LocationAmsterdam, The Netherlands
Design TeamSimon Bush-King, Joti Weijers-Coghlan, Sarah Rowlands, Angel Sanchez Navarro, Pilar Nobio, Paco Pomares , Pamplona, CNC
Text description provided by the architects. Our clients, digital agency Superheroes have been growing on the back of some viral hits such as this & this. Requiring room for new sidekicks and their cape collection they found a fantastic, light filled space for their new hideout. However a short lease of 3 years dictated a budget which was a ¼ that of a 'normal' low budget for fit-out work. To put it another way their budget would cover 120m2 of their 480m2 studio.
Carpet bomb or targeted strike
Our approach developed our client’s wishes, visual expression and construction method in unison. We accepted that corners create charter. Locating three much needed meeting rooms in the corners of the large open space we introduced flexible spaces in between for the myriad of tasks that defy description in studio work environments, the casual chat, quick review or private phone call
The search for a strong expression and cheap construction method led us to OSB (oriented strand board) and a CNC machine. 100 sheets were cut using 21 century technology and assembled like it were the Middle Ages with pine dowels joining each of the custom made frames for the meeting rooms and most of the furniture. Double glazed windows fit within each frame and are also held together with wooden dowels. There are only a handful of screws in the whole project that has been built to be disassembled should the office move in a few years.
50 hanging plants along with movable whiteboards and storage units divide the space into project areas. A long table under the central atrium is the focus of the studio where a stage curtain offers a range of ways to use the space from dividing one side from the other to a totally enclosed meeting room. A tight budget and brief give way to a spot of whimsy along the back wall where an ice-cream cone turns a Llama into a unicorn from which a caped superheroe precariously dangles.
The studio adopts a simple, clean expression using elements of Superheroes own identity. However for us, the real lesson from this project was how to retain rigour while stretching a budget.