OPEN FOR SERIOUSLY SURPRISING BUSINESS

The new JWT Amsterdam office.

13 FEBRUARY 2013, AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS
Summary
JWT Amsterdam is a combination of a seriously old advertising agency network from 1864 and a surprisingly young hotshop mentality. It is located at the Leidse Square, one of Amsterdam's hotspots and it's housed inside the famous Hirsch & Cie building, a former luxury department store in the heart of Amsterdam which opened its doors in 1882 and still maintains its grandeur today. It’s hard to imagine a bigger juxtaposition with the new, seriously surprising interior, right above the Apple store.
JWT Amsterdam aims to 'Seriously Surprise', and it does, from the moment you enter. Exciting things lie in wait around every corner. Whether it's the upside-down castle at reception, the greenhouse meeting space with huge plants, the architectural tree sculptures, or the drawings from artists such as the Dutch collective Kamp Horst or the Norwegian Anders Rockum. It just doesn't stop. As a visitor to the space you want to go and explore. Discovering funky Skype units, space dividers in the shape of Amsterdam Canal houses or the profile of Holland's greatest writer, made out of his Wiki-page text. The interior perfectly reflects the agency’s motto.

On being commissioned, design director Alrik Koudenburg teamed up with design-artist RJW Elsinga. Together the duo worked on creating a stunning space of nearly 2000sq meters, almost all custom-designed. The interior WOW effect, is created with graphics, including logos per department, a variety of unique furniture and specials such as a 2.6m high cardboard bunny to house the office's many awards. Completing it are classics like the Eames, Friso Kramer, lights by Louis Poulsen, Tom Dixon – and also the fabulous Moroso 'Soft Wood sofa' and Driade 'Nemo' face chairs.

JWT Amsterdam, lead by Ralph Wisbrun and creatively by Bas Korsten completely reorganized the agency before their big move. Believing that our complex world calls for a new way of working, they tore down the traditional agency structure and built a new one. With 3 leaner, meaner and more agile departments: Think, Do and Make.

For ‘Think’ Koudenburg & Elsinga created an inspirational garden, where one can wonder around and let thoughts flow freely. The space includes a library and a podium overlooking the Leidse Square. 'Think' is the place where ideas are invented and plans made, based on strategy, technology and connectivity. — For ‘Do’ a city setup was created, which functions like a busy beehive where JWT staff organize the idea, getting it done with a team of concept producers, online- / activation- / and print producers. — ‘Make’ feels like a happy factory, being inside a creative toolbox, where digital craftsmen and women bring the ideas to life. It consists of a studio for (online) design, visualizing, film making, etcetera. The huge CMYK colored robot cabinets (2.80m high) keep everything nice and tidy.

CREDITS:
Client: JWT Amsterdam
Executive Creative Director: Bas Korsten
Concept/Design: Alrik Koudenburg RJW Elsinga
Production: Fiction Factory (interior) BrandWacht en Meijer (additional items)
Producer: Ingeborg Greve
Illustrations: Kamp HorstSieger DuinkerkenAnders RockumLeypJeroen de Boorder (graphic design)
Photography: Kasia Gatkowska
Quotes
""We wanted to make work feel like play. Designing a wide range of work environments. Open & closed, S / M / L with breakout spaces and touchdown work settings, where 1 / 2 / 4 / 8 up to 12 people together can do their magic. We didn't wanted to use a singular 'design-concept' for the entire space, because the surprise effect would wear off too soon. Creating a wild mix of inspiring experiences not only creates the smile we were after - but also supports the agencies way of working. Offering diversity helps to set a homelike atmosphere. Only this one comes with a grand café, complete with a chef. Bon appetit"" Alrik Koudenburg explains how they created the multi-functional space.
Videos
Spokespeople
About J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam

We’re a local agency with international ambitions. Intergalactic ambitions even. To reach that goal we’ve transformed the agency quite drastically. For instance, we only have 3 departments: Think, Do and Make. Why? Because you have to keep it simple this day and age to help your clients face an increasingly complex world.

news