A heritage department store thinks sustainable for its Amsterdam headquarters

Amsterdam – Perhaps a nod to millennial consumer habits and aesthetic preferences, De Bijenkorf’s headquarters is dotted with vintage furnishings and leafy plants. Designed by local studio Bearandbunny, the heritage department store houses a team of 450 employees in 8,350 sq-m of office space in Amsterdam’s Y-shaped Oliphant building. De Bijenkorf’s interior focuses on bio-based or recycled materials, highlighting its stance on sustainable design.

Literally translated from Dutch as ‘the beehive’, De Bijenkorf has been part of the Netherlands’ retail landscape since 1870. Today the haberdashery-turned-department store boasts seven physical retail spaces across the country and three digital retail platforms serving the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. Its lemon-yellow-capped shopping bags are to the Dutch what Macy’s red-star-emblazoned bags are to New Yorkers.

Interior materials and finishes were carefully selected for their social and environmental footprints. Fluted columns across the workspaces are lined with recycled felt and installed by the Refugee Company, a local organization that helps people who have fled their home countries find work in the Netherlands. Additional interior fittings include counters made out of residual marble, refurbished vintage chairs and bio-based plant baskets.

Recent workplace trends suggest employees benefit from adaptable and flexible workspaces: at the De Bijenkorf headquarters, employees enjoy access to pool tables, dining areas, break-out spaces and lounge seating. A restaurant and additional common spaces off of the building entrance allow tenants to mix and socialize with one another. The designers populated the lounge areas with custom seating and hanging planters – some plants are actually built into the seating, ensuring employees are never far from a dose of plant-based oxygen.


Location Haaksbergweg 4 - 98, 1101 BX Amsterdam

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