PD Group | Finds aircraft during the meeting

Working from home is currently the new normal, but research shows that many companies and organizations want to continue (partially) working from home in the future. This means that people come to the office primarily to meet colleagues, to work with them, to consult with them and to be among people. Many companies and organizations are currently preparing for this future by realizing more meeting rooms, conference rooms and coffee gardens.

From that point of view, we were tasked by one of our relations to develop six different coffee gardens for them. Our architects developed six different themes for the coffee gardens: Schiphol, Beach, Future, Library, Japanese Garden and Barista.

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‘Schiphol symbolizes coming and going’

Architect Olav de Boer designed the Schiphol coffee garden. He explains: “In the design of this coffee garden, I wanted to include the atmosphere of everything you feel and experience in an airport. Of course, the technical aspects of an airport are part of this: the journeys, the planes, the suitcases and such. But also the feeling you get at an airport because you go there to get something to eat and drink, you can do a lot of shopping and people watch. I therefore find an airport quite glamorous.”

De Boer calls Schiphol a social theme. “You meet people at an airport, there’s a lot going on. And it’s a good metaphor for a coffee garden. Schiphol symbolizes coming and going.”

Business class seats

Circularity is an important starting point for PD Group. “Especially at a coffee garden with the Schiphol theme, because aviation is of course not undisputed in terms of energy consumption. Flying is even a non-issue at the moment,” adds the architect.

The designer of the Schiphol coffee garden explains that this is why he went to Twente Airport in search of airport materials to recycle in this airport-themed coffee garden. “It was great walking around Twente airport, like a candy store, we really had to hold back.”

In the Schiphol coffee garden, different materials from real planes and from real airports have been used, says de Boer.

“The seats in the coffee garden come from a Boeing 747 from the Emir of Kuwait. The ceiling comes from a Fokker, or actually we made a ceiling from wall panels from a Fokker; the windows have become lamps. The airport’s check-in and out signs and airplane propellers can also be found in the coffee garden.”

Retro aviation

“We have also looked up the history in the furniture,” continues the architect. “So not only high-tech materials, but also some history, how aviation used to be. The atmosphere of this retro aviation is reflected, for example, in the upholstery of the seats, benches and stools, where you can see the leather pilot jackets.”

‘It must be green, otherwise it wouldn’t be a garden’

The word coffee garden already sounds pleasant, but according to De Boer it is not called a garden for nothing.

“Of course there must also be greenery, otherwise it wouldn’t be a garden. Tropical plants have been chosen for the Schiphol coffee garden, which refer to tropical destinations. The wall around the coffee garden is an overgrown frame.”

‘A mini catering tent’

With the various coffee gardens, the company wants to invite its employees not only to drink coffee on their own floor, but also to plan a break, consultation or meeting with a colleague elsewhere in the building. This wish was an important starting point for the design for de Boer.

“In the old situation, there were coffee machines in the hallway. Then an employee often went to get coffee for a lot of colleagues. With this coffee garden, people are meant to go there together to have an informal meeting. The six different coffee gardens in total all have a different atmosphere, so they should also invite people from other floors to visit. Each coffee garden is a kind of minibar, so you can get a cup of coffee in each department and also meet colleagues there.”

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