Modernization of an apartment in Amsterdam von Laura Álvarez
Eek & Ruigrok BV
5651 BP Eindhoven
T: +40 2856610
F: +40 2859460
To better understand what it is exactly that we are doing, it is perhaps best to take a look back in time. The intuitive decisions we made in the past have turned out to be crucial for the development of the company and for me personally as a designer.
In my exam, I wrote that, if you want to function successfully and design beautiful objects, you need to make sure that your environment is a stimulating one and that you feel like a fish in water. So creating this type of environment, your daily reality, is much more important than setting all kinds of goals for the future. We started by creating a fishbowl with our own plants, stones and fish, and have since moved up to an aquarium. Although a little hideaway retreat, where a writer can write in peace and be content, is equally as - or perhaps even more - enviable. To us, the size of the company is not a goal in itself, but an incidental result of how we like to work.
Instead of working purely as a designer, we began producing, distributing and even selling our own products. Crucial for this decision was that both Nob and I actually enjoy being busy with so many different activities at the same time and learning to master them all. Designing alone has never been a dream. So instead of specialising and bringing in or buying all kinds of different competencies, we have opted to do everything ourselves. The products I have created have repeatedly been in keeping with the technical and financial possibilities. We've almost literally grown along with our britches. The company and possibilities have continued to grow through the years, ultimately resulting in our relocation into a building more than 10,000 square metres in size, where all kinds of different activities are brought together under one roof. The workshops (wood, steel, upholstery, assembly, spraying and ceramics) form the beating heart of the building. They are surrounded by the offices, showroom, shop, gallery, restaurant, storage and packing, studios that we rent out and even an event room. So we continue – perhaps even more so than before – to do everything in one place and in our own unique way.
Our site consists of three categories: series production, assignments and self-initiated work. The series production and the assignments are carried out by "Eek en Ruijgrok B.V."; the B.V. of Piet Hein Eek en Nob Ruijgrok. The self-initiated work is done by the one-man business "Piet Hein Eek".