Located in the heart of Strijp-S, lies Flexplek. It is a hive of activities where professionals come together for meetings and group-collaboration sessions. Seeing its unique location at the heart of the city and the fact that it is still largely intact, the design leaves it in its actual state instead of completely upgrading, refurbishing and refinishing the interiors.
This means the only change on the actual skin of the building will be a simple painting. The floors, ceiling and walls all be painted in wall in order to get the light. However to create a certain sense of scale a linear paint of dark grey has been installed in coordination of height where windows cut the walls. The darker grey continues to be the floor paint in the reception space to create a continuity in design. In this process the scrapes and scratches will be preserved. In this way space starts to slowly re-invent itself in harmony with the space that it was, without it losing its essence.
In a vast space bathing in light, a generously-sized central room serves as the main collaboration and work space, while smaller side rooms act as meeting, media, office and workshop for laser cutter and printer. Thanks to movable folding door partitions, the line between these semi-private and public areas blurs, which in time of no use, makes it difficult to distinguish them.
However, the surprise of the design is ability for alternation. The floor plan can be altered by request of users/employers; there is a simple reason for this alteration.
This becomes possible through a simple but smart system for the movable world for exhibitions. Movable worlds are not only movable and removable but also changeable. Since it is an installation attached to ceiling.
As to keep the place untouched, all the installation on ceiling are painted in white and visible. A New installation will be applied which consist of a series of rails attached to the ceiling and the movable worlds, in different shapes, materials and ways will be hang from them.
First of all, the installations on the ceiling create boundary between existing installations and secondly, in time of no collection to show, it will not be seen as something is missing. Therefore all the furniture has wheels, so in these times there can be a different arrangement for rooms to create diversity and sufficient use of space. Thirdly, the users get power to change the space base on their need to adjust lighting, views or privacy. On the other hand the room is a dream space for any exhibition. A new layout and path can be created through each collection. The plan is as temporary or permanent as the exhibition. It can be changed in a fingertip control. Therefore architecture becomes a way for a community action.
In the main space the only walls seems to be the movable panels to show the permanent collection of materials while separating the lunch area; and they are made out of a transparent poly carbonate. Between these translucent partitions through the space, the goal is to create a floating zone; a large place which one can work, socializes, or benefit from the collection.
Of course there are dedicated areas such as laser cutter and silence rooms, but hat is emphasized is the blank space, the areas without signs; in the usual language of architecture it means corridors, halls, lobbies. Here the maximum numbers of the function are attributed into a border-less space, leaving rooms for future uses which no one thought about.
What holds the plan is the furnisher mostly made from materials by “Baars en Bloemhoff”. However it is important to capture a certain raw and industrial feeling to the room. This has been done by use an untraditional element which will be unique in interior design for Strijp-S. It is chosen to use wooden fruit crates, as it adds to raw and rough essence of industrial world. They are turned to chairs, supports, shelves, bar and reception desk. The lounge area is created on the centre of room to give a relax feeling to others. It has been elevated by position it on movable podiums while it is closed by movable panels with magazines and books on them to reduce social control. Everything is simple.
The curve of the working tables in contrast with rough and heavy industrial tables of workshop,
The rawness of fruit crates in contrast of a modern folding partition,
Much more than a shared work space, Flexplek, with its multifunctional capacity, has a goal to be one of the go-to-spaces in Eindhoven for cultural and social activities too, presentations, seminars and maybe even courses; a way for a global community of people make a place like to other place in Strijp-S.