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Eneco’s new headquarters

August 5, 2012

It seems not too long ago that offices had that Man Men feel: corporate, hierarchical, with the higher level employees in closed door spaces on the perimeter and a flurry of secretarial staff organized in cubicles on the interior. Ok, ok, so maybe it wasn’t all quite like that, but office design has been undergoing a shift towards a more social environment; one that promotes interaction, collaboration, and is a healthy space for employees to work. That certainly is true of Eneco‘s new headquarters in Amsterdam, designed by Hofman Dujardin Architects, in collaboration with Fokkema & Partners.

An energy company in the Netherlands, Eneco’s new space is designed with the idea of color coded “islands”, spaces populated with modular sofas and furnishings that provide an array of working environments. Furthering the concept of the “work anywhere” environment, the office only has 1,500 workstations for its 2,100 employees. This accounts for vacations and sick days but also signifies a shift in thinking about workstations as flexible, shared spaces rather than individually occupied.

The large central space, filled with light, welcomes employees with an espresso bar and seating area (this alone makes me want to work for Eneco). Three staircases lead from the ground floor to the second, encouraging employees to walk rather than take the elevator.

My favorite part of the office though, is the three-story living wall on the exterior, and the extension to the interior spaces.

The building has a rooftop solar array both on its roof and on the south-facing wall. Located in Rotterdam near the trail station, many employees use public transportation to commute and if they need to drive, the company has a small fleet of electric vehicles. What do you think of the design — would your office benefit from more flexible, shared-use space?

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