Wood is good! The Pallet Project

by Rosanne van Tilburg on February 15, 2011

Last summer I realized an interior project together with a friend, Saxon Duckworth. We were asked how to temporarily furnish an office space situated in one of Amsterdam’s characteristic canal houses with an authentic, recyclable material: We choose to use the ubiquitous and plentiful EURO pallet. With standard dimensions of 800×1200 mm and an international proliferation thanks to the shipping industry, pallets, like shipping containers, are a good example of recyclable objects ripe for repurposing in both domestic and commercial spheres. Completed this summer, this stylish office contains a total of 270 pallets.

Pallet Project | MOST Architecture | pallet architecture

Located on the Brouwersgracht in the old city centre, the office is a narrow space, 27 metres deep with a split-level back area, and belongs to BrandBase, a branding and ‘consumer-activation’ company focusing on new media.

The stacked-pallet ‘desks’ are positioned along the longitudinal axis of an otherwise totally white surrounding space, with the pallets laid one on top of the other with small displacements. This instills the office ‘furniture’ with a visually dynamic character, while at the same time the workstations remain structurally sound. Even the stairs to the upper part of the split level – itself housing four additional desks intended for the management, plus a meeting/presentation room with a large pallet-table – have been made with an ingeniously jumbled pile of pallets. The stairs also serve to screen a sort of lunch or break table at the lower levels’ rear from the rest of the workspace. Behind that lies a studio area, where we took a different approach and installed white ikea desks in a gleaming, minimal arrangement that maintains a visual continuity – via its overall whiteness and the contrasting black accents of cables and desk chairs – with furnishings in the other areas, such as light fixtures and banisters.

Pallet Project | MOST Architecture | pallet architecture

With its open character and ‘catwalk’ aisle down the middle, the pallet landscape we designed facilitates interaction and movement in an unusual space, drawing visitors directly into an engagement with the workings of the company itself. Additionally, the offset pallet structure encourages flexible and alternative uses, such as sitting on its jutting edges, and this way we created an informal atmosphere among those who inhabit it daily.

Together with Brandbase we documented the entire design process and execution on the projects facebook page, allowing people to respond to what we were doing. Due to the the large amount of online and printed media attention the project had, the number of followers grew to over 500 and is still growing today.  

Some film footage and images worth to have a look at…

An interview with our hero carpenter! Eric Tijger alias “el Tigro”


Also check out the footage of the opening party and the construction period

images thanx to Rogier Jaarsma

Paul Geurts is an architect at GROUP A who is also part of the platform MOST Architecture, designers of the Pallet Project

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