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A secondary school turned into a technology campus with HIMACS at the meeting point

The building’s entrance, also intended as a coffee and meeting area, is home to a large counter made from HIMACS solid surface material.

Dutch businessman Barry Verdel’s dream was to take his technology company Verdel Digitaal Partner to the next level. With the goal of building an inspiring space for the business as well as the employees; Design & Meer the studio responsible for the design and production, together with VRP architects, took on the project to convert an old secondary school into a workplace and campus dedicated to information and communications technology. The project thus aimed to include high-quality materials, such as HIMACS, and to renovate a building to be used both for the company’s offices as well as a limited amount of housing where younger employees would be able to stay for up to seven years.

The original building, a secondary school located in the Netherlands, consisted of various spaces such as classrooms, a gymnasium, auditorium, etc., and it was precisely this characteristic layout that won the owner over. ‘We wanted our company to be a school, too. At the end of the day, you work in a classroom and the corridors are where you meet with other colleagues to chat or make calls,’ points out Verdel. This property was so ideal that the school’s original colours (yellow, red, blue) and other elements, such as the rings from the old gymnasium that hang above the current reception area, have been maintained in the new project. 

The building’s entrance, also intended as a coffee and meeting area, is home to a large counter made from HIMACS solid surface material. Designed in the Urban Concrete shade of HIMACS, the choice of this greyish colour sought to keep the tones of the original building while creating the perfect match for the corporate green of the company that owns the project, as well as the wooden elements incorporated to add warmth to the spaces.

Measuring a substantial 10 metres long, the counter has an eye-catching, clean, robust look, while the large worktop allows this HIMACS piece to be used both as a reception space and an employee meeting point. ‘Many people have wondered how we managed to fit such a huge counter into the space, and it’s precisely because HIMACS allows different parts to be joined together without any visible seams,’ explains Design & Meer studio. 

This special attribute of the material – which for this project made it possible to work with 35 pieces and be able to join them together to create a unique counter with a totally uniform design – rounds off HIMACS’ outstanding hygienic properties: the entire counter surface is non-porous and smooth, preventing any unwanted build-up of dirt, bacteria and viruses. It is for this very reason that this solid surface material is ideal for projects subject to high everyday traffic. 

‘We’d done a fair number of projects with HIMACS before, and it continues to be a fantastic material to work with. Thanks to the ability to seamlessly join the material, we can create exceptionally beautiful projects both for individuals and companies, in spaces where we would never have been able to do this given their size. In this project, once again, we’ve created a real gem,’ add the heads of Design & Meer.

Location The Netherlands
Architecture & Design Design & Meer and VRP architects
Material used HIMACS G554 Urban Concrete
Fabrication Design & Meer
Photo Credit Roos Jansen, from Lichtgevoelig filmproducties
Other HIMACS supplier: Baars & Bloemhoff
Press Release Download press release