Superheroes’ Amsterdam Offices

  • Client Superheroes,
  • size 5,166 sqft
  • Year 2014
  • Location Amsterdam, Netherlands,
  • Industry Advertising / Marketing,
  • Simon Bush-King Architecture & Urbanism has designed a new office space on a budget of roughly “the smell of a slightly oily rag” for Amsterdam-based digital agency Superheroes.

    Our clients, digital agency Superheroes have been growing on the back of some recent viral video hits. Requiring room for new sidekicks and their cape collection they found a fantastic, light filled space for their new hideout. However a short lease of 3 years dictated a budget which was a ¼ that of a ‘normal’ low budget for fit-out work. To put it another way their budget would cover 120m2 of their 480m2 studio.

    Carpet bomb or targeted strike

    Our approach developed our client’s wishes, visual expression and construction method in unison. We accepted that corners create charter. Locating three much needed meeting rooms in the corners of the large open space we introduced flexible spaces in between for the myriad of tasks that defy description in studio work environments, the casual chat, quick review or private phone call

    The search for a strong expression and cheap construction method led us to OSB (oriented strand board) and a CNC machine.  100 sheets were cut using 21 century technology and assembled like it were the Middle Ages with pine dowels joining each of the custom made frames for the meeting rooms and most of the furniture.  Double glazed windows fit within each frame and are also held together with wooden dowels.  There are only a handful of screws in the whole project that has been built to be disassembled should the office move in a few years.

    50 hanging plants along with movable whiteboards and storage units divide the space into project areas.  A long table under the central atrium is the focus of the studio where a stage curtain offers a range of ways to use the space from dividing one side from the other to a totally enclosed meeting room.  A tight budget and brief give way to a spot of whimsy along the back wall where an ice-cream cone turns a Llama into a unicorn from which a caped superheroe precariously dangles.

    The studio adopts a simple, clean expression using elements of Superheroes own identity. However for us, the real lesson from this project was how to retain rigour while stretching a budget.

    Design: Simon Bush-King Architecture & Urbanism
    Design team: Simon Bush-King, Joti Weijers-Coghlan, Sarah Rowlands, Angel Sanchez Navarro, Pilar Nobio, Paco Pomares , Pamplona, CNCJasper Kuijl
    Wall art: TelmoMiel from Shop Around
    Photography: Alan Jensen