Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Bolidt headquarters transformed into international, dynamic working environment in Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht, Netherlands by Bolidt
September 2nd, 2014 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Bolidt
After fifty years of business, during which time Bolidt’s focus has shifted from the domestic market to a more international orientation, the demands on its headquarters in Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht have outgrown the traditional office concept. Flexibility, interaction, 24-hour availability and effective, targeted communication are more important than fixed workspaces. Last year, RoosRos Architects, the firm that was responsible for the original design of the headquarter building back in 1994, produced the design for an extensive conversion of the building into a contemporary, dynamic office environment. The transformation of Bolidt’s headquarters has resulted in a stylish, creative home base where employees and business relations from around the world can meet and be inspired.
Extension with spectacular glass catwalk
The architecture of the main building underlines Bolidt’s positioning as a ‘company with vision’. Literally. The fully glazed facade of the entrance hall floods light into the spaciously proportioned brasserie. Further into the building, tall windows all around fill the office floors with a sense of light and space. RoosRos Architects have cleverly used the high entrance space to achieve a unity of style whilst adding the desired extension to the building. The architectural firm created a spectacular glass catwalk to both increase office floor space and visually connect the two floors.
Spacious design with flexible workspaces
RoosRos Architects partnered with interior design consultancy Studio Blend to create a professional yet relaxed environment that enables employees and business partners to work together effectively. The office floors have an open, spacious design with subtly arranged desk clusters and comfortable workspaces. The use of modest materials and colours and the sense of spaciousness enhanced by the light grey Bolidtop® 525 flooring system produce a stylish and calm interior that stimulates innovation and interaction between the various disciplines at Bolidt. The darker accents of the lamps, cabinets, coffee corners and the frames of the smaller, glass-walled meeting rooms give the floors a powerful, dynamic edge.
Subtle accents add Bolidt character to the interior
It is the subtle accents in the interior that put a distinct Bolidt stamp on the space. The durable quality furniture from Vitra was selected in close consultation between Bolidt and Vitra to match the company’s aesthetic and high requirements in terms of quality. At the same time, the woollen fabric on the Vitra Alcove, a high-back, sound-absorbing lounge sofa gives the space a welcoming, professional atmosphere. And the metres-long cabinet on the marketing & innovation square livens up the floor with colour and inspiration. The display wall shows memorable events in the company’s history, such as colourful marketing campaign kick-offs, the introduction of new products and the most recent projects in the Netherlands and abroad. The cabinet connects projects and colleagues throughout the world.
New office reflects new way of working
The architecture and interior design of the revamped headquarters reflect changes in the way of working at Bolidt. A 9 to 5 mentality has never quite suited the pioneering company from Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht, but even less so now that internationalisation is taking on ever growing proportions. Employees are constantly travelling around the world. Back at the head office, they can all choose the workspace that fits their needs at that particular time. Close to colleagues with the same expertise or purposefully next to a colleague from a different department. Interaction, mutual communication and inspiration are more important than a fixed workspace.
Digitisation throughout the organisation
Integration of the latest technologies in the building makes it possible to work anywhere and at any time of the day. Everybody inside the building – employees and cooperating partners – can log in on their tablet or mobile; from one of the generous workspaces, in a meeting room, at the bar of the brasserie or on a comfortable lounge sofa. High-speed internet access provides instant and reliable digital contact with colleagues and customers on the other side of the world. Further digitisation of other aspects of the organisation is an ongoing process. Think of bar coding in the warehouse, digitisation of work files for tablets and a narrow casting system to inform and inspire colleagues and visitors in the brasserie.
Stylish brasserie and well-equipped fitness room
With the transformed headquarters Bolidt is creating the best possible conditions for a modern balance between tension and relaxation, work and private life. Bolidt believes in the power of health and vitality as a source of entrepreneurial energy and innovative capacity at all levels of the company. The new office offers Bolidt the opportunity to devote more attention to its employees’ behaviour and help them improve their vitality. An optimal work/home balance plays a significant role in this. That is why Bolidt stimulates all of its employees to work on various lifestyle aspects supported by professional coaches. A good example is the vitality programme. The office building in Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht has a special fitness room with rowing machines, treadmills, exercise bikes and weights equipment that can be used for this purpose. The stylishly decorated brasserie is also an attractive place to relax and meet people, with lamps and furniture designed by Piet Boon as well as the best barista machine from Italy*. This state-of-the-art barista machine symbolises the aspects ‘craftsmanship’ and ‘innovative technology’. The entrance hall is regularly transformed and used for festive events, networking receptions or as a creative space for a true Bolidroom Experience.
* For the real coffee aficionado: Bolidt’s brasserie boasts an original La Cimbali M100. This high-tech machine was voted the best espresso machine by SCAE in 2013. It allows digital control of the water pressure per second and has the new Turbosteam Milk4 system. The coffee is sourced from the Pasqualini family. They use air instead of water to cool down roasted Arabica beans of the highest quality, thus preserving the quality of the beans much better. The coffee grinder is a Mahlkönig, the best grinder on the market, which is also used in barista championships.
Outing to laboratory and Bolidroom
Bolidt’s office remains connected to its technical laboratory and the production area. It only takes a short walk through the building for employees and business relations to visit the Bolidroom, Bolidt’s creative lab, or the dynamic test centre. In theBolidroom, designers and architects can experience for themselves how the material mixes, cures and changes in a different composition. It offers them a place to find out at first hand whether and how a design dream can become a reality. The Chinese architect of the Olympic pool in Beijing, for instance, flew to Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht to test which floor finish would best suit the interior. His visit resulted in the striking, abstract drip pattern on the floor in the pool’s Bubble Bar.
Inspiring location on the river Noord
The site of Bolidt’s headquarters, on the river Noord in Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht, is a perfect starting point for a visit to inspiring sights in the area. A water taxi will take you to the typical Dutch windmills of Kinderdijk just as easily as to the historic centre of Dordrecht or the dynamic metropolis of Rotterdam.