27 Aug 2019 • Work
In Amsterdam, a high-tech HQ gives employees a phygital personal user journey
Today, work is only a fractional part of workspaces. There are few that know this better than Edge Technologies, a real estate developer based in Amsterdam that’s rearing a ‘new generation of smart buildings,’ optimising spatial experiences through data gathering and analysis. To be representative of that core mission, Edge’s new high-tech headquarters needed a unique treatment for its interior fit-out; Fokkema & Partners Architecten was asked to create an office that didn’t feel – or look – like one.
Edge Olympic – the first building in the world to achieve WELL V2 Platinum certification – gets its name from its proximity to Amsterdam’s Olympic Stadium. The workspace integrates technology, sustainability and wellbeing, based on Edge’s digital infrastructure that connects interior environment controls through a single cloud platform. The architects’ work started with a big question: How could they create a warm, intimate space to feel seamlessly interwoven with the high-tech ecosystem that would define it?
Many conversations led to a ‘no-office’ concept, one that would fashion the workspace into an ‘experimental garden’ prioritising user comfort and productivity. Through the Edge app, employees can customise everything from lighting to temperature, locate their colleagues and identify available working space. Fokkema & Partners’ work had to be an interior mirror of this hyper-personalisation. The result is a space that encourages a ‘personal user journey’ through the nooks and corners of three zones. The first is a ‘home zone’ for lounging and relaxation. The second is a biophilic ‘living room’ for studying and meditation. And the third? An ‘urban zone,’ complete with a tech playground and two board rooms. For meetings – or a game of foosball – it’s suggested that employees make their way to the bar.
There is more to the plant-infused and tech-fuelled design than meets the eye
But: ‘There is more to the plant-infused and tech-fuelled design than meets the eye,’ explained partner Laura Astma. ‘A thorough rethinking of the workplace led to an incredible degree of variation with carefully considered, highly tactile and non-toxic materialisation. [It’s] not the derivative of a trendy coffee bar that may double as an office, but a contemporary space completely tailored to best accommodate the user’s needs – a great place to work, live and play.’