When LeasePlan Corporation moved into the UNStudio at the Zuidas of Amsterdam they had four storeys at their disposal. The layout and furnishing were completely up to them. Studio Groen+Schild provided the interior design. Gispen furnished the four storeys, with special attention to cable management. The final result is an open, brand-new and modern flex office with a matching corporate touch. This was all realised within a short timeframe and made possible due to an effective partnership.
Connecting with one another
With 1.7 million vehicles in over 30 countries, Leaseplan is one of the largest leasing companies in the world. In the summer of 2017, Leaseplan moved its main branch from Almere to the Zuidas of Amsterdam: UNStudio. Every employee, from the Board of Directors, management, staff, advisors and even the external consultants moved from a traditional office to an open office environment. Saskia Hahn, Coordinator Facility Management at LeasePlan Corporation: ‘We required a more open and transparent work environment. We wanted to encourage people to work together. The new building is also located near Schiphol. Connecting with each another as well as with our clients was the guiding principle for this change.’
Dynamic- and silent office areas
Studio Groen+Schild created an interior design concept for storeys 15 to 18. They literally created a connection; the four storeys are all connected via mezzanine floors. The application of glass walls has made the environment very open and transparent. At the centre of each storey, there is a stairwell as well as elevators and toilets. Around the centre is where everyone carries out their activities in an open space that houses both dynamic- and silent office areas. Every storey begins with a meeting zone with accompanying facilities, such as lockers and a pantry. Further down the office, employees can find a spot at the large work benches, which have also been placed near the façade, with a fantastic view of the Zuidas. In addition, there a see-through and lockable conference rooms as well as Huddle Rooms for Scrum sessions or short meetings. Cockpit booths have been installed in the centre of the room for focussed working.
The client’s thoughts
‘Gispen has not only worked very fast – while coordinating things with the interior architect along the way – they were also very flexible. When blueprints changed they were willing to adapt, for example, but their cable management is where Gispen truly adds value. It proved quite a challenge to furnish the entire location and to make every single workstation and project area operational. Everything went extremely well though. Our employees are enthusiastic; the workstations are always occupied!’
Agile office furniture
Three furnishing companies were contacted to lay out plans for a new interior. Saskia Hahn of LeasePlan Corporation: ‘Gispen stood out. We visited their Inspiration Centre in Culemborg together with the interior architect. We were given a warm welcome and we connected right away. In addition, Gispen was able to realise what the architect had in mind for the interior.’ Tine Groen: ‘The versatility and different configurations of the furniture were very important. We finally opted for a combination of Gispen and Vitra products.’ The furniture from the building in Almere was given a new lease of life via Gispen Greenlife, which works via second life projects, charities and the second-hand market. The new workstations consist of Gispen TM desks and Zinn office chairs. The workbenches are accompanied by Triennial Work chairs, which are height adjustable and equipped with castors. The meeting rooms are graced with the presence of the Palau Seven chair. At the conference rooms one can sit at Vitra Medamorph tables. The Huddle Rooms are provided with a special feature namely Sit/Stand tables which have a remarkable organic shape.
Many video conferences. Flexible working in different areas within the office where laptops are easily plugged in. This demanded well-sorted technical provisions – perfectly tucked away for sleek-looking and functional furniture. Meerten Castelijns, Account Manager at Gispen: ‘LeasePlan Corporation asked Gispen to oversee the cable management. We received the order in February and everything had to be installed and fully operational by May. A hefty job! But also one after our own heart. Our chief technician has played an important role in this. One thing that was particularly pleasant: LeasePlan gave everyone the confidence to fulfil their jobs and was not scared of making decisions.’
Saskia Hahn of LeasePlan Corporation: ‘We visited Gispen in the early stages of the project together with our own ICT specialists. Gispen designer Peter de Boer thoroughly explained how all the workstations would look like upon delivery. Where will the cable ducts be? Where will the phone sit? Where can one find the additional sockets? This made it a lot easier for us to make decisions. After showing us a trial setup of 4 desks, Gispen installed and prepared close to 300 workstations and 40 project desks.’
Photography: Mike Bink
The architect’s thoughts
‘An open work environment such as the one at LeasePlan Corporation demands very good acoustics. This is something we solved by increasing the level of absorption of the ceiling. We also believed that the interior needed a uniform design. Everything had to match – from the specially designed furniture to the upholstery of separate pieces of furniture. Gispen proved to be a great partner in achieving this. We had a great time working together, even while under pressure of a tight deadline.’