The Dutch branch of CBRE Group, the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm, has moved into its brand-new head office, The Core, located in a former garage in Amsterdam’s Schinkel district—an up-and-coming area with enormous potential where many creative companies are located.
“We were looking for a building with a layout that would offer plenty of room for our style of working. Refurbishing this former Peugeot garage is also consistent with our desire to renew and redevelop, breathing new life into an old building,” says Ramon Beijen, CBRE’s Creative Director. CBRE has thoroughly renovated the fifty-year-old building, applying new insights and innovations in the fields of sustainability, health, collaboration and technology.
The Core gets its name from a combination of two principles of the project: “co” for the first two letters of co-creation, and “re” for real estate. It’s a sentiment reflected in the space itself: the dynamic interior is virtually free of fixed frameworks.
According to Marco Hekman, Managing Director Continental Europe and CEO of CBRE Netherlands, The Core is not so much an office, but rather a meeting place in four zones: the CBRE Cafe, the Client Lab, the Workshop and the Library. The diversity of spaces gives employees the opportunity to choose the way of working that suits their needs best: meeting each other in an informal setting, getting together with a client to find a solution or working on an idea in silence.
Flexible Arper products including the Pix collection and functional yet aesthetic office furnishings such as Cross tables and Kinesit chairs make The Core a contemporary, softer workspace.
These interior selections were an important part of the development of the project. “CBRE’s The Core in Amsterdam is in all its essence transformed into a holistic workplace experience,” explains Beijen. “Unity through diversity was an important driver when choosing furniture. With their clean, timeless design, sophisticated, fresh colors, and own identity the Arper products really mix well and adapt easily to the work environment.”
CBRE is aiming for the highest possible standards in terms of sustainability and health. Insights from CBRE’s Healthy Offices research, which was conducted in collaboration with the University of Twente, have been applied to create a healthy working environment.
For example, there are features that optimize the quality of air, light and water in the building. Circadian lighting has been installed to support employees’ energy levels. Movement in and around the building is also encouraged and healthy food and drinks are available.
The Core has been refurbished to the WELL certificate standard, an internationally recognized certificate that promotes and protects the health and well-being of building users. It will also be LEED Gold-certified—a globally recognized standard for sustainable buildings.
“The world around us is constantly changing, and with it the needs of our customers are changing, too,” comments Beijen. “Companies are often inclined to look for answers to changing customer demands behind closed doors. However, it is actually by working directly with customers and other partners that new and surprising solutions can be found. We see co-creation as a way of working that will guide the way innovation comes about in the years to come."
Elected by both the jury and the audience, The Core won Large Office of the Year at the Frame Awards 2020, held in Amsterdam in February.