The entrance of FOZ, a coveted and expensive office building in Amsterdam’s business district, is an imposing space with 7-meter-high ceilings. However, it was lacking a welcoming and warm atmosphere for conducting business over coffee or informal chats between colleagues. As a starting point for a new entrance design, we looked at the surrounding architecture in the area and found a concrete jungle of high-rise buildings and asphalt. Defining this discovery as the opposite of our client’s needs, the design incorporated lots of wood for warmth.
Instead of wasting a perfectly good existing tile floor, we designed a wooden podium as a warm contrast to the cold stone. The podium offers room for a reception that doubles as a coffee bar with stools and outlets for electronic devices. We added two wooden sculptures that float mid-air as space separators, contributing to the cosier atmosphere. As a contradiction to the concrete urban surroundings, the walls in the FOZ entrance are overgrown by plants. These green walls absorb sound, have a positive effect on people’s mental wellbeing and create a calm oasis in an otherwise busy district.