WELCOME TO THE BACKSTAGE

Room for
creativity

LEF Future Center

Rijkswaterstaatkantoor Westraven, Utrecht (NL)

The LEF future center was established in order teach employees of the Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management (Rijkswaterstaat, RWS) more innovative and creative ways of working and, in particular, collaborating. A special wing was reserved for this in the head office of RWS in Utrecht. An inspiring environment, where established patterns are broken out of, and new ways of thinking and working are tested in order to tackle complex issues or challenges which you are not able to figure out with your partners or your team. Other government organisations, such as the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations and other ministries and partners, can make use of the future center.

Location
Utrecht (NL)
Client
Rijkswaterstaat Utrecht
Year
2008
Surface
3000 m2
Status
Interior
Role
Concept and Interior design
Team
Herman Kossmann, Mark de Jong, Martijn Sas, Caspar Conijn
Films
Tungsten, Punchcard, Captain Video, De Aanpak
Lighting design
Arup Lighting
Glasshouse installation
Fraai Metaal
Research
Helna van Stiphout, Jaapjan Berg, Els Bakker, Karin Mulder
Architect office building Westraven
Cepezed
Flexibility

We developed the overall concept for LEF in close cooperation with the Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management. We were responsible for the interior design, the AV applications and the LEF corporate identity, from the clothing of LEF employees to the crockery.

Participants in LEF set to work with each other for a day or half-day under the supervision of a facilitator. Every issue requires a custom-made solution and a different approach or method. Energy and concentration benefit from a change of environment, atmosphere, light and the opportunity to see a situation in a different light. That is why ‘flexibility’ is the most important principle of our design. Using adaptable light and sound, projections, movable floors and furniture, an endless variety of atmospheres and environments are formed, and different moods can be evoked. All spaces can be adapted in detail to the wishes of the user and the nature of the meeting or session.

A continuously different mindset

The use and range of audiovisual aids is an essential part of LEF. There are wall-to-wall projection screens and beamers in each room in order to be able to show tailor-made projections. We have built a unique image database together with various filmmakers and animators. The collection of films and unique images is also the basis for 360-degree projections that bring visitors to the LEF theatre in a different mindset. There are 1,500 LEDs incorporated into the steel computer floor of LEF. The LEDs light up in endless combinations of colours and patterns. In this way, locations are marked, directions are given and atmospheres are created that support work sessions.

No company canteen

The dining and relaxation areas are also part of the concept. The normal RWS company canteen has been transformed into an atmospheric spot where it’s possible to eat, drink or work together in many different ways. Components from the yellow futuristic kitchen can be moved to other locations in the future center, as a result of which eating and drinking can also become part of an inspiring work session. The wooden floor is made from old mooring posts, the lighting consists of a collection of tail lights from cars and the freestanding benches are inspired by steel crash barriers.

The 12-metre high conservatory provides spaces for installations with the theme being Change. These alienating interactive installations stimulate reflection and inspiration in the users of LEF using images and sounds.

Awards

I.D. Magazine Annual Design Review 2009

Environments, Design Distinction

International Design Excellence Awards 2009

Environments, finalist

FX International Design Awards Londen 2009

Workspace Environment, Finalist

International Design Awards 2009

Interior Design of the Year, winner

Designpreis Deutschland 2011

Nominated