Though it was built in the 1930s, the Ypenburg Air Base in the Netherlands was way ahead of its time. Designed by famous Dutch architects Jan Brinkman and Leendert van der Vlugt, the air base was recently renovated to become a studio for design brand, VanBerlo.
VanBerlo worked with Remko Verhaagen and Ad van Berlo to create a functional workspace that stayed true to the building’s original historic style. The result is an airy, open space that has historic details, while also keeping up with modern day comforts.
The building features sturdy yet minimalist materials, such as concrete, plywood and felt.
To further stay true to the building’s roots, the office has an aviation theme that runs throughout the building. For example, the cafe is named after Operation Manna, a famine relief military operation from World War II.
The meeting room is named after Frits Diepen, a famous Dutch aviation expert. The whole office maintains an open workspace that encourages collaboration and innovation. When designing the space, VanBerlo involved the whole team to brainstorm what kind of spaces would be best for innovation. As a result, they created the Experience Lab and a wall of Magic Class, an interactive glass wall that can become opaque with a simple button. Furthermore, the wall and projected content has a motion sensor and responds to movement.
The overall space is meant for different types of personalities and learning styles. The designers aimed to create a space that would not only be comfortable, but also spark creativity, while supporting collaborative work.
Photos by Tycho Merijn.