Nederland
Belgie Belgique
Royal FloraHolland

Floradôme is the new office building of Royal FloraHolland, an attractive and economic building where employees, growers and buyers meet and work together. The original office in Aalsmeer has been renovated and transformed into a new office. Guiding principles for the project include sustainability and circularity. Paul de Ruiter Architects designed the circle-shaped extension and Royal HaskoningDHV managed the project. Gispen was hired to furnish the office space and conference rooms with refurbished and circular furniture.

SUSTAINABLE AND HEALTHY WORK ENVIRONMENT

Flexibility was one of the main design requirements, in addition to the guiding principles of sustainability and circularity. It soon became clear that both the team and the design would meet this requirement. The design for the office layout with 250 workstations was ready for rollout, but at the time of execution the construction team was suddenly confronted with the Corona pandemic. Wendy Zandvliet, Royal FloraHolland site coordinator: "Remote working forced us to rethink the planned layout. It is very likely that after the pandemic our employees will no longer be working on-site full time. We therefore adjusted the layout and furnishings to this new reality during the completion and installation process. Gispen was very flexible in adopting the changes. We have realised around 200 workstations and have created more meeting areas. In this sudden change of design, our explicit sustainability ambitions have remained intact. We want to offer our employees, growers and customers a sustainable and healthy working environment whilst respecting the animals, trees and plants around us."

Recycled building materials

Royal FloraHolland had set high sustainability ambitions for the renovation and expansion of its old office, with the support and guidance of Royal HaskoningDHV. This led to the use of sustainable, recycled finishing materials such as sustainable wood, green roofs, water-saving sanitation and energy-efficient LED lighting controlled by daylight and human presence.    

Rudolf Scholtens, Project Manager at Royal HaskoningDHV: "Before we started the finishing process we formulated sustainable starting points. Circular furniture is an easy win because of its fast turnover rate. We posed open questions to several furnishing companies. This sparked a lot of creativity and imagination, especially at Gispen. Gispen's ideas and approach stood out from the rest. It is also admirable that this furnisher did not refrain from reusing old FloraHolland chairs nor from adopting innovative applications." 

 

Turning coffee grounds into fertiliser

Floradôme's newly constructed atrium forms the heart of the building and is the connecting link between the original structure and its extension. A lot of daylight is introduced to the office due to the surrounding windows. “This is one of many details showing that sustainability and circularity are in the core of this organisation”, according to Martijn Meijer, Gispen account manager. “I already noticed this when I read the call for tender. They weren't looking for furniture with a circular label; they were truly looking for a partner that could advise and serve them in the field of circular office design for many years to come. They expect this of all their suppliers, from catering to architects, everybody contributes to the circular ambitions. Even when you drink a cup of coffee here, the grounds are reused as fertiliser!”  

 

Upcycled waste

It was up to Gispen to take a critical look at the 'old' office furniture. What is still usable? Which components can be reused? Martijn: "We refurbished the old conference chairs that the Board of Directors used to sit on so comfortably. Our partner Closing the looops reupholstered these chairs with the assistance of people who are distanced from the labour market. We also reused the frames of several second-hand desks and put GreenGridz tabletops on them, with the help of Triboo. These innovative tops are made from upcycled waste from the wood industry. A GreenGridz panel can be made from various upcycled waste flows of natural cellulose fibres. The CO2 emissions are therefore 60% lower when compared to an ordinary full-core chipboard top and, moreover, it is free of volatile organic compounds. The proof is the CARB2 certification; the highest standard for formaldehyde."  

 

Circularity in optima forma

Gispen has circularly furnished the offices, meeting areas and conference rooms for the entire Floradôme. The 'sustainability' of the users themselves was also taken into account. Wendy Zandvliet: "We have numerous sit-stand desks and conference tables in order to facilitate varied work postures." 

 

What do you think of the result?

Client Wendy: "The response has been very positive. We could not yet receive our employees, growers and buyers at the opening. So we had a virtual 3D tour made. Everyone loved it, but now that people are coming back to the office, the compliments are pouring in. Everybody is pleasantly surprised when it comes to the beautiful and dynamic workstations, the active conference areas and the many meeting places that invite one to organise informal work sessions or to meet and catch up as before. It really is a big step forward!" 

 

 

Photography: Chris van Koeverden

portrait of Rudolf Scholten
Rudolf Scholtens - Project Manager at Royal HaskoningDHV

A word from the specialist

“Gispen proved to be a true circular partner during this assignment. They have great knowledge and considerable experience in this field. I praise them for wanting to refurbish the client's old furniture. They are very flexible and easy to work with. What I find most special about them is their innovative approach. We wanted to keep the bases of the conference tables, but we needed new tabletops. Gispen used residual materials from a start-up. The result is fantastic! The tabletops are less hefty, require less material and their manufacturing resulted in significantly lower CO2 emissions. It is great to be able to contribute to a sustainable development project that can go straight to market. Gispen knows what circularity is really about.”

Marc van der Heijden - Triboo director

A word from the specialist

'It's great to see how the Dutch companies Triboo and Gispen are realising ergonomic and circular workstations together. Our combined solution scored high points on the sustainability ladder. Due to the lightweight #Greengridz furniture construction panels, the tabletops of the desks and tables could be assembled using 373 kg less material while producing 60% less CO2. When you compare a traditional desk with the workstations offered by Gispen and Triboo, the figures unequivocally show the difference. The raw material from which #Greengridz is made, originates from waste streams of the wood industry. A perfect match with the vision of Royal FloraHolland; a company where everything revolves around trees, plants and flowers.'

portrait of Marc van der Heijden
THE PANDEMIC FORCED US TO RETHINK THE PLANNED LAYOUT; OUR EMPLOYEES NO LONGER WORK ON SITE FULL TIME. WE THEREFORE ADAPTED THE LAYOUT AND FURNISHINGS TO THIS NEW REALITY. GISPEN WAS VERY FLEXIBLE IN ADOPTING THE CHANGES.
Wendy Zandvliet Royal FloraHolland site coordinator
portrait of Wendy Zandvliet
Wendy Zandvliet - Royal FloraHolland site coordinator

The client’s thoughts

"The best thing about our partnership is that Gispen always carefully looks and listens to what we want. This is how they discover the actual question behind our question. We also visited the showroom and their factory in Culemborg. Such a look behind the scenes also contributes to new possibilities and innovative solutions. We made good use of Gispen's expertise. Everybody was pleasantly surprised when they first saw the beautiful and dynamic workstations, the active meeting areas and the many meeting places. It really is a big step forward.''

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