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Colorful islands in the office
10/1/2013
In many areas the atrium looks more like a design hotel. Here we see the conference area, with its Masai chairs by Arper. Photo: © Matthijs van Roon

The new head office of Dutch energy company Eneco called for the most sustainable design and architecture on the market. Solar panels are installed on the roof and facades and charging stations for electric vehicles are set up in an underground parking garage, as well as promoting cycling as the preferred mode of transport for employees. The white building, in part 14 stories high, is built around a large interior space, meaning that light can enter the offices around its edges. This atrium constitutes the heart of the building and its design, by Hofman Dujardin Architects, is so spacious and modern that it resembles more a design hotel than an office building.

Together with Fokkema & Partners they created a flexible concept for the office space and workstations, which, in the atrium at least, are hardly recognizable as such. The huge espresso bar in the center, kitted out with elegant Catifa chairs by Arper, is at once a meeting point, informal conversation area and retreat for a coffee break. The foyer has three stairways leading to the upper story, where you find work islands, demarcated by different kinds of flooring and brightly colored carpets. These are areas offering the opportunity both for private, quiet working and team discussions. The auditorium can seat a large audience for presentations. There are around 25,000 square meters of office space in total, with these two floors serving as a communication hub at the heart of this flexible office building.

This is where Hofman Dujardin Architects have set up their so-called “energy fields” with their bright colors, which stand out in an otherwise white space. There are sofas in various shades of red on a soft burgundy carpet and a large conference table, accentuated by a green carpet with comfortable Catifa chairs in the same color. There is also a huge table with Masai armchairs (also by Arper), providing a space for large conferences. This concept is also to be found on the other floors, where round meeting tables are set out on carpets, thus marked as “special territory”.

For Eneco in Rotterdam, the concept of a flexible office space has largely been achieved. There is no office tearoom here, but a large espresso bar, and the furniture selected and high design quality are also particularly impressive. Regarding the furniture by Arper, Michiel Hofman commented: “It suits our attitude towards design very well. We strive for clarity, quality, integrity and creativity.” And that is why various versions of the Catifa chair can be found throughout the building, for instance at the bar, in the staff restaurant, and in the meeting rooms.

www.hofmandujardin.nl

In many areas the atrium looks more like a design hotel. Here we see the conference area, with its Masai chairs by Arper. Photo: © Matthijs van Roon
The espresso bar is at the heart of the spacious atrium, a “work island” made entirely out of wood. Photo: © Matthijs van Roon
In the Eneco flexible office space, special areas are demarcated with colors, mainly by means of carpets and matching upholstery. Photo: © Matthijs van Roon
Working in the green: Arper’s Catifa chairs can be found throughout the building in various colors and versions. Photo: © Matthijs van Roon
The upholstered stools in the Arper Pix series are perfect for creating an informal space. Photo: © Matthijs van Roon
In the black area, food is prepared in an open kitchen, while in the white area one can relax on Catifa chairs by Arper. Photo: © Matthijs van Roon
The flexible concept is continued on the office floors, with colorful accents demarcating special areas. Photo: © Matthijs van Roon

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