Location: Heerenveen, the Netherlands
Project architect: Jos Blom
Collaborators: ADK, Martin Draax
Client: Rabobank Heerenveen-Gorredijk
Croduction: Rodenburg Interieurs, Drachten
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Arend Loerts
The Nije Gritenije foundation is situated on the top floors of the new Rabobank Heerenveen-Gorredijk head office. FLATarchitects designed the interior containing twenty workstations in a flexible working environment.
The Nije Gritenije foundation is a Rabobank initiative to stimulate local and regional entrepreneurship. The foundation asked Amsterdam based FLATarchitects to design twenty workstations and a conference room on the ninth and tenth floor of the brand new Rabobank building. Four of these workstations will be permanently used by members of the foundation. The remaining sixteen workstations will be used by a continuously changing group of starting entrepreneurs and artists.
FLATarchitects devised a basic interior design which can be customized and completed by the users. They can adapt their space to their specific needs. In this way temporary users are able to appropriate their place of work in a relatively short period of time. Also, the interior is designed to encourage innovation and discussion among users and visitors.
The stairs towards the ninth floor end in an entrance space fenced off by four irregularly shaped objects. Together they form a ‘porous wall’ filtering the activity in the work space behind. Through the gaps and reflecting surfaces of the wall, sounds and images are presented to the spectator in fragments. The shifting sight lines of the visitor climbing the stairs was used as a designing instrument for these wooden objects. These same objects on the side of the work space are used as bookshelves.
The permanent workstations are positioned next to the entrance. The four desktops fan out from a shared drawer unit. Their shapes and colours differ from the flexible workstations. Four large tables, RTables, together provide space for sixteen temporary workers. The tables consist of a steel frame with a tabletop made of steel grid panels. The tabletop can be arranged according to ones needs by combining various desk elements, such as desktops of several sizes, storage objects, book displays and multiple sockets. These elements have a negative grid at the bottom, in order to fix them to the grid.
The tenth floor
From the entrance space stairs lead on to the conference- and presentation room on the tenth floor. In order to emphasize the relatedness of the two top floors, the striking banisters by their irregular shape refer to the wall objects. Upstairs your attention is immediately drawn to the carpet, which is also covering parts of the wall. It shows a giant map of Friesland (the Dutch province) designed by graphic artist Martin Draax. The members of the Nije Gritenije foundation gather over this map, around a grand conference table with eleven chairs, one for each Frisian city. By closing a wall-to-wall curtain, part of the space can be dimmed for showing films or presentations. When looking out of the windows the real map of Friesland unfolds.