Leusden, Netherlands

Creating an outdoor experience at work

Aug '21

With both an indoor and outdoor theater, a hilltop viewpoint, water features, indoor and roof gardens, sports facilities, and a restaurant with fresh food, AFAS sure knows how to spoil the staff. The main goal? Making sure that all 600 employees and more than 1.000 yearly apprentices feel at home, with their wellbeing as the most important aspect.

The many outdoor gardens are fully equipped with Extremis furniture to offer places to eat, sit, meet, relax, rest, and take work outdoors. "Bringing together functionality, durability, and esthetics, Extremis is a great asset", explains landscape architect Bart Hoes.

Creating an outdoor experience at work

What did AFAS require for the gardens?

"As they named the campus AFAS Experience Center, they also wanted to extend the experience philosophy into the gardens. The gardens are very visible from the inside and are a real eye-pleaser, but when you head outside you can experience them to the fullest and interact with them. But otherwise, AFAS gave me a lot of liberty, which is very nice to work with at such a scale."

The campus focuses on 4 pillars: meet, work, relax, and connect. How did you integrate these values?

Steef van der Veldt, the architect for the building, already incorporated these values into the building itself and its interiors, and I extended them outdoors. Cooperating with him allowed us to blur the lines between the indoors and outdoors.

In the gardens, I wanted to create different atmospheres so that each garden has its own identity. You can, for example, sit quietly among the grasses and seasonal plants in one garden or choose to sit on the square which gives a different vibe. There’s also a sort of outdoor amphitheater in the hill and a bit further on, the sporting island where you are surrounded by water.

Where does Extremis come into the picture?

I always aim to strike a balance between functionality, quality, and esthetics. Since I was already familiar with the brand, I knew that Extremis would be a good fit in this balance. Each piece has a youthful, tough, and playful appearance which matches the company spirit of AFAS very closely. Extremis creations are also very durable, some designs have been around for quite a while, but they stay beautiful, functional, and witty. On top of that, the furniture invites you to take a seat, which is what we wanted!

What is the overall reaction now that everything is finished?

People are all pleasantly surprised, and that’s the beauty of such a project, to hear how others feel about it, that’s when I feel most proud.

I especially like how we have created something that will bring joy in the long term. I design, create and combine materials and Extremis makes the products. Once you put that together you create something extra that is worth seeing.

The architectural design of the building asks for iconic furniture. For me, Extremis was the perfect choice.

Bart Hoes, landscape architect for AFAS

Curious to discover more pictures about this beautiful project? 

Go to the reference

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