Since 2007 OCS+ is commissioned by Vodafone to create multiple new working environments. After the merge of the operational activities of Vodafone and Ziggo in the first quarter of 2017, OCS+ was asked to create new working environments for Ziggo as well. This close collaboration with both parties resulted in a large and challenging request: creating a new headquarters for both brands next to Utrecht Central Station. Its central position in the Netherlands also kickstarted VodafoneZiggo's ambition to implement a revolutionary mobility plan.
Together with our clients, we have discovered multiple ways to improve VodafoneZiggo’s way of working in terms of pace and efficiency and ensured Vodafone and Ziggo a solution that created a binding appearance – without dropping one of the brands. During collaborative workshops with employees from different positions within the organization, we investigated which workplace concept would be most suitable for this joint venture. After we concluded which workplace concept would be most suitable, we explored different locations in the Netherlands that would be able to host this new HQ. After all, the decision was made to build a brand new office in the city center of Utrecht, right across its Central Railway Station. This choice comes seamlessly together with the introduction of its new mobility plan.
“The building adjust itself to the user, not vice versa”
This new workplace concept can be defined as a ‘human centered office’. It goes beyond an activity-based working environment. There are many options regarding the atmosphere, postures, technology, and privacy in different areas which are in essence offering convenience for the same activities. This is the answer to individual wishes and needs within the working environment, which are together delivering value for the entire organization. This workplace concept enables people with a broad set of needs to find a convenient workplace at every moment of the day. In this way, the building adjusts itself to the user, and not vice versa.
Branding of VodafoneZiggo’s Mission
The working environment is built up in three layers, connected with the mission of VodafoneZiggo: Enjoyment and Progress with every Connection. On the ground floor, in Utrecht’s famous shopping mall Hoog Catherijne, its flagship store is situated. This brings VodafoneZiggo’s employees’ close to its customers. The second floor consists of a ‘Welcome Area’ and a ‘Business Experience Center’, two inspirational environments that are adding value to the customer experience VodafoneZiggo would like to offer.
Above these two floors, three levels are constructed with different kinds of working environments. Characteristical of this design is the central part of every floor which is ‘cut out’, this created space to construct a central staircase. This staircase offered the opportunity to construct the different areas as a city center, with a pre-specified role for every area. This piece of architectural intervention offered the architects the opportunity to create a situation where people naturally meet each other. Something which really fosters social cohesion within the working environment. The ‘city center’, which is situated around the staircase, ensures people to easily meet each other. In this area, there is a deep focus on VodafoneZiggo’s branding, which is created in collaboration with the Brand Identity team of VodafoneZiggo.
“An excellent office never finishes its construction, it is constantly developing itself through the wishes and needs of the user”
A Variety of Zones
In the zone around the city center, all the office support functions are centralized: lockers, printing facilities and areas to get some coffee and tea. This zone also has a practical functionality: it serves as an acoustic filter between the city center and the zones around the office support functions. These other zones enable people to work in very different and convenient ways. There is a good mixture of (in) formal meeting zones, Agile Streets, individual workplaces and different opportunities for collaboration. Designed to facilitate a solution to all different styles of working within VodafoneZiggo.
On the top floor, a Work café of 1.000 m2 is constructed. It is designed to deliver a place to eat, drink, collaborate and meet with each other. Employees’ are during the break able to play videogames with alongside their favorite football team or pretending they are Max Verstappen in the Formula 1 simulator. These opportunities make this space really playful, which enables people to get a real break from work. Furthermore, the spatial design allows this space to be used for Townhall meetings and company drinks as well.
The entire concept is built up modularly, which enables this environment to evolve with the changing wishes and needs of its users. At the moment, this concept is still in the adoption phase and we keep making adjustments together with VodafoneZiggo to make people as happy as possible within their working environment. In this way, we want to make sure that we facilitate not only the current wishes and needs but also for the future. An excellent office never finishes its construction, it is constantly developing itself through the wishes and needs of the user. It is the user who is the focal point of the design.