Dutch web design company Acato smelled something fishy at their offices – literally. They were located above a fishmonger, not exactly an ideal working situation for creative types. The company enlisted Rotterdam architects BBVH to help them convert a run-down 19th century church into a stylish new workspace.
The church, located in the center of The Hague, was essentially gutted and divided into usable parts. The space was opened up by removing superfluous walls, and the main church hall was turned into the company’s offices.
Thanks to the high ceilings that are characteristic of churches, the architects were able to install a dramatic winding staircase. The stairs lead to a glass-enclosed meeting room that was once the church choir’s balcony.
The staircase is made of wood and wrapped in steel, giving two very different impressions. Seen from the outside, the white steel looks crisp and industrial, but from the inside the rich wood looks warm and inviting. That rich wood carries over into meeting rooms and other common areas.
Smart touches like bright color splashes, plenty of glass, an open floor plan and live plants all help to keep the offices feeling airy and comfortable.