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Giesbers, Ontwikkelen en Bouwen   landscapem

Giesbers Ontwikkelen en Bouwen opted for a circular approach to renovating its office building in Wijchen. Jasper Jansen from Giesbers: “After all, change starts with yourself.” A sustainable and fully circular work environment was created by Revived by Gispen and Vakwerk Architects. A more open-plan office environment with sufficient seclusion and separation for those who need it. Gispen supplied most of the revived and refurbished furniture items.


It was twelve years ago that the office building of Giesbers Ontwikkelen en Bouwen was completed. A timeless and aesthetic building on the Nieuweweg in Wijchen, designed by Paul Ketelaars (who worked for Mecanoo Architects at the time). Twelve years later, he was asked to help create a more open work environment. Paul, currently working for Vakwerk Architects: “Building processes have become much more dynamic; Giesbers is in constant communication with numerous construction partners. This means lots of consultation, telephone calls and various collaborative projects. The original work environment no longer matched these activities. A more versatile work environment was needed”. Jasper Jansen, Project Office Manager at Giesbers Development and Construction: “throughout the years we have transitioned from a departmental organisation into a project organisation. We wanted to give our building the same transformation; no more personal workstations and separate offices for each department, but an open-plan environment that encourages informal encounters and teamwork and which offers short walking routes while - at the same time - provide sufficient workstations and privacy. In short: a work environment that connects.”

Enjoying only the positive sides of an open-plan office

Vakwerk Architects produced the new interior design and supervised the internal process. Various sessions were held with employees to learn more about their wishes and needs but also to discuss their concerns. Paul Ketelaars: “The employees only wanted the positive sides of an open-plan office, and not the negatives. Ambient noise was one of their main concerns. Fortunately, this could be reduced significantly with the use of acoustic ceilings and dividing screen in between workstations. Personally, I think that every office environment would benefit from freedom of choice. When you give people options, they can find the workspace that suits them best.” The new work environment of Giesbers' is the perfect example of this: the ground floor is an open and inviting reception area with the atmosphere of a grand café. This is also where the reception desk is located. On the first floor there are large and small project spaces, conference rooms and silent work areas. The pantry with informal seating is the central meeting place on the first floor.

Circular furniture from stock

Danon van der Hoeven, Gispen Business Manager: 'Giesbers wanted to fill the new work environment with as much circular furniture from stock as possible. Firstly, we installed height-adjustable desks from the Cubic 80 collection, which were returned by other customers and reused  at Giesbers after a check-up. The meeting areas were provided with bicycle desks and high conference tables from stock. The conference chairs that Giesbers already owned were reupholstered. The calling card of the building is absolutely its entrance, a hospitality area. This is where we installed reupholstered coach seats with reused frames. The reception staff uses an exhibition model from our innovative, circular and modular office collection CIMO; fully adjustable sit-stand workstations. On the first floor we placed telephone booths with cabinets equipped with a folding table, to which we added chairs with refurbished backrests. The cabinets are made from former ceiling-high cabinets from Giesbers.”

“It’s all in the details!”

The result is a coherent package which is fully based on revived and refurbished furniture. Jasper: “It doesn't all have to be brand-new. Giving furniture a second lease of life or extending its lifespan... it’s all in the details! Gispen Greenlife took back the old Giesbers furniture. Furniture can be upgraded in-house, but there are more options such as: turning old desktops into upholstered acoustic screens, transforming solid core tabletops into clothes hangers or locker cabinets. Products or components that are no longer usable can be disassembled and processed into new resources by Gispen. Jasper: “This is perfectly in line with our own vision of sustainable development and construction.”

Are you satisfied with the result?

Jasper: “Those working on the upper floors now carry out their tasks alongside one another. The pantry is at the heart of the building, where people meet up and where the lines of communication are short. The transition from a traditional office space to an open-plan work environment has gone extremely well. What was unique was that our day-to-day activities could carry on as usual during the renovation. A fun fact is that our subsidiary company Giesbers Servicebouw supervised the entire process and coordinated the involvement of partners. They also moved everything and (temporarily) relocated or stored furniture and arranged the IT facilities, with as few interruptions as possible of course. Gispen also made sure that our primary work processes could carry on uninterrupted while furniture was supplied and assembled on-site. I could not be happier!”

There are also a few perks: Gispen has a number of pleasant rooms in Culemborg where training courses and  meetings can be held; we are going to use one of these spaces for a two-day commercial training course for our employees. In short, our partnership is to be continued!”


Photography: Chris van Koeverden

'The building was still sound in terms of its construction; the interior was renewed. The realisation of a more open and versatile space was made possible due to the finely meshed ceiling grid, which allowed us to easily move or remove internal walls. It is now easier for employees to meet up within the same office space. Moreover, there is no unwanted ambient noise or too much dynamism. Mission accomplished. I have been working together with Gispen for many years. We are always reflecting upon what is going well and what could be improved.'
Paul Ketelaars Founder of Vakwerk Architects
Gispen took on this circular challenge with us, supplying as much circular furniture from stock as possible and realising an interior design that suits our organisation perfectly.
Jasper Jansen Project Manager at Giesbers Ontwikkelen en Bouwen
Brightlands Center Court   landscapem

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