The Space Age Work Space
On the 21st June 2011, Decos Technology Group, a Dutch company that specialises in high-tech digital storage, tracking and IT, officially opened its doors to their new headquarters in Noordwijk, NL. Now, before your eyes glaze over imagining you are about to read yet another press release, about yet another new build, for yet another tech company, try to dismiss these hasty preconceptions. Fortunately, this is definitely not a typical, run of the mill building, characterised by automatic double doors, opening into a banal centre of operations, revealing a standard office space.
Think more along the lines of a structure that resembles a fallen meteorite, symbolizing Decos Technology Groups belief in new concepts, original techniques and a fresh appreciation of what an office can be. Located in a space science park in Noordwijk, the setting feels more like Neptune than the Netherlands, not least because the reddish landscaping and smattering of rocks, ensuring that this HQ is a cut above the rest. With a picture perfect, ice-blue skin cut by uninterrupted window strips, there is a considered nod to the environment, with lots of natural light; no gas supply to the building, all the electricity coming from environmentally friendly power sources and a paperless office. A revolutionary workspace that looks blue but thinks green.
Decos Technology Group offers technologies that allow companies to move from a paper led office to a smooth running, digital environment and the unique design of the building can be seen as an ideal endorsement for the company’s innovative take on a modern office experience. Phasing out photocopying paper, Post-It Notes, and wastepaper baskets, and replacing tangible documents with iPads and technical devices, promoting purely digital recordings, may well be the way forward. Also, this concept of a paperless office, allowed the architects to reconsider the more traditional blueprints of office design as filling cabinets and storage spaces became null and void, with transient workstations and accommodating spaces taking their place. Backing their belief that workplaces are becoming more virtual, online and connected, Decos Technology Group needed a headquarters that reflected this innovative, inspired belief. The company wanted its head office to do two things. Firstly, it must articulate the paperless office perspective; and secondly, from a more functional standpoint, it should operate as an international hub for all of the team. Who could design, plan and execute such an eco and tech-savvy build?
This spectacular, futuristic workspace is the think tank of Dutch studio Inbo Architects. Jeroen Simons and Saxon-Lear Duckworth incorporated an open office style alongside
individual areas where employees can get together and talk shop privately. Ellis Kamerling formulated the interior, blurring the traditional stark lines between work and leisure areas. With no fixed desks, the space has activity-based working in mind: its 100 staff essentially turn up, choose a space and plug in their laptops. This fluidity is central to the design concept and employees are free to move around and work wherever is comfortable for that given task – based on their frame of mind, workload and need for confidential or interactive space. The lasting impression is that of a creative workshop environment, where work has never been more rewarding and in vogue.
Contemporary ways of working like this paperless model require architectural designs that can adapt to make the most of the modern way in which we communicate. With pillows and comfortable chairs taking the place of permanent workstations and archiving cabinets, the only question on my lips is where do I send my CV?
The Deco Technology Groups headquarters is one small step for office innovation, a giant leap for corporate life.