Circular furnishing and entrepreneurship. Reuse. Loss prevention. Less waste production. Interested?
Circular Project NS Arnhem
As of 2015, Gispen has maintained and managed the furniture of all office locations of NS in the Netherlands. The new location in Arnhem is where all of Gispen’s expertise and services come together. From the preliminary design and interior plans up until the delivery of furniture – both new and refurbished – and from cable management to agreements regarding maintenance, management and storage. All in all a great project, realised in close cooperation with NS chain partner Kien Facility Management, with sustainability as our guiding principle.
An all-encompassing contract
Gispen entered into a fixed-term contract with NS in July 2015. Coby van Lune, Demand Manager Office Portfolio at NS: ‘In 2015 we published a tender for maintenance and management of our furniture across all NS locations. Gispen won this tender at the time.’ In total, it concerns a space of approximately 120,000 m2. Gispen put together a special NS team to carry out the activities involved.
Egbert Bos, Business Manager Offices at Gispen: ‘This is an all-encompassing contract: we carry out all the maintenance and, if needed, repairs of furniture across every NS location. We even provide this service for furniture that was supplied by other manufacturers. We supply both new and refurbished pieces of furniture. In Culemborg we store furniture that, for example, is no longer needed at a certain location but can possibly be used in another location at a later point in time, for which we permanently reserve 200 m2. In addition, we provide a furniture management service together with Kien Facility Management and, if required, we also have an interior architect on call. Everything came full circle at the NS location in Arnhem.’
The client’s thoughts
‘We wanted to get things arranged quickly for our location in Arnhem. Based on good partnerships that were already in place, we arranged a meeting with the interior builder Gispen, Kien Facility Management and some future users. We created total responsibility and the final result is one to be proud of. The target group was quite specific: both office- and mobile staff. Gispen was a very involved partner who shared its expertise. A good example of this is when we had some sofas that needed higher backrests; they altered the sofas specially for us. We are all very satisfied with the result and we gladly visit the location whenever we can.’
Providing great service right from the start
The opening of the new NS location in Arnhem was celebrated in early 2017. The area offers office space for office personnel (including planners and team managers), such as waiting areas and rest areas including lockers for mobile staff: designed for train drivers and ticket collectors who are on break. We joined forces with NS and the real estate broker early on in the project, when they were still looking for a suitable new location. The idea behind this was that we could help find the best possible location, while keeping the requirements of NS in mind. When it was found, Gispen’s interior architect Carola van de Bilt and interior designer Rob Lotstra presented their preliminary designs and interior plans. The new location had to feel welcoming while being functional at the same time, with a design that is recognisable for NS (without necessarily applying the NS colours of blue and yellow). The style guide of NS became the guiding principle for the design.’
Refurbished workstations, sustainable furniture
Gispen only supplied refurbished workstations to the Arnhem location. Old but usable desks from the Municipality of Amsterdam were altered specially for NS: they had to be shortened in width from 180 to 160cm. We then went through the desks completely: the frames were newly powder coated and all the tabletops were replaced. We installed new furniture in the rest area for the mobile staff: including the Gispen Sett bank, distinguished by its sustainable materials and timeless design, but also different models from the Triennial chair collection, a modular chair that was developed completely according to circular principles. In addition, we installed the Gispen Dukdalf and sleek, white UT tables. At the old building, we took stock of all the old furniture. Every piece that is still usable will be given a new lease of life at the location in Utrecht later on.
The partner’s thoughts
‘We are a chain partner of NS and therefore a colleague of Gispen. Together we have realised pleasant work environments and accommodations for all NS employees. Whenever I’m faced with a challenge in facility management, I know I can rely on the expertise, craftsmanship, ownership, flexibility and partnership of Gispen. They always meet our expectations and they are honest, genuine and they always think in terms of solutions. On top of that, they have many years of experience under their belt and, moreover, they have a good vision of what a circular economy should entail. Gispen is truly a reliable partner.’
The very essence of circularity
The NS location in Arnhem is a prime example of a circular working method. Egbert Bos at Gispen: ‘All four loops of the circular process are applied here. We extend the lifespan of furniture by means of maintenance and repairs. We refurbish furniture as to keep their function (desk stays desk), or alter them to fulfil new functions (old cabinet becomes locker or telephone booth). In addition, we guarantee high-grade recycling of all the old, fully amortized furniture we come across. The materials become new resources or they will be donated to charities. It feels great to be both partner and advisor to NS, as well as interior architect and supplier. A director’s role in its most complete form.’
Photography: Chris van Koeverden