Fairphone, a smart-phone manufacturer who puts social and sustainable values first. Situated in Amsterdam, the company recently moved into an old warehouse built in 1884, with great view on both the river IJ and the city.
The brief for the company’s new headquarters was; an open-plan, transparent office emphasizing reused and environmentally friendly materials. With a deadline of just two and a half months the challenge was to translate the brief by using creative ways of reusing materials, in a short space of time with a limited budget.
The design by Melinda Delst Interior Design in collaboration with studio modderman, expresses the social and sustainable values of the company. Most of the original structural features of the warehouse were left untouched. This created a logical placement of the of workspaces by the window for great daylight and views of the city. Informal meeting areas and closed meeting rooms are centralized , with a large kitchen/bar area near to the entrance of the office.
Materialssuch as wood and steel define this open-plan office.The closed meeting spaces and skype-booths are built by reusing existing window frames from the previous tenants. Stripped and repainted, these frames defined the measurements and the design of the meeting rooms. The walls are cladded with rubberwood, a waste product of the rubber industry. Raw steel juxtaposes the wooden frames tocreate a contrast in the light warehouse. The existing beams and walls where left untouched showing the history and context of the building. Reused furniture and lighting found on e-bay or in second-hand charity stores create small “living rooms ‘for informal meeting spaces. Plants and vintage lights hang from the wooden ceiling and beams, to create hanging gardens.
“Fairphone is a social enterprise working to create a fairer economy and change how things are made. We open up supply chains, solve problems and use transparency to start debate about what’s truly fair. “ –Fairphone
“ The success of the design stems from the dynamic and creative process by the design team as well as continually questioning the choices we made by referring to the values of Fairphone. Our core value for all materials has been the discussion of cost of re-use versus new production. Something the building industry needs to think more about in the current climate.”