GRONTMIJ // ROTTERDAM
LOCATION: Rotterdam, the Netherlands
DESIGNER: Ideal Projects
DESIGN TEAM: Ann Decock, Monica Straathof
PROJECT YEAR: 2012
PROJECT MANAGEMENT: Ideal Projects
PROJECT MANAGER: Christa Zaitout-Beumer
VISUALISATION : Richard de Melker
CLIENT: Grontmij Nederland
SURFACE AREA: 3500 m2
PHOTOGRAPHY: Valerie Clarysse
The Grontmij office is inspired by the work that Grontmij does. You don't often see very much of it. This is because most of the technology they develop disappears under the ground, behind walls or in everyday products; so common that you don't think about it. The goal was to create an office that was clearly recognisable as Grontmij, and which would take the easy-to-overlook nature of the work Grontmij does and turn it on its head through the presentation of the space, creating something striking.
In the context of a necessary reorganisation, Grontmij chose a premises in Rotterdam for the first project, in an office park next to the A16. With this location near the Erasmus University and their contemporary office concept, they are drawing in new talent who, with their innovative knowledge, are safeguarding the future of Grontmij and breathing new life into their engineering department. The premises is cloaked in a reflective, black-glass façade.
The strange triangular office floors (two on each level) have a normal office width along a corridor surrounding a massive core with shafts, emergency stairs and toilets. The floor above the atrium connects the two parts of the building and is used as a reception area with a view over the area in front of the building. A square that offers space for people to meet up, congregate and celebrate. The receptionist meets you and shows you around the office. Each office floor has a formal wing with enclosed rooms that can serve as conference rooms or as an enclosed office for a day. An open-plan space with varied seating and desk arrangements lends itself to project meetings or could equally be used as a place where dynamic employees can congregate. Workplaces are situated in the outermost corner of the plan for residential employees and employees who carry out operational work that requires a large amount of concentration. These zones contain a number of rooms for making phone calls or holding brief, spontaneous discussions.
The colour palette is based on white, supplemented with grey and blue for a technical, clean look and feel. Muted and greyed earth tones are used as accents that symbolise the solid foundation of the company. The blue that Grontmij uses to emphasise the human side of their work and the expressive red, which stands for the environment, together create an added sense of identity. They form the main accents in the spaces in which the work of Grontmij is experienced, without one becoming aware of them.
In keeping with the concept of making the identity of Grontmij as an organisation and brand more visible, the enclosed cores are broken up such that new light- and flow lines are created and hence a more varied use of space. The latter in particular allows employees to feel they can lose themselves in the office in a positive way, to come back with new, vital insights. A number of walls are clad with clear mirrors. Employees become aware of their actions and can put their own personal contributions into perspective with regard to the objectives that Grontmij sets out each year in order to operate at the highest level in its sector.