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On a weekday morning, the ground floor of the Droste silo is empty… At nine o’ clock the big tables with computers slowly descend. A fresh new day begins! At the end of the day the workstations disappear back into the ceiling. The space is ready for another purpose: a lecture, a dinner, a party, a promotion of a new product, an exhibition or an evening Yoga class … Studio Heldergroen is the example to think about the possibilities for other buildings of dual use of (mostly empty) office space.

As a result of the dynamic space on the ground floor there a physical interaction with the organization of Heldergroen and has an attraction to its surrounding area. The space is a pleasant and creative atmosphere to work. It breathes the story that Heldergroen wants to tell its clients: “sustainability and innovation can and may lead up to attractive and profitable projects. And communication starts with showing who you really are.”

In Studio Heldergroen installations are integrated in an industrial way. Most striking is the hoist which is delivered by professionals from the theater industry. They are used to work with large set pieces that have to be placed quietly and safely on the stage. The tables disappear in large boxes in the ceiling, where LED lights and acoustic facilities are integrated. The wiring of computers runs through ‘flexible white cable caterpillars’ derived from the medical industry. The temperature regulation of the space is housed in the polished concrete floor. During winter there is hot water running through it, and in summer cold water for cooling. The natural ventilation passes through spiral radiators that either heat or cool the air.

For the design of Studio Heldergroen, the central question is what to do with waste. Is it possible to re-use nearby existing materials in another way? Is it possible to add another (fresh) perspective on the concept of recycling? And can we strengthen the industrial character of the building? Sometimes materials are literally taken from the streets to ensure the interaction. The electric winches of the tables refer to the original use of the Droste silo. The choice for concrete, wood and steel came directly from the history of this place. Cupboard doors are made of rolled car doors and robust tables made of old telephone poles. The communicative power of the re-use of materials fits in perfectly with the message of the design team: Sustainability can be very sexy!

Studio Heldergroen has on three sides an all-glass facade. This shows the space transparency and provides a fantastic view at the water and the center of the city of Haarlem from the inside. The studio has one complete closed side, where all supporting services are included that are necessary for the office such as a toilet, cloakroom, kitchen, closets and server room. The wall has a functional classification, but looks sculptural because of the integrated benches, cabinets and ceiling recesses for the hoisted tables.

Interior styling: ZW6

Concept: Heldergroen / ZW6

Interior architecture: ZW6 / Zecc

Photography: JR Works