Interaction between the architects and the users of the building

by Michelle Wanten on March 18, 2015

Last Tuesday 17 March, Folkert van Hagen from GROUP A and Jurgen Bey from Studio Makkink & Bey delivered a lecture to the employees from the Municipality of Rotterdam on the design process of the interior. Their new offices are situated in the central tower of “De Rotterdam”.
A nice and interesting initiative: interaction between the architects and the users.

Folkert van Hagen and Jurgen Bey on the 37th floor in De Rotterdam. Folkert van Hagen and Jurgen Bey on the 37th floor in De Rotterdam.


By presenting our booklet on the whole process, they explained how the interior developed over time. Why, for example, did they decide to place furniture in the lift lobbies? And why is the reception area at the 22nd floor and not at the ground floor? Where did the fabric on the refurbished chairs come from? All facts and decisions were explained.

Folkert van Hagen explaining the design process. Folkert van Hagen explaining the design process.


After the lecture there was opportunity to discuss and ask questions. Although most people are happy in their new environment, it sometimes proves difficult to get used to the New Ways of Work and to work in, as we say, The Vertical City. For sure this needs time. Through explanation and discussion, GROUP A strives to facilitate this process.

For example, the 40th floor is a very crowded floor, people come and go all day. It’s difficult to work there fully concentrated, as one of the staff mentioned. Jurgen Bey explained that the 40th is the most popular floor because of its fantastic view over the city. People are attracted to go there and look at the city they work for. So if you like interaction it is the right floor to choose, but if not, you better choose a floor where it is more quiet. The New Ways of Work! Choose the working environment that suits you best at that particular moment, and be flexible.

For all parties the afternoon was interesting and useful. Learning the background of the design helps staff to understand more about their new environment and the remarks and questions that were raised on their side helps us to improve this project, but for sure upcoming ones.

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