Spaces Heherengracht, Amsterdam

The Brief

Spaces BV wanted to create a new concept space of serviced offices where small to medium start-up businesses and freelancers could base themselves with shared social and support facilities. They wanted to place an emphasis on a personalised, homely environment to encourage interaction and collaboration between the different tenants, and for the space to act as a local hub for other local businesses to take advantage of the meeting and catering facilities.

As this was Spaces BV’s first testing project, the success or failure was going to inform their future developments, and a key part of the project was to develop a unique visual identity for the concept space.

The Challenge

The six-storey building was originally purpose-designed as a social security benefits office. Designed around an external light well, over the years several haphazard extensions had been added to the main building over the years, resulting in a disorganised maze of dilapidated rooms.

The Solution

Reshaping the interior of the building maximised the available space, whilst covering the internal courtyard with a glazed roof provided an internal focus for all floors. Introducing connecting balconies across the narrow end of the atrium allowed a visual, dynamic connection between the office floors and the ground floor atrium as well as extra space for us to add more individual offices.

We made the ground floor into the social heart of the building, placing the reception, administrative offices, repro services and a café and kitchen to cater for all 50 tenants. We also designed seating and work areas for people to work and hold informal meetings in, thus transforming it into a vibrant, working space.

Installing fully glazed shop windows allowed more natural light to flow into the building and gave great views over the canal. A new courtyard was built towards the rear of the building, onto which the lounge, library and meeting rooms of the Business Club all faced.

The Reaction

“In our search for the ultimate flexible and inspirational ‘public’ office concept, Sevil and her team really guided us. Therefore they are partly responsible for the success of all Spaces locations. Their years of experience in office design concepts really shows. They are professional, inspirational and fun. We are very fortunate to work with them.”Frederique Keuning, Managing Director and Co-Founder, Spaces

Following the success of this project, we are currently developing future projects for Spaces BV in both the Netherlands and UK, building on the same concepts. Press coverage of this project included Interieur and OnOffice.

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Guido Thie