Designing our new office ‘The Playhouse’

Koos
Jules Prick

Reading time
5 min read

Date
Sep 17, 2019

Practice what you preach: From day one we actually involved the whole team to find and create the ideal working environment. We found this office building that was being built at the Houthavens and knew this would be perfect for us. It is a place with huge windows, overwhelming you with natural light and calming views over the industrial harbour. To develop an office design that would fit our needs, we handed over our new identity, values, vision and ideas for an ideal Koos HQ to the talented interior architects at Standard Studio.

Koos team building an office journey

The result is the Playhouse, where we have all the facilities and (mind)space needed to have fun while delivering high-quality work together. Every room is named after a different kids’ playing area, always reminding us to see the true adventure and fun in solving complex challenges. Here are some of our key office features:

Open office & collaboration

From the beginning, we’ve been wanting to sub-let our space to partnering agencies, together able to offer an end-to-end process from research, strategy up to UX and development. We figured that sharing facilities with people from other creative agencies in an open space would lead to spontaneous encounters and connections, creating a more vibrant and dynamic working environment.

Clubhouse

A large part of the Playhouse is dedicated to our clubhouse. It’s a vibrant area where we have lunch, informal meetings, stand-ups, Friday drinks, karaoke and even host events up to 75 people. It is the first area you’ll see when entering the Playhouse, which also shows you what we find most important. In the end, your office is a place where you spend most of your time, so why not make it feel fun and inviting?

The Clubhouse

Classroom

The classroom is our flagship room with enough space, table soccer and empty walls to facilitate sprint weeks, training sessions and masterclasses for up to 16 people. The room is a bit secluded from the rest of the Playhouse, which allows you to focus.

Labyrinth and Zoo

Two smaller flex rooms provide the space our teams need to work on projects together, without bothering others, including lots of walls, glass and light furniture. The rooms are separated with a police-style one-way mirror wall, so the rooms can also serve as a user research facility. Here, we can observe testers using the digital and physical prototypes we develop, without distracting them.

The Classroom
The Zoo (and The Labyrinth behind the mirror wall)

Secret doorway

We wouldn’t be a real playhouse without a secret door. One book in the bookshelves triggers the secret door to be opened leading to…

Well… if you really want to know, drop by one day and find out.

Sneak peak into our secret doorway

Poster storage

In our previous office spaces, every corner was littered with old posters and workshop materials. We now have our own poster storage space. Groovy!

Poster, poster, in the wall...

Treehouse

The treehouse is one of the biggest meeting rooms but it’s best feature is not inside. It features a conversation pit on the top, accessed only by climbing a net from an adjacent meeting room.

Climbing on top of the Treehouse

Work with a view

My favorite spot, however, is a high sit working table with a direct view on the large industrial ships being unloaded on the river IJ.

My favourite working spot

1926 Citroen B14

Because it’s considered rude to talk about a lady’s size, let’s say it was quite a challenge to get her inside. We had to use a massive crane to lift her to our floor and get her in through the balcony doors. However, in the end it was all worth it, as she now fuels the office with her style and grace!

Want to drop by and have a tour?

Some photos of the building process

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Touchpoint Strategy Canvas  –  a practical tool for combining service design with UX design

3 pitfalls in combining service design with UX design

Looking back at the Service Design Experience 2019

The Service Design Maturity Model: An Introduction

What is service design?

Service design in Shanghai

How to use UX design to safeguard users’ privacy

Take-outs from the Service Design Global Conference 2018

The difference between design thinking and service design