Red Bull HQ, Amsterdam
Thursday, October 25th, 2012
By Justin Ray
Red Bull recently made the news for its Red Bull Stratos project: a dangerous 120,000 foot free fall from near-space by Felix Baumgartner. Back on terra firma, the energy drink giant/extreme sports promoter is taking different kinds of chances—with office design, that is.
For its move into Amsterdam, Sid Lee Architecture of Montreal gave Red Bull a new high tech office interior with the energy and quirky philosophy that characterizes the brand itself. The firm suggested relocating to an urban space located in the offbeat port area, the Noord District, known for its artistic community, sporty attitude and the presence of a disused submarine.
The building was previously a heritage shipbuilding factory with three adjacent bays, well stocked with leftover unused materials. Likewise, the materials used to make the space aren't exotic; steel, glass plywood and cement—which along with harsh angles that recall mountains or skateboard ramps, bring the space a kind of brutality.
Red Bull wanted its rebel attitude in the forefront of the 875 square meters of space. The architects played off the ideas of work/play, public/private and black/white—and divided up the bays accordingly. The first of the three bays of the building is dedicated to "public" spaces—open areas for play like a recording studio or video game area, whereas the two others contain private, yet "open" work areas such as managers’ offices and workstations.
The designers created areas both playful and productive. There is "The Crash Room" where employees can enjoy leisure time. "The Stratos," and "The Quiet Room" provide more intimate environments meant to help encourage collaboration and productivity. They named the bathroom “The Holy Shit” where a Virgin Mary in tile wears headphones and sunglasses, and deejays with flying Red Bull angels.
Red Bull HQ has a free spirit with pop culture references and unusual, yet thought-out design. The designers made an office that captures Red Bull's carpe diem spirit while serving its pragmatic needs.