Outside Basel in the calm neighbourhood of Binningen, Switzerland, this semi-detached house by KOHLE... More
As work and private life become ever more intertwined, the office has become more than a place of desks and chairs. It is well known that a well-designed work environment leads to higher productivity, lower absenteeism and a higher degree of connection with the company. In Amsterdam, this office for investment manager/developer Amvest was designed by Firm architects and strives to be an example of best practice office design.
Starting from the outside, the beautifully designed façade by Rietveld Architects sets the standard. Upon entering the building, one steps into a 20m2 elevator – which doubles as a meeting room complete with furniture, plants and art. The elevator travels slowly between levels, allowing visitors to take in views. An important side effect of this choice is that it encourages the use of central stairs for employees.
Materials used throughout are sustainable, flexible and innovative from floor to ceiling. The sustainably produced carpet, for example, looks like a fabric version of a concrete floor, referring to the old concrete factory that stood on site. The informal areas have recycled oak herringbone flooring uniquely developed for Amvest. It has a magnetic layer, ruling out the glue and therefore enabling reuse in the future. The specially developed ceiling panels serve as cooling and heating and provide acoustic enhancement. A healthy environment is also stimulated through the use of many plants, and a roof garden with WiFi access and different areas to boost working outdoors.
The plan is open, light and encourages interaction. The custom-made workplaces are height adjustable and all situated on the same floor to stimulate interaction. Set up along the double-height windows to allow an optimum of natural daylight, ensuring a minimum of additional lighting needed. In the less lit and therefore more intimate middle areas, there are different uses to accommodate the various activities of work. On the top floor, special benches and tables are integrated into the ceiling and offer instant seating capacity on the push of a button. This flexibility is also found in the upholstered mobile wardrobes, serving as acoustic screens. This high level of customisation is leading in the design and is used as a decisive, stimulating and moving part of the interior.