Visual and acoustic solutions for open office environment
Rob Lotstra, Gispen interior architect: "What we started out with was a ground floor and five office floors above it, including four large, completely bare work floors." Warcha: “The Central Government Real Estate Agency did not want to divide the floors into smaller spaces using partition walls; that would have been too big of an investment for only four years of use. We therefore asked Gispen to help us come up with a better solution. How can we cleverly divide those enormous, open spaces into smaller units? Gispen put forward an innovative solution.
Rob: "This was the first time that the space-in-space concept MOXX by Gispen was ever used within a project. A first for both Gispen and FMHaaglanden."
MOXX: comfortable space-in-space concept
MOXX allows you to create an enclosed space within an open work environment. A room suitable for focusing on a task, but also for videoconferences or meetings. The glass walls of the unit prevent workers from losing contact with their colleagues and the rest of the office while, at the same time, having peace and quiet within a busy environment. In turn, those outside the unit will not be disturbed by any colleagues taking phone calls or holding meetings. Rob: "MOXX is ideally suited for multifunctional offices with activity-related work methods. The office of the future! The acoustics on the interior of MOXX have been well thought out; there is no resonance of sound. The exterior of MOXX improves the acoustics of its surroundings because the upholstered wall elements have acoustic padding on both the inside and outside. MOXX units are also easy to increase or reduce in size. Warcha: "Good to know for when these units are moved to new locations in the future.”
A well-balanced workplace
Together with FMHaaglanden we found the right mix of workspaces, from desks to enclosed units for consultation and teamwork. It goes without saying that we followed the government's workplace guidelines while doing so. We combined MOXX units with mobile Silence Calls, one-person telephone booths. Rob: "The outer sides of the office floors have been set up for activities that require silence and concentration. The SEPP panels surrounding the workstations provide visual and acoustic comfort. These panels also allow workers to stand behind their desks without seeing their colleagues, or vice versa. On each floor, we created a meeting area for scrumming, brainstorming or working together. If more organisations start adopting hybrid work methods, there will be an extra need for these multifunctional spaces." This is also what FMHaaglanden expects, which is why the focus of this project shifted to an office with more meeting places with the arrival of Corona. Planters add a touch of greenery to the office while, at the same time, function as a visual separation and an acoustic solution.
61% reused furniture
Sustainability is an important objective for FMHaaglanden. Both in terms of the environment and in the lifespan of the furniture - which has to continue to serve a purpose after North Terminal closes its doors. Reusing as many furniture items as possible was an important requirement; furniture from the various ministries or from storage. Christa Paauwe, senior account manager at Gispen: "Being that circular furnishing is what we specialise in, it was great to be able to contribute to this project. We ended up with a furniture collection of which no less than 61% was reused. From refurbished office chairs to tall sliding door cabinets onto which we fitted acoustic panels. Almost three quarters of the installed desks are reused, electronically adjustable desks from the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration. The new furniture includes sit-stand desks from the Gispen TMNL collection." Interior architect Rob: "We took the used furniture items, which were mostly finished in primary colours, and combined them with new items in softer tones. The result is a fresh and well-balanced colour scheme that contributes to a unique atmosphere."
Warcha: “Due to the pandemic, we are currently unable to use the building as intended. However, the innovative spirit of this pop-up office has spread like wildfire! We have already given tours to the Tax and Customs Administration, for example, and we are also getting requests from other departments. Personally, I am quite charmed by HUGG. These paperclip-shaped workspaces actually feel like a cocoon, a very secure feeling. We deliberately placed them in the most dynamic zones, so that workers can isolate themselves when they need to read through something or prepare for a meeting. We are very proud of this fantastic result, which we truly achieved as a team!”
Photography: Chris van Koeverden