements in their request for proposal.’ The Municipality of Amsterdam wishes to be actively involved in the circular economy via circular procurement. This is perfectly in line with Gispen’s sustainability policy.
From refurbishment to residual value
Meerten Castelijns, account manager at Gispen: ‘In concrete terms: the condition of every single desk, office chair and cabinet within the Town Hall is assessed. We use the Quickscan CE to do so. Pieces of furniture that are in excellent condition are simply cleaned and will then be ready for use again. Furniture pieces with minor defects or slight damages are refurbished by Gispen. If furniture is no longer eligible for reuse, we make sure the products are processed for a high-quality recycling. Components are given a new function: old tabletops are upholstered and then reused as dividing screens in between desks, for example. Materials that are no longer usable are recycled into new materials in an environmentally friendly way. The Municipality of Amsterdam is given a price at residual value for all furniture pieces we take in. Furniture that is not eligible for reuse in a flex-working environment is replaced by sustainable, modular products.’
Clear action plan
The renovation of the Town Hall started in December 2016 and is executed in stages. We renovate one office wing every 16 weeks; there are eight in total. The project will not be finished until late 2018. The existing cubicles will make way for an activity-related, open working environment which is purposed towards efficiency and working together. . At the heart of the project lies a clear action plan for each wing, created by a project group of representatives from the Municipality of Amsterdam, Gispen and Architectural Firm De Twee Snoeken, the leading architect that is responsible for developing the new furnishing concept. Wendy van der Raad, interior architect at De Twee Snoeken: ‘When we start working on the next office wing, Meerten Castelijns from Gispen and I always make a round together. The move coordinator is also present for the occasion. Gispen checks all the workstations for possible reuse in the next phase. We check the remaining project furniture, lighting and specials.
The architect’s thoughts
‘We are the leading architect and one of our tasks is to create the interior design for the office wings. What stands out in the new office is how it moves from a dynamic to a more relaxed environment, with colour schemes to match. In the front of every leasable unit, there is a living-room type setting with meeting areas and colour accents. When you move further down the office, the atmosphere becomes more and more relaxed, including a silent office area in the back for focused working. We work closely together with Gispen; we meet during every phase of the renovation. We go over every single step that is taken. Gispen always has good ideas to share when it comes to sustainable solutions. The partnership just feels right.’
What does Gispen actually supply?
Per office wing, Gispen supplies about 60 dividing screens, made out of old tabletops. That amounts to 480 screens in total. We refurbish about 12 Ahrend Portal desks per phase/wing, so 90 in total. We also clean and reinstall about 40 existing Ahrend office chairs per phase/wing, 200 in total. To this we then add new furniture. For its Town Hall, the municipality made a selection of Gispen TM desks, Zinn office chairs and Meta tambour door closets by Gispen-designer Peter de Boer. In the glass-surrounded, silent office area in the back of each wing one can find TM workstations with high-profile dividing screens.
Before and after the renovation
Photography: Chris van Koeverden