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ahrendmgzn H U M A N I S I N G _ S PA C E S


05 JUMBO M MVSA Architects on modern ofďŹ ce design AHREND 2020

12 Workspace with view

of Wembley Stadium

18 THE ADVANTAGES OF MOVEMENT WHILST SITTING 24 Marga Hoek on sustainable enterprise


4 Events update

5 Expertise at Jumbo

10 Products update

11 Kees van Puijenbroek column

12 Brent Council’s new offices

14 Bestever Pinar Calimano

15 Projects update

16 University study space

18 Ergonomics Movement whilst sitting

20 Fitness at the office

22 Ahrend Loungescape

24 Sustainable enterprise

26 Spotlight Total solution

Competition You could win The Design Book! What would you like to read about in Ahrend MGZN? About a particular project, product, person or something else? E-mail your idea to We will raffle this wonderful book among the entrants. The Design Book gives an overview of the crème de la crème of current interior design: from tables and chairs to sofas, bathrooms, textiles and electronics.

C O L O F O N A H R E N D M G Z N IS A KONINKLIJKE AHREND N.V. PUBLICATION Editing: Dorine Boon, Gideon van der Burg, Chris Overdevest, Natasja Verheij, Annemieke Wolff With contributions from: Lonneke Gillissen, Birgitta van Langeveld, Wil Koning, Ed Lonnee, Annemiek Planting, Mieke van Poll, Rodney Saldanha, Marijn Scheeres, Rennie Vernooij Concept and production: Scripta Media BV, Amsterdam Art direction and design:, Haarlem : Grafimedia, Amsterdam Printing: Drukkerij Roelofs, Enschede CORRESPONDENCE ADDRESS: KONINKLIJKE AHREND N.V., POSTBUS 12390, 1100 AJ AMSTERDAM, +31 (0) 88 006 00 00. © 2013. NO PART OF THIS PUBLICATION MAY BE COPIED OR REPRODUCED WITHOUT EXPRESS PERMISSION FROM AHREND. NO RIGHTS CAN BE DERIVED FROM THE CONTENTS OF THIS PUBLICATION. IF YOU WOULD PREFER TO STOP RECEIVING AHREND MGZN, PLEASE EMAIL YOUR CONTACT DETAILS TO COMMUNICATIONS@AHREND.COM STATING ‘CANCELLATION’.



Dutch design, international entrepreneurship In English, the word Dutch is often associated with economy: to go Dutch, a Dutch treat, a Dutch auction. Many of these expressions come from a time when the Netherlands was a great maritime power. The entrepreneurial Dutch had a reputation for being economical they were tough negotiators. Since Royal Ahrend’s roots are in the Netherlands, this international entrepreneurship and economy are in our nature. In a good way, of course. The Dutch design characteristic of Ahrend is recognised internationally for its simplicity and well-thought-out minimalism. Sleek, functional office furniture, designed with the user in mind. Highly ergonomic and adjustable for users of all shapes and sizes. Sustainable, due to parts that can be reused in the future. But also suitable for industrial production, and therefore affordable. We have been among the top European companies in the sector for more than twenty years. Ahrend is known internationally among architects and customers for its recognisable DNA: Dutch design, high-quality ergonomics and sustainability. Thanks to Ahrend’s international entrepreneurial spirit, we are now expanding abroad. So it’s PHOTOGRAPHY: ED LONNEE

time to send our customer magazine

Eugène Sterken, CEO Koninklijke Ahrend NV

across the border. Activity Based Working remains an important theme. The Netherlands is a leader in this field. As a ‘workspace expert’, Ahrend has a wide range of workspace furniture to optimise working free from the constraints of place and time. From concentration workspaces to inspiring

communal areas where colleagues can meet at the office for discussions or brainstorming. From complete Smarter Working concepts to a simple office island. Ergonomically sound, sustainable and always Dutch. In the most positive sense of the word.



Activity Based Working Workshop ICT, HR and facility managers from various industries share experience and inspiration. No organisation is the same. How does ABW fit into your company? Work towards flexible and creative solutions together with the other participants.

C2C-Café Together with Desso, Interwand and Koninklijke Mosa, Ahrend organises the C2C-Café in the Netherlands. Previous themes this year have been: C2C possibilities within healthcare and C2C and area development. Missed a C2CCafé? You can experience the cafés again

Best chair

On 26 November, the ARC Award for Chair Design was awarded in cooperation with Ahrend. The Award is part of the ARC event, which puts Dutch and Belgian architecture and product design centre stage.


at The

Ineke Hans at Clerckenwell Design Week

dates for new C2C-Cafés are also listed

An early breakfast of Dutch chocolate sprinkles in London. That’s how you

here. The next is on 24 October and will

attract attention. On one of the three days of the Clerkenwell Design Week

be about C2C and design. Come along!

in May, designer Ineke Hans gave a presentation on behalf of Ahrend about the Ahrend 380 chair. The architects and designers appreciated the breakfast and especially enjoyed the story behind the chair. Ineke Hans: “This is what I try to do - to weave the experimental together with the business and commercial world. It works best in this kind of setting, where commerce and design come together naturally”.


The Provada real estate exhibition was held in Amsterdam at the beginning of June. The FM Square theme area was new this year. Nicole van de Wal, interior architect at Ahrend, spoke about how to create future-proof furnishings.

Take a look at or scan this QR-code for more information about upcoming events.



Office of the future





There were three elements to Jumbo’s commission for MVSA Architects: design a building that fits with our organisation, characterises our relationship with water and ensures synergy and openness. TEXT:

Wil Koning DOUBLE PORTRET: Marijn Scheeres PROJECT PHOTOGRAPY: Hans Morren




The result is a spacious building that creates an optimal connection between the environment and the water. At the centre of the building is the atrium, linking the different floors by an open staircase, and serving as the meeting place for the building. The connection between the inside

“The atrium connects the floors and acts as a meeting place”

and outside is strengthened by the use of materials like bamboo on both sides. The colour of the white façade lines follows through to the inside, giving the building a nautical character and a light interior.


The overall design is distinctive and fits with the

Architect Beate Schröder, part of the MVSA

identity of the company.”

project team and responsible for the interior: “The function of the atrium promotes synergy


within the building. There is an open connec-

The open floors ensure high flexibility, which fits

tion between the four floors, which encourages

with Smarter Working. For the office furniture,

interaction between departments and

Ahrend was chosen as an experienced advisor and

employees. The large illuminated banners,

producer. Beate: “We were already familiar with

displaying photographs of the company’s core

Ahrend through other projects. They have

activities and spanning the full height of the

beautiful, functional products and respond well

atrium further strengthen Jumbo’s identity.

to the clients’ wishes.” The choice of white desks

Aside from the design of the counter, pantries,

with side partitions and wooden desktops

copy rooms, boardroom and restaurant, each

anticipates the use of material in the building.

floor of the office was also divided into flexible

Ahrend are very flexible and prepared to meet

open and closed workspaces, discussion areas,

specific wishes in terms of material use. Their

concentration spaces and meeting places.

furniture also meets sustainability requirements.

ROBERTO MEYER, DIRECTOR AND CO-FOUNDER OF MVSA ARCHITECTS, ON JUMBO: “Jumbo operates in the field of specialist shipping. This in itself makes the location of the new head office unique. Right on the Nieuwe Maas river, with a view over Rotterdam. The company’s nautical character was an important starting point for the design. You can see the Nieuwe Maas from anywhere in the building.”

ARCHITECT BEATE SCHRÖDER HAS BEEN WORKING FOR MVSA SINCE 2002. She has worked on a range of prominent interior design commissions such as: NautaDutilh, Amsterdam; 2002 - 2004 Ahrend trade fair stand in Kortrijk for launch of Ahrend 1200 table; 2004 - 2005 PPP Renovation of Ministry of Finance, The Hague; 2004 - 2008 PPP Kromhout Kazerne, Utrecht; 2006 - 2012 New Babylon, The Hague; 2003 - 2013 Sustainability studies for new Nuon offices, Amsterdam; 2011 Jumbo Offices, Schiedam; 2010 - 2013 SOZAWE, Groningen; 2010 - 2013




Colour and sound Beate: “The colour plan fits with the character of the building and the organisation. We have used whites and blues with wood, a logical choice, given the building’s maritime feel. Due to the consistent presence of the atrium, the heart of the

“A warm, comfortable atmosphere has been created”

building, we chose to use a consistent material scheme throughout the building.” Of course the open spaces around the atrium need good acoustics. We delivered this by choosing absorbent materials, like special ceiling tiles, wall coverings, flooring and rugs, for example. “We heard that people actually find it a little bit quiet now,” says Roberto Meyer. tones have been chosen for the desks and

Warm and comfortable

representative furniture - beautiful, strong materials

Caren Pardovitch, of Caren Pardovitch Interior

in different textures and tough leather. The desks

Design, was invited to join the project team by the

are fitted with low dividers, upholstered in felt

client. She was tasked with translating the client’s

and providing good acoustics. They also have side

wishes in terms of the atmosphere in the new

partitions, so individuals do not become lost in the

building into specifics. “In this project we don’t

space, despite the completely open atrium. There

see any dominant primary colours, stainless steel

is a personal, laid-back, tranquil atmosphere, in

or chrome. A warm, comfortable atmosphere has

which employees feel at home. And all this in a

been created, in which a range of natural wood

space with a surface area of 5,750 m2.’’

BEAUTIFUL AND FUNCTIONAL Maarten Nijman, Jumbo project leader, on the end result: “Compared to our previous office, comfort has been increased at every level: in terms of the ergonomics, aesthetics, acoustics, air-conditioning system and facility services. Internal contact has also increased, thanks to the transparency of the connecting atrium. Just as the link with the water has improved our office staff’s connection with our fleet of ships. Now when colleagues are sailing through Rotterdam harbour they beep and wave at each other.”


Timeless Revolt chairs and the view over the water make this a relaxing space to work in.

CAREN PARDOVITCH: “There is a personal, laid-back, tranquil atmosphere, in which employees feel at home.’’

The Ahrend 370 chairs work very well in the presentation space. The desks are efficient and sleek, with Ahrend Four_Two and Ahrend 2020.



Three-dimensional Ahrend Kaigan, based on the traditional Dutch wicker beach chair, can now be upholstered with some very striking fabrics. The textures make the print appear almost three-dimensional. Also suitable for other soft seating products. Warmth Ahrend Team Up modular system is now also available with upholstered walls. This ensures excellent acoustics and a warm atmosphere, creating a pleasant working environment.


Beautiful, comfortable, ergonomic and sustainable. And the brand new Ahrend 190 is available in a wide range of colours. Need we say more?

Lounges Double-sided

The Ahrend 750 Lounge and Ahrend Loungescape

Handy! The Ahrend sliding

are suitable for both efďŹ cient working and relaxing.

door cabinet can now be

The Ahrend 750 Lounge is not only a great, colourful

opened on both sides.

meeting space - it is also ergonomically sound. You

So it is not only a storage

can comfortably work there all day. For shorter periods

space, but also a dividing

of work, the Ahrend Loungescape is ideal.


Take a look at or scan this QR-code for more information about the products

_ 10

You can read more about Ahrend Loungescape on page 22.


Kees van Puijenbroek After finishing his MSc in Architecture at Eindhoven University of

Technology, Kees van Puijenbroek completed management training at TiasNimbas Business

School and Twynstra Gudde. He worked as a management consultant at various companies

and then became a director, at Veldhoen + Company, the founder of Activity Based Working in the Netherlands. Since 2011 he has been Managing Director of ReOffice, which assists

organisations in adjusting their working style and working environment to meet modern requirements and capabilities.

Activity Based Working does not exist Activity Based Working - the term is used so much that it has lost its meaning. In fact, Activity Based Working does not exist. The fact that you can log in anywhere, and it is therefore easier to work free from the constraints of place and time, does not mean that everyone will naturally find their way.

The brightly coloured brainstorm corners and calm concentration

workspaces are great. And of course flexible working hours and the ability to log in anywhere give employees more freedom. But they also require greater personal responsibility, more self-management and making clear agreements. It is no longer a given that you will be sitting with the rest of your department. Managers often demand increased transparency in their employees’ working methods, in order to remain in control of the team. So you could be forgiven for thinking that Activity Based Working brings as many obligations as freedoms.

Nobody is the same. One employee will be more successful in

managing their own time and setting up their own workspace than another, staying in touch with colleagues and remaining involved in the department. As well as remembering to shut the virtual office door often enough, freedom does not mean happiness for everyone. New physical and mental working environments will require more and more personal responsibility.

A warm coat.

Working free from the constraints of time and place

- for want of a better definition for Activity Based Working - can only flourish if the employer pays as much attention to the interests of customers and

People should be allowed to choose a working method that suits them.

staff as to the organisation. So taking individual differences into account is extremely important. People should be allowed to choose a working method that suits them. Introducing flexible workspaces, coffee corners and Skype spaces is only decoration - the clothes do not make the man. Managers must set clear goals for the organisation, contribute personally to the development and implementation of new working concepts and convey the benefits of these through their own behaviour. Only then can the manager, employee and customer find a working method that fits like a warm coat.


myworkspace ENERGY EFFICIENT “There are energy-efficient solutions all around the building. The energy-efficient lighting, for example, which works using light and movement sensors. This prevents unnecessary energy


consumption if a whole team is somewhere else holding a meeting or if there is enough daylight.”

LOCKERS ’’You can leave all your personal belongings in your own locker. It’s useful to be able to leave some things at the office.”

TIDY “If you are away from your desk for more than an hour and a half, you have to clear it for a colleague to use. Our clear desk policy is quite strict. We’re not supposed to put personal items like photo frames on our flexidesks.”


Light, modern and with a view _ 12

“This light, open workspace gives me energy” C H R ISTINA B LAC K MAN is Civic Centre Project coordinator at the London Borough of Brent. Brent is an area of North-West London with around 300,000 inhabitants. DAYLIGHT “Thanks to

Construction of the main office where

the large windows and good

Christina works was completed this

blinds, we make optimal

summer. Smarter Working was the

use of the daylight. We

basis for the furnishing in the building.

often don’t need artificial

Although in principle Christina and

light, which also means we

her colleagues have a ‘permanent’

don’t need as much cooling

department to head to on work

during the summer months.

days, Christina never uses the

The heating and cooling is

same desk two days in a row. “I do

through sustainable heat

always have a view of Wembley

pumps that use ambient

in ‘my’ department. But I can also


often be found in a break-out zone, a meeting room or a quiet room. I really try to use the different options


as much as possible, depending on

to the double glazing and

my work.”

excellent insulation there is no noise nuisance during events at Wembley Stadium. It’s great being nearby, we recently saw the jury and all the participants arriving for the London X factor auditions.”

COLOUR ACCENT “The bright green colour of the lockers and chair seats provides a welcome accent, as the rest of the furnishings are calming, practical blacks, greys and metals.”

EASY TO ADJUST “The chairs and some of the desks can be set to your ideal posture in seconds. I only adjust the chair. Taller or smaller colleagues can sit at an adjustable desk.” Read more about Ahrend 2020 on page 18.







FREELANCE INTERIOR DESIGNER PINAR CALIMANO (DUBAI) ON THE MEHES, BY FRISO KRAMER “If I have to recommend a desk to a client, I choose Mehes, especially in managers’ offices. I think this choice has to do with the combination of a unique appearance and high flexibility. The desk is striking, because of the unusual shape of the table top, but at the same time it can be used in any working environment. However, the real reason my clients and I often choose Mehes is the fact that the slim, sleek table top is very durable and truly timeless.

put together desk. Ahrend 350 chair.”

_ 14

It’s just a well

My favourite finish? The walnut table top, with the white leather


Open-plan offices Heineken, Amsterdam (NL) The new Heineken offices were completely renovated in 2013. Employees now work in Lease-it Danone, Utrecht (NL)

open-plan offices, according to Smarter Working principles. To create privacy and reduce ambient noise, acoustic sliding-door cabinets and workspaces with upholstered walls are used.

In June, all 450 employees of Danone moved from five different buildings to the brand new Danone Innovation Centre in Utrecht. They will be sitting very comfortably for the next five years at least - the entire furnishings have been leased for this period.

PROJECTS Logistical challenge ING DiBa, Frankfurt (D)

Over ten days, more than 2,000 workspaces were completed furnished in the heart of Frankfurt city centre. A prestigious ING DiBa project, using only sit-stand workspaces, which deliver ergonomic advantages. See also page 20.

Panorama Brent Council, London (UK) Employees at Brent Council in London not only have a beautifully furnished office, they got a great view as a free gift. Not everyone can say they look out at Wembley Stadium every day! Read more on page 12.

Take a look at or scan this QR-code for more information about the projects.



HEAD OF PUBLIC SERVICES FOR THE UVA, ROBIN VAN SCHIJNDEL: “Our library was set up as a quiet place. But students will now be using the space to work together, and we want to introduce round tables, the right acoustics and good seating. As well as whiteboards, screens, coffee facilities, lighting, separate rooms and a wireless network. Ahrend’s design proposal truly met all our requirements. We also carried out two student evaluations - both times there were no comments. The students really liked the Ahrend Loungescape furniture”.


University of Amsterdam: “We wanted to create a very modern study space at the university library. A kind of study space of the future.” MYRTHE R UYS , I N T E R I O R A R C H I T E C T AT A H R E N D : “These days, students regularly study in small groups. There were no facilities for this. We first produced a layout plan, which showed the various features. The exact round tables the university liked, fit between the pillars by the windows, for example. Mobile, upholstered screens, which also function as whiteboards, can be placed between the tables to separate them. Using the high-backed Ahrend Loungescape furniture, we created quiet spaces for group work as well as good acoustics. What’s special about our solution is the fact that we brought back the traditional atmosphere of study, in a modern space. To do this, we printed old library posters on the walls and emphasised the atmosphere through the use of materials and fabrics. The colour scheme is completely modern.”

500 m


120 study seats + 3 spaces available for booking + High Density wireless network

Booths for 5-6 students _ 16

Ahrend Loungescape

Ahrend 380 tables and chairs

Ahrend Move-it


retro, using brown and orange as well as more modern blue and yellow. A nod to the past, yet


“What’s special about our solution is the fact that we brought back the traditional atmosphere of study, in a modern space.” 17_



Movement whilst sitting Alongside health and efficient working, Ahrend puts user comfort above everything else. The design of the Ahrend 2020 office chair demonstrates this. Ergonomics comes first.

When employees feel physically and mentally well, this creates a pleasant working atmosphere. Comfortable working also improves employees’ motivation and because the pleasure they take in their work increases, employees’ creativity increases, along with their personal success. In fact, ergonomics

begins with the office building. The location, design and furnishing of an office influences the working environment. If you are sitting comfortably but the light or use of colour is not optimised, you will not produce the best possible work.

Seating comfort Focusing on the ergonomic vision of placing the person at the centre of the design, Ahrend designer Kees de Boer and designer Paul Brooks did

Ahrend designer KEES DE BOER

everything to ensure Ahrend 2020 had the most comfortable design possible. “The seat is supported on the left and right rather than in the middle and this is an innovative feature. So the seat is springy and employees sit with their most vulnerable part, the lower back, resting on a flexible element”, explains Brooks. “Grooves in the seat gives the lower back even more room”. The backrest is no longer a rigid support covered with padded foam - instead, the flexible mesh conforms completely to the body. This optimal support prevents back and neck pain. With Ahrend 2020 you move without noticing. This is essential to keep the human body healthy. Movement is the common


thread through Ahrend’s vision on seating.

Intuitive The chair also meets the Dutch Code of Practice (Nederlandse Praktijk Richtlijn - NPR). Since the Dutch population has the greatest height diversity in Europe, there are extensive adjustment options. This was a challenge in the development of the backrest, for example, explains Paul Brooks: “In accordance with the Code of Practice, it had to be possible for the armrest to be set both very wide and very narrow. It also had to be possible to raise and lower this as well as move it forwards and backwards, of course. A tricky combination. We succeeded by integrating the armrest into the backrest”. The designers also wanted to conceal the chair’s mechanism. De Boer: “There are very few handles Watch Paul Brooks describe his chair himself in this video

_ 18

and buttons. Thanks to the pictograms, employees do not need to look up how to use the chair. Its operation is intuitive. In terms of aesthetics, it’s nice that the seat is very flat and compact, and very little of the mechanism is visible”. The result: happy users and proud designers.

High, flexible backrest Adjustable thigh-body angle Intuitively adjustable from seated position

Solid seat foam ensures even distribution of pressure and a stable seat

FACTS & FIGURES Concealed technology Controls easy to locate without looking Infinite comfort Can be immediately adjusted for each user and activity

Ergonomic grooves aligned with pressure distribution, in order to optimise ventilation and seating comfort

Lumbar support

Exceeds all national and international ergonomic standards Ergonomically shaped Extraverta backrest All functions can be operated from seated position Cradle to Cradle Silver certification

Synchromechanism with comfort slide and tilt mechanism

Adjustable seat height,

seat depth and armrests

100 percent recyclable

The better the pressure distribution, the better the seating comfort.

The seat should distribute the user’s weight as evenly as possible.

This was tested extensively in the development phase.



FITNESS AT THE OFFICE We work better at a good workspace. In fact, a good workspace designed with health in mind is among the top 10 most important elements for a good job. Tips and facts about ergonomics.


Wil Koning


Birgitta van Langeveld

Ergonomics The term ergonomics comes from the Greek ‘ergon’ (work) and ‘nomos’ (law) and aims to protect employees’ health and safety.

Static load We often sit in the same posture too often and for too long. Static load on the body is the cause of a lot of back, neck and arm pain. It’s important to vary your posture and the type of work you are doing. Luckily there are office chairs that give exactly the right support and even ensure that you move without realising, whilst you are sitting.

Working standing up A sit-stand desk increases the variation in your working posture throughout the day. A number of investigations have shown that sit-stand desks lead to reduced back, neck and shoulder complaints, in comparison with a normal desk only used sitting down (Karlqvist, 1998; Hedge and Ray, 2004; Konijn et al., 2008; Choi, 2010). It should be noted that working standing up applies greater loads than working sitting down. If work is carried out whilst standing up too often or for too long, discomfort among employees actually increases. A bar arrangement with flexible standing tables provides space for creativity and is the most positive set-up (TNO).

_ 20


Working standing up - adjust height of desk to create 90 degree angle at elbow.

4% 12%

A highly adjustable office

chair can increase productivity by 4%.

People who work at a

sit-stand desk are 10-12% Smarter working In 2013 the number of mobile workers around the world increased to more than 1.19 billion, or 35% of all workers. 20% of all employees occasionally work at home. The most common places to work are: a sofa (31%), at the kitchen table (29%) or in bed (21%). Among alternative non-office environments, 12% work on the train, 12% in a hotel, 4% on the bus, 2% in a café and 3% on the floor! Only 8% of all employees have a proper workspace at home. (Peter Vink)

more productive.

Meetings held standing up are around a third shorter and deliver the same quality. 41% of people who work at computer screens suffer


from RSI. That’s 1.3 million people. Total damage due

to RSI = € 1.26 billion a year in wages and losses.

Desktop: Desktop height very slightly lower than armrest. Armrest: Relax shoulders. Upper arms should hang alongside body, forearms should lie on armrest. Upper arms and forearms should form a 90 degree angle.


Seat height: Set the seat height to create a 95 degree angle between the thighs and shins. Place feet flat on the floor or on a footrest.

Screen: For the correct viewing angle, the top edge of the screen should be at eye level.

Desk height When sharing workspaces, it is important that the furniture is highly adjustable and easy to operate, and that all employees know how to adjust a workspace. If you use a flexidesk, take the time to set everything up correctly. If you wear different shoes from day to day, remember that heels or flat soles can make 3 cm of difference. Set everything up again.



“All that’s missing is your cup of coffee” Using the phone, e-mailing, holding a meeting or discussion, philosophising and concentrating. The Ahrend Loungescape modular furniture blocks facilitate all these functions and offers an infinite number of different configurations. The flexible, modular range is a great success, which will be reinforced by additions to be launched in early 2014.

DE S I GNE R B ASTEN LEIJ H developed Ahrend Loungescape as well as ‘version 2.0’, adapted to employees’ changing requirements. Leijh: “Mobile working is increasingly popular and this requires light and electricity. We have therefore added power sockets to the bases and armrests”.

Ahrend Loungescape is referred to as the ideal ‘Lego’ system for architects and designers.

Open spaces are increasingly important thanks to new working methods. This means fewer individual workspaces, although employees do sometimes need them. Leijh: “These can now be created using a number of modular elements - table included! The highest of the new Loungescape walls is 1.95 m, which allows you to create a room within a room”.

_ 22

Group work and meetings are made even easier with the updated Ahrend Loungescape. Try placing two soft seated sofas with a roof and side walls (a bit like a bus stop) opposite each other.

With the integration of audiovisual equipment, the walls can also be used for interactive meetings.

The Ahrend Loungescape tables are designed for informal discussions, conference calls and long formal consultations.

Leijh: “The individual concentration booth is enclosed on three sides and allows you to work in peace. Wardrobes, printing facilities, quiet rooms and meeting rooms are no longer structural solutions either”.

The Loungescape element that creates a 30 degree corner is also new, making new configurations possible. Leijh: “Employees can now create a circle for group work or discussion”. Take a look at

“Of course there is space to relax too, with a new range of cushions to make the soft seating even more comfortable”, concludes Leijh. All that’s missing is your cup of coffee. or scan this QR-code for more information and the current Ahrend Loungescape options.



SUSTAINABLE ENTERPRISE Successful enterprise in a sustainable economy. De Groene Zaak’s philosophy in a nutshell. It’s no surprise that Ahrend was one of the founding members of this Dutch platform for innovative, sustainable entrepreneurs. We presented Marga Hoek (Director of De Groene Zaak) and Eugène Sterken (CEO of Ahrend) with a number of statements about sustainability. Where are we, what does the future hold and what is sustainable enterprise all about?




There is no such thing as sustainable purchasing or tendering.

_ 24

MARGA HOEK: Sustainable purchasing is often

EUGÈNE STERKEN: The government’s purchasing process

confused with ‘purchasing sustainable products’. Then

remains traditional and is driven by European tendering

you quickly become caught up in a complicated question:

procedures. So the purchasing decision is dominated by the

what is sustainability? True sustainable purchasing means

initial purchase price, rather than the total added value that we

leaving the classic purchasing or tendering process behind. You

can offer as a supplier. The significance of timeless design or

no longer purchase based on the ‘lowest price’ or specific fixed

quality and therefore the option to reuse in the future do not

specifications. Instead, you present the market with an open

play an important role. In this sense, the European tender-

question based on the functions you need, such as ‘energy’ or

ing process is a ‘broken’ purchasing model. Products can

‘housing’. You set the bar as high as possible in terms of sustainability

always be sourced for a lower price. This will continue to reduce

and let the market deliver solutions. I call this ‘performance purchas-

the scope for innovation. We see the sustainability of furnishing

ing’. This way, companies need to innovate in order to be successful

concepts in government and business growing further apart.

and they therefore naturally work towards sustainability. The largest

Particularly in this time of economic downturn and shortages,

purchaser in the Netherlands, the government, has not yet got the

you would expect the government to play a pioneering role.

hang of this game. We want to do something about that.

A policy that encourages sustainable innovation.


Every company should have to produce sustainably. MARGA HOEK: I can’t see

EUGÈNE STERKEN: Ahrend is the world’s first C2C office designer, but

why not. Sustainable produc-

we are not idealists. Every business model has a right to exist. Ahrend simply

tion is based on a vision of the

looks at sustainability from the perspective of a particular belief and distances

economy in which you ensure

itself from the current consumption-driven economy. It’s easy to think you are

that ‘all assets’ retain at least the same value. You

already working towards sustainability by separating waste or making packag-

operate in a way that does not deplete any

ing biodegradable. But true sustainability means ‘not throwing anything

‘resource’, whether ecological, social or finan-

away’ and instead considering continued use or reuse of products.

cial. Where you can make the biggest difference

We bring to the market high-quality timeless products that last much longer

depends on the type of company. Ahrend can exert

than ten years, for example. This was the first eco-design chair, in 1997, and

great influence on the production side, through

is still being sold or reused in the rental market now. But it’s not just about

the Cradle to Cradle principle. A cleaning company

the product or the production process. Sustainable operation is at least as

would focus on social aspects and a bank could

important, and that means innovating with a long-term perspective, including

make a difference by investing sustainably.

on sustainability.


In 10 years’ time, lease arrangements will be the only option.

MARGA HOEK: The new economy will be more about using products than owning them. We are growing towards becoming a service economy - companies sell ‘lighting’ rather than lamps and


Sustainability and design are inextricably linked.

MARGA HOEK: Design and art are often catalysts for change and are therefore significant for sustainability. Design literally displays the sustain-

‘comfortable seating’ rather than chairs. A major advantage of this

ability value. The best designs around at the

is the fact that producers continue to own the materials in their

moment are created from old, reused materials.

products, and they can therefore use these cyclically. This develop-

Good design is also timeless and very durable.

ment will take place quickly over the coming decades, in line with

And, last but not least, if leasing and design are

the breakthrough of performance purchasing as the dominant

brought together, design will become acces-


sible for many more people.

EUGÈNE STERKEN: In ten years we will have advanced to a point

EUGÈNE STERKEN: Ahrend develops furnishing

where we see a difference in pace in various markets. The government

concepts that are first and foremost very durable.

is allowing itself to be influenced too much by European tendering

Timeless and high quality. For me, design means

policy, whilst multinationals are already changing the ground rules

tradition. The two are indeed inextricably linked.

for purchasing. The combination of timeless, beautiful, sustainable

You don’t throw away something that is beautiful.

design and high quality are ideal starting points for re-use over time.

There is no sustainability without design.

Major multinationals are already working on this, including from the perspective of offering a distinctive working environment. They would rather choose high-quality products with residual value. This policy makes the step towards leasing smaller. We recently delivered our first

The book ‘Zakendoen in de Nieuwe Economie - Zeven

major leasing project to Danone. A fantastic project, in which Danone

vensters op success’ (Business in the New Economy - Seven

pays for use, whilst we guarantee the residual value and therefore encourage re-use over time.

windows to success) by Marga Hoek is published in September 2013.



Music This dynamic coat rack, aptly named ‘Song’, has arms that resemble musical notes. Available freestanding or for the wall. (SONG, ARPER)


DESIGN SOLUTIONS In order to offer the best working environmental

Mix ed m at e r i a l s

solution, Ahrend co-operates with a range of other

The ‘3000 Njord’ chair has a sleek design with an

parties. Here is a small selection of beautiful designs,

elegant seat. The unusual mix of wood and polyester

which fit perfectly with Ahrend’s familiar furnishings. f

felt makes it unique. (NJORD, KUSCH) MO RE I N FO RMATI O N: www. a h re n d . co m

Re charge The R Ro™ lounge chair iis a great place to recharge and get away rechar fr from the everyday h hustle and bustle. (THE RO, FR FRITZ HANSEN)

Ba u h au s Kaiser Idell is an original Bauhaus design. These sleek lamps are made of steel and brass and the lampshades are painted by hand. (KAISER IDELL, FRITZ HANSEN)

_ 26

S t ylish Hold a stylish meeting at this table. The tabletop is available in a range of shapes and sizes. (SAN_SIRO, KUSCH)

P la n et s Now you can gaze at the universe during the day too with the mathematical ‘Raimond’ lamp. (RAIMOND, MOOOI)

Wood Sleek, timeless, warm. These chairs were created by Finnish designer Antti Kotilainen. Also available upholstered. (AAVA, ARPER)

Ro bu s t Marcel Wanders designed this ‘Container’ table, which fits into any room. The base tapers from wide to narrow and the tabletop can be round or square. (CONTAINER TABLE, MOOOI)




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