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D/DOCK uses serendipity concept in design for global biotech firm

Three organizations had to merge a few years ago and they gave us a nice challenge: “Make sure the employees of all companies will meet and work closely together”. In this new office people with very different expertise’s and working methods, would interact and collaborate smoothly.

Serendipity means an unintended but fortunate discovery. We developed a design which was based on spontaneous encounters and more movement by the employees. It would contribute to more personal contacts and it would empower knowledge exchange. The result is an open office environment of 3000m2 on two floors of a building in Amsterdam.

How did we execute this concept?
On strategical spots on the floors we created the so called Gems, these are open workplaces with various typologies. These Gems generate interaction, you can easily start conversations or just chat over a coffee. The different sitting pieces encourage the employees to start a group discussion, or only a one-to-one chat. People just have to move and experience the different options, the soft materials like velvet and wool are inviting them to sit, lay or hang on. The flowing forms and routes are almost forcing the employees to move.

Open and transparent

The different business spaces are surrounded by the transparent rooms. Their business spaces are completed based on the requirements of the different expertise’s. We know privacy is also important for the people who work here, so we used acoustic materials in dividing walls, which include plants. With curtains people can play around and make the space more or less transparent. The colors are soft and with a large variation. In one corner we’ve created a space for silence and concentration.

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Second life for the furniture

The majority of the existing furniture is reused. Together with our partner Furnify we gave the pieces a new look and feel with sustainable materials, so they would blend in perfectly in the new interior. Furnify added more second life products originating from other places, to make the story complete.

Federico Violato, lead designer D/DOCK: ‘By creating all these different spaces with different characters, we succeeded in our quest for the interior design for this global biotech firm. It’s stimulating interaction and serendipity between employees”.

Some employees mentioned already: “From the very first moment that I entered this new office, I met more colleagues then in the past two years. It’s a really inspiring environment to start conversation.”