Advertising agency, JWT Amsterdam, has reinvented the concept of modern office space with a fantastic redesign by two Dutch architects Alrik Koudenburg and RJW Elsinga. The firm, which was originally established in 1864, has evolved into an agency which, by both ethic and design, embodies the true definition of a “think tank.”
Situated in the bustling Leidse Square section, the completely gutted and renovated office occupies 1,850 square meters of the historic Hirsch & Cie Building, a former high-end department store dating back to 1882. The multi-functional space is cleverly divided into three separate work areas: Think. Do. Make.
An elevator bank opens to a marble hallway where the walls are bursting with colorful pop-art images reminiscent of a comic book. Once at the reception area, clients and visitors are greeted with a thought-provoking visual: an upside-down image of a sprawling estate. With a befitting agency motto of “Seriously Surprising”, this is where the journey begins.
In extreme contrast to its exterior, the JWT workspaces feature contemporary furnishings, quirky artworks including an oversized cardboard bunny displaying agency awards , as well as state-of-the-art Skype “cabins.” A centralized, glass-encased meeting room is brilliantly disguised as a greenhouse flourishing with live trees and plants. The designers even created a comfy cafe–food for thought, perhaps–within the agency, replete with its own chef to cater to staff.
A geometric-patterned, almost hypnotic, carpet flows throughout the ultra-modern interiors and features alternating hues according to each department. Ceilings are kept stark white, as are the frames around the abundant window banks lining the entire perimeter. More designer works by Eames and Friso Kramer and lighting by Louis Poulsen and Tom Dixon also dot the out-of-the-box environment.
The Think area is an idea factory with images of lightbulbs, trumpet horns, bicycle wheels and birds, as well as a library lounge featuring a vertical wood-beamed wall, and filled with funky furnishings including a Moroso ‘soft wood sofa.’ Black-and-white Driade ‘Nemo’ face chairs in this “imagination garden” are set upon a low-tiered stage with views of the Square.
In the Do section, abstract curved wooden trees grow floor-to-ceiling amongst angular sofas adjacent to a cityscape of Amsterdam canal house silhouettes acting as room dividers. It is in this area where producers transform ideas into stages of planning and collaboration.
Finally, the Make space is resplendent in a sharp CMYK palette and guarded by three immense robot-shaped storage cabinets. This is the hub for design, production and filmmaking.
With a space that encourages exploration and possesses a ceaseless wow-factor, the JWT Amsterdam agency pushes itself into a new realm of inspirational, modern office interior design.
Photography by Kasia Gatkowska