Hoofddorp, The Netherlands – In our newest book, Clive Wilkinson’s The Theatre of Work, the architect argues that, used effectively, design and architecture can create a sense of community and increase productivity in workspaces. [Ed’s note: You can read that excerpt here.] Here’s further proof of that: Asics, the Japanese sports brand, has chosen the most sustainable office park in the Netherlands for its EMEA headquarters. There’s a big reason for that, of course.
Designed by Rotterdam-based Powerhouse Company in collaboration with RED Company, the 11,600-sq-m building is a showcase for Asics’ philosophy of a sound mind in a sound body. Starting from the atrium – a reference to the Italian palazzo – this main venue is a symbol of the building’s physical core, which also serves as gathering space and common area.
Then, a playful system of staircases breaks the monotony of the horizontal levels and allows employees to reach different floors easily. And of course: the strategic position of the steps creates a nudge effect, whereby physical activity is constantly stimulated.
In terms of sustainability, the design team erected a building with a controlled impact on its surroundings – the whole area is full of large green patches, footpaths and gardens, which double as meeting spaces. What’s more, these spaces help save energy and water, and reduce CO2 emissions.
But they even went beyond that: to ensure the personalised wellbeing of its employees, the company created an app that could allow them to manage a healthy interior climate, from humidity to temperature levels. How’s that for a comfortable work environment?