The creation of new office space for multinational corporation Google has been hailed as a great success.
The new offices were created for the members of the Google Amsterdam team and were installed into an existing Google facility.
Located in the Southern part of Amsterdam, the office is regarded as an intelligent workspace which provides staff with the correct working environment from which to excel in each role. Now complete, the newly refurbished office – which covers 3,000 sq meters – has a dynamic new look which not only enhances services, but also offers a few quirky touches here and there.
Taking inspiration from Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin’s original base of operations, the new office space includes graffiti walls, cardboard box lights and of course the latest technology. The offices are split across four floors and give a nod to typically Dutch elements including Stroopwafel ceiling panels and Delft Blue graphics in the site’s restaurant.
Each floor features its own cave; the zone build around the core of the building where all general facilities such as meeting rooms, huddle rooms, video booths and micro kitchens are located. Meanwhile for those wanting to spice up their meeting, the real life sixties caravan in the middle of the office is the solution.
Speaking to Premier Hospitality about the project, Gerard Schouten, Senior Project Manager at Stevens Van Dijck, who was responsible for the project management, said:
“I was involved from day one, setting up the tender process. Once we had all the design aspects in place I worked with Google to select the main contractor and then in my role as senior project manager I oversaw the whole scheme and ensured that all works were completed to Google’s standards. We knew from the start what the goal was, we agreed on a budget and we managed to remain within the construction programme throughout. There were challenges along the way, but nothing that couldn’t be dealt with.”
“This was the first time I had worked with Google and it was great for me to have the opportunity to work with them. Google is a ‘well oiled’ machine, with a lot of projects going on throughout Europe and the rest of the world. To work for Google was very important to me.
“Once work was completed, Google informed me that we had managed the project in such a way that they did not need to spend as much time focusing on the scheme as they usually would. I took a great deal of the work out of their hands and I am pleased that they had the confidence in me to complete the project in the way that they had planned.”
Leading design studio, D/DOCK was the interior design architect on the project, whilst De Combi was the main contractor. Work began on the project in summer 2012 and reached completion in January 2014.
D/DOCK Interior Architect, Edward Van Der Poll, said:
“From a group of around six interior design firms, we were chosen by Google to work on their new offices. We made our pitch and shortly after the selection process we started on the design.”
Whilst working on the project, D/DOCK and the contractor kept an open line of communication with members of the sales and marketing department, in order to ensure that the office met the exact requirements of the end users.
“Our job was to create a feel good office. It needed to become an environment where the employee could perform better by offering facilities that meet their needs and suit their lifestyle. We had to think about whether the space offered enough daylight, the use of healthy materials and how and where to reuse furniture.
“In March 2014 we took part in a review, where we sat down with the user group, which comprised different members of the sales and marketing group. The feedback from the team was very positive and they were very pleased with the result. Staff members now have an office space where they can do exactly what they need to do and this includes, what Google refer to as the ‘tech talk’, a 70-seater auditorium which is a fantastic addition.”
During the works, walls were removed, an inner core was created and a 360° free space was developed so that staff can pass through without any dividers. In addition, the restaurant now benefits from a direct view of the outside, making meal times even more enjoyable.
“Creating this view was something we had to do and it was something which Google hadn’t realised they needed. This change was a real eye opener.”
Working on a project for Google was very important for D/DOCK, but one which the practice never took lightly. However, the real impact of working with Google only became apparent once the project was completed.
“You hear that you are invited for a pitch and straight away you think, ‘wow this is something we need to win’. We were happily surprised to learn that the pitch fulfilled Google’s expectations. They liked our idea of a 360° free space around the core and we took it from there. Google had some requirements which we could use as guidelines but in the end we had quite a degree of freedom, allowing us to bring in new ideas.
“Working on this project was great. Many new clients, both national and international, now reach out to us directly after seeing the Google Amsterdam offices. In many ways the design process was like any other, but it was after we had finished the project that we realised what we had been involved with. Working on something as big as Google is remarkable.
“Google are so pleased with their new offices that they like to take their customers for a tour around the offices and now they can use the tech talk to accommodate guests in a way they couldn’t do before.”
Working on small-scale to large projects, Lomans Groep specialises in electrical installations, including security systems, cameras and data systems. Lomans Groep has been in operation for 95 years and within this time has worked on many prestigious projects including works for Dutch train organisation ProRail.
Working on Google Amsterdam, Lomans Groep was responsible for all the electrical installations on the project.
Johan Wortel of Lomans Groep, said:
“Working on a project like this one for Google was extremely important for us. Google is a huge, global organisation and it is great for our portfolio.”
“At Lomans Groep we are like a family. We are not too big or too small and our lines of communication are good and direct.”