Interview with a Partner – Office Design with a Purpose
When it comes to the new way of smart working, the Netherlands are trailblazers. More flexibility, activity based and mobile working; all things we’ve been doing for some time now. “The way we work has been changing, so it’s only logical our offices change with it”, Arnold Struik, Marketing and Innovation Director at Ahrend, tells me. Ahrend is a company that designs office spaces and decorates them with pieces of their own product lines as well as furniture by other designers. For Rotterdam, I Love You, they decorated the new Headquarters situated at the Kruiskade 50.
At Ahrend, design is a passion that’s not just esthetical but has a big ideological component as well. Struik: “It has been a trend for people to work from home, but that’s not always the best solution. In Ahrends opinion, work environments should be designed to connect people, to inspire employees as well as guests, and ensure people walk away with more energy than when they came in that morning. Diversity is also a big issue; the work we do and how we do it has become more diverse and of course all people are different to. This need for diversity has to be taken into account when designing and creating new work environments.”
Ahrend hasn’t been scared to incorporate technology into their work either. They have designed office spaces for every opportunity and every individual. Including a desk space that can be set to personal preferences with regards to light, temperature, sounds, with the touch of a button. There is even an app that shows you exactly where a free workspace can be found and where your colleagues are currently situated.
Over the last two years, Ahrend has created and (re)opened showrooms in key international hubs such as Dubai, London and Paris. It’s perhaps no surprise that one of those showrooms is also located in Rotterdam. Struik explains that Ahrends mentality goes hand in hand with that of Rotterdam. The modernist, the architecture, the cosmopolitan vibe. It’s a city that’s not afraid to be different and take on a pioneering role. Just like the company.
Recently Ahrend have remodeled their Rotterdam showroom into a true the Rotterdam Design Hub, not just for customers but also a space for designers and architects to come and be inspired. If you have the opportunity to decorate an office, make sure to stop by. If not, Ahrends work can also be admired in some more public places such as Erasmus MC, InHolland and BlueCity.
You may just have seen their work more often than you think.