On a weekday morning, the ground floor of the Droste silo is empty. At nine o’ clock the big tables with computers slowly descends. A fresh new day begins! At the end of the day the workstations disappear back into the ceiling. The space is ready for another purpose: a lecture, a dinner, a party, a promotion of a new product, an exhibition or an evening Yoga class.
The design is achieved by multidisciplinary design team, Zecc Architecten, Heldergroen communication, and Vrolijk design & construction. The team collaborated on a design process where there was room for the different disciplines; innovation, discussion and change. Because of this collaboration a strong identity and high level of quality has been realized.
The space is a pleasant and creative atmosphere to work. It tells the story that Heldergroen wants to tell its clients: “sustainability and innovation can and may lead to attractive and profitable projects. And communication starts with showing who you really are.”
Three tables can be hoisted individually, which ensures the space can be flexible in the daytime. Most offices are used only 40 hours a week, but in the interior of studio Heldergroen the possibilities for evening and weekend activities are considerably increased, the tables being pulled up in the evening means the space can be let out for all kinds of different inspiring initiatives: from trading lady’s clothing to wine tasting. The hoisted table also acts as a deterrent to burglars.
In Studio Heldergroen, installations have been integrated in an industrial way. Most striking is of course the hoist, which is delivered by professionals from the theatre industry. They are used to working with large set pieces that have to be placed quietly and safely on the stage. The tables disappear in large boxes in the ceiling, where LED lights and acoustic facilities are integrated. The wiring of computers runs through ‘flexible white cable caterpillars’, derived from the medical industry.
The temperature regulation of the space is housed in the polished concrete floor. During winter there is hot water running through it, and in summer cold water for cooling. The natural ventilation passes through spiral radiators that either heat or cool the air.
The electric winches of the tables refer to the original use of the Droste silo. The choice for concrete, wood and steel came directly from the history of this place. The cupboard doors are made of rolled car doors and robust tables made of old telephone poles. The communicative power of the re-use of materials fits in perfectly with the message of the design team: Sustainability can be very sexy!
Studio Heldergroen has an all-glass facade on all three sides. This shows the space transparency and provides a fantastic view at the water and the center of the city of Haarlem from the inside. The studio has one complete closed side, where all supporting services are included that are necessary for the office such as a toilets, cloakroom, kitchen, closets and server room. The wall has a functional classification, but looks sculptural because of the integrated benches, cabinets and ceiling recesses for the hoisted tables.