Superheroes office by Simon Bush-king Architecture, Amsterdam – The Netherlands

June 10th, 2014 by retail design blog

The digital agency Superheroes, has been growing on the back of some viral hits such as this and this. 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 three years dictated a budget that was one-quarter of what would typically be allocated for a low-cost fit-out. In other words, their budget was enough to cover 120 m2 of their 480-m2 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 character Locating three much-needed meeting rooms in the corners of the large open space, we introduced flexible areas in-between for the myriad 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. We cut 100 sheets using 21-century technology, yet assembled them as if it was the Middle Ages; pine dowels join each of the custom-made frames for the meeting rooms, as well as most of the furniture. Double-glazed windows fit within each frame and are also held together with wooden dowels. Only a handful of screws have been used in the entire project, which has been built to be disassembled should the team relocate in a few years.

Fifty 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. Here, a stage curtain offers a range of ways to use the space, from dividing one side from the other to a creating a completely enclosed meeting room. The studio adopts a simple clean expression using elements of Superheroes’ own identity. For us, however, the real lesson from this project was how to retain rigour while stretching a budget.

design by Simon Bush-king Architecture
photography by Alan Jensen

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