25 Jun An inside look at Joanknecht
An inside look at Joanknecht
25 June, 2021
Vibrant. That’s how interior designer Arnold Schoordijk and Marlies Vervoordeldonk, project manager for the refurbishment and relocation at Joanknecht, describe the business lounge in the new building. It is a colourful place for colleagues and clients to meet and work; the beating heart of the organisation.
“I’m most proud of the relaxed atmosphere that’s been created in the office,” says interior designer Arnold. Joanknecht has taken a huge step forward in terms of office space. There was a day when accountancy firms had a boring image and offices were mainly grey and blue. Those days are long past us. Arnold consciously chose primary colours and vibrant materials such as wood and lots of plants. It’s a dynamic office where a flexible workspace is the norm.
“We find open communication important and this is reflected in the building” ~ Marlies
Arnold came up with a new concept: team office. “It’s customary at the moment to work, have meetings and make calls in the open spaces of an office, and to use the closed offices to work in peace. This new concept flips that method around 180 degrees. The open spaces are quiet and the closed team rooms – which are separated by a glass partition wall – are intended for teams to sit together and work, make phone calls and discuss projects.” It creates a calm, pleasant working atmosphere.
The glass walls give a sense of transparency. “Open communication is important to us. Everyone is mixed up together, no one has their own desk or office. We hold no secrets from each other,” Marlies explains. Arnold adds: “That shows a high level of trust.” Marlies nods in agreement. “We always work on the basis of trust, amongst colleagues and with external parties.” Arnold therefore was given free rein in the design.
A great example of the process is the pink sofa in one of the meeting rooms, Marlies and Arnold laugh. “After I had made the suggestion for that sofa, some of the men had trouble getting used to it. They must have had at least twenty reasons why not to have a pink sofa,” says the interior designer. “But it’s here now and blends in perfectly with the whole atmosphere.”
Trust and cooperation are the central focus in the building. The business lounge reflects this well. To top it all off, there is also an outside terrace. “The previous building owners only used the area as an escape route, but is offers so much more,” Arnold asserts. Outdoor spaces are becoming more prominent today. A glass sliding door leads you from the business lounge directly onto the terrace.
Trust and cooperation are the central focus in the building
Then there’s the heartiness that the people from Brabant are renowned for. The lounge features a bar where colleagues have their Friday afternoon drinks. It is also where everyone enjoys lunch together. An important new concept that puts hospitality first. “Clients can also make use of the business lounge. They can work in between appointments right here with us,” says Marlies.
Everything is now starting to fall into place, but coordinating the entire renovation and relocation was a challenge for Marlies. “It was really special to work with all the different parties. It allowed us to see the plans of the building come into being. And the result is worth it!”
Employees – An Inside Look at Joanknecht Spread
Fabienne Vermeer – hospitality coordinator and executive secretary (blonde hair, black blouse – sitting at desk)
“I see the business lounge as a meeting place that really sets Joanknecht apart. By facilitating communal dining, for instance, people feel included and welcome. This hospitality is incredibly important and a way for us to create added value for our clients and colleagues.”
Marco Hulsen – assistant assurance (Young man in suit – sitting in a train compartment)
“The new premises almost makes it feel as if I have a new job. Before, the departments were isolated from each other. Now everyone sits together and you get to see a lot more of what others are working on. That creates a whole different drive.”
Elise van Grotel – employee accountancy (green dress – walking through the corridor)
“The dynamics are completely different now. Because of the flexible work arrangements, you tend to sit together more. That makes it easier to ask each other questions. The project rooms are ideal for working together with a group of colleagues.”
Arnold Schoordijk – interior architect (Glasses and dark blue shirt – sitting in the green chair)
“I am as good as my client lets me be. Change is always a bit scary, of course, but Joanknecht really gave me the space to create a new and contemporary design. It was nice to be given that trust.”
Marlies Vervoordeldonk – HR and communications officer, and internal project leader for the renovation and relocation (colourful blouse – standing at the table)
“If I have a day filled with appointments, I like sitting in a train compartment in the business lounge between meetings. That way I can see what’s going on around me and still work or make phone calls in peace.”