Office architecture and workplace design are hotly debated topics: What does the office worker of today need to be efficient, yet passionate and brimming with creative ideas? What kind of rooms and ambient settings are required for different activities? And what alternative models are able to strike a balance between those happy and cheerful Google HQs and bland office high-rises geared toward nothing but returns, whose layouts are based on the “one-size-fits-all” principle?
The new HQ of Dutch fashion corporation G-Star is a stunning example that office buildings need neither boast happy color schemes nor make do with the bare necessities. The ensemble has been masterminded by no less a firm than Holland’s very own “Office of Metropolitan Architecture” (OMA), which collaborated closely with G-Star RAW in its development. It is almost one year now that the company relocated to its new premises. A good time to take stock and see whether the wishes and expectations the company harbored for its new base have come true and how the new premises have impacted on the collaboration between G-Star RAW’s different divisions and what has changed for its employees. To find out, we met up with architect Reinier de Graaf, Partner at OMA and Director of AMO and the man who was in charge of the building project, and Pieter Kool, Director of Design at G-Star RAW, in Amsterdam.