Plantronics, Park 20|20 Beukenhorst Zuid, Hoofddorp, The Netherlands
With offices in 20 countries, Plantronics, the pioneer of lightweight headsets, selected Park 20|20 and William McDonough + Partners for their new headquarters in The Netherlands. As a nod to the company’s commitment to superior human communication, the building was conceived of as an “acoustic temple,” where sound masking, water features, and other elements create a symphony of sound layers optimal for diverse activities—working, collaborating, testing, etc.
The clean, monochromatic exterior façade reflects Plantronics’ company mission and design philosophy. The spacing of reflective metal panels and windows, shifting between open transparency and more solid areas, is inspired by sound wave patterns. The use of the “flow line”, a distinctive design element in all Plantronics products, further reflects the Plantronics brand. The flow line serves as a transition from one part of a device to another, guiding users intuitively, by touch. In the building design, the flow line is used as both an aesthetic element to break up the massing of the building exterior, and a functional, user-oriented, wayfinding ribbon to lead visitors from the street to the entrance, and through stepped interior experience areas to an exterior upper terrace.
The siting of the building and the placement of exterior spaces and entrances connect Plantronics to the larger Park 20|20 development area. The building entrance, marked by green wall panels, visually connects to the main Park 20|20 plaza. The upper terrace will host a hub of activity and is located directly above a planned pathway that will connect to the exterior dining terrace at Parkcafe Groen. The upper terrace can also be seen from the park entry at the train station.
Inside the building, there is visual connectivity as soon as one enters the building: one can see directly through the top of the building (and back down from above). Experience areas are organized as diagonally stacked (double height) atria, where Plantronics will interact with their customers and where customers will learn about and test products—part exhibit, part demonstration, part sales floor.
Public, experience, and shared meeting/work spaces will make up the south portion of the building (facing the park) and private open offices will comprise the north portion. Enclosed meeting rooms, collaboration and concentration rooms as well as common spaces (lounge and kitchenettes) will be located in the “rock”—a shaped, solid element in the center of the building evoking the geology of California (where the global headquarters is located). It has also been referred to as the “sound pyramid” or “sound temple,” and will be the element acoustically ideal for meeting/concentration etc. A monumental staircase between these two parts of the building (bathed in daylight from a skylight above) will put an emphasis on physical interaction and communication. Floor to ceiling operable windows throughout the facility will provide copious daylight to all occupied spaces.
Slated to receive a BREEAM rating at the Excellent level, the facility will include photovoltaics that are being designed to harvest at least a quarter of the building’s required energy. Water systems will include greywater harvesting, filtration, cleansing, and reuse, through a number of means, including bioswales. A helophyten system will be used for greywater purification. Clean greywater will be buffered in a separate sewer. The project team is also studying the use of blackwater treatment strategies.
PROGRAMoffice, conference, meeting, café, fitness, gathering areas, display/experience areas, outdoor terraces
AREAapprox. 3,600 m2
STATUSUnder construction, completion date 2016
William McDonough + Partners, Design Architect
N30, Architect of Record
D/Dock with N30, Interior Design
Copijn, Landscape Architect
Techniplan, MEP Engineer
Van der Vorm Engineering, Structural Engineer
DGMR, BREEAM Consultant
IBB Kondor, Contractor
Soundscape Award 2015: more information here