The office of Vopak EMEA is situated on the ninth floor of a tower at the rim of the Rotterdam maritime quarter. It has a stunning view on the River Meuse, the City and a park. Vopak is an international storage firm specialized in liquid chemicals and oil. The office in Rotterdam is meant as a quiet refuge for employees ‘coming home’ to exchange experiences and information after travels abroad or off shore. This makes the social area an important element of the design.
The design is clearly divided between open office space and a closed zone, containing the rooms of managers and team leaders. All open workstations, including eight stand-up desks, are shared. The social area holds a large circular lounge bank, a lunch table for 24 persons, the boardroom and a coffee point. Situated alongside the façade with the most beautiful view: that on the river Meuse, the social area grants a warm welcome for employees and visitors alike.
Form and materialization are inspired by the cylindrical shape of storage tanks, the rippled surfaces of an oil splash and the roughness of the harbor. The color scheme is neutral, to accentuate the minimal and bold design. Cool notes, like steel blue, grey and whitewashed oak are found throughout the office. The cylindrical pantry and boardroom are made of white Corian. The tabletop of the coffeepoint is realized in three layered 3Form: a black base, a center layer with thick oily bubbles and a matt transparent finish. Some materials are quite literally taken from the harbor, like the steel strips finished with ship hull oil that make the boardroom floor.