LocationThe Netherlands, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Text description provided by the architects. At the 5th floor of the new skyscraper ‘De Rotterdam’, Fokkema & Partners designed a new office for an international trade company. The interior celebrates the scale and character of the building, but above all it identifies with the characteristics of the company, where ‘bold’ and ‘corporate’ meet.
The company is a global commodity service and solutions provider for agricultural markets, founded in Rotterdam in 1920, and moved into the office in November 2015. Important was to create a characterful workplace were every department would feel at ease and employees would be encouraged to collaborate.
Embedded in, and around the massive building core the meeting spaces are situated. The core was also opened up in the middle, to link both sides of the enormous floor of 50 x 100 m, to get the daylight from one side to the other and to make a visible connection. This area acts as an adventurous living room with enormous bales to sit on, a self-service coffee bar and has its wall cladded with ‘hangzakken’ or hammocks. The interior of each room in and around the core has been made grain yellow. Due to the special attention payed to lighting, these reflect a warm glow, which forms a rich backdrop to the workstations. With simple means like fiber glass wallpaper, different types of jute, accents of brass and use of special plasters, the of ce was cost efficient to obtain a unique atmosphere. Variations in texture add layers and human scale.
All workplaces are placed in an open setting, as close to the façade as possible. The remarkable construction is left visible between the acoustic ceiling islands. To bring diversity to the work area, glass boxes for meetings and open podia are placed in between the workstations. Curtains are added to give a warm and soft touch to the design, to optimize the acoustics of the rooms and provide more privacy when needed.
Along the public atrium near the entrance we made a restaurant with an elongated bar in the center where employees of different departments can work and meet each other and guests
can be welcomed. The designers at Fokkema & Partners introduced a special lighting solution to express the stamina of the agricultural business and the warmth of the restaurant at the same time. A cloud of 61 ‘zaklampen’ made out of jute identifies with the characteristics of the old harbor dock location and lights up the heart of the office.