The team over at Sid Lee Architects was commissioned to develop and design the Red Bull headquarters in Amsterdam– from concept to completion. They had the task of designing a space that embodied the mission, spirit and visuals of the company as a whole. By playing on their obvious theme of Red Bull’s energy drink “giving wings” there were certainly deeper mantras to run through the implementation of the space.
Duality and polarity– public vs private, dark vs light, reason vs intuition, business vs art. All of these elements were explored within the 875 square meter (roughly 9,415 square feet) of space that contained Red Bull’s Amsterdam company headquarters. Various materials were used with the combinations of wood, steel, concrete and glass.
“To design the inner space, we aimed at retrieving Red Bull’s philosophy, dividing spaces according to their use and spirit, to suggest the idea of the two opposed and complementary hemispheres of the human mind, reason versus intuition, arts versus the industry, dark versus light, the rise of the angel versus the mention of the beast”, noted Jean Pelland. Jean is the lead design Architect and Senior Partner at Sid Lee Architecture.
But even with the great juxtaposition of ideas and mixture of all of the above, the space needed to function like a place of business. Netherlands’s director Jan Smilde shared that the successful brand wanted a location with an entrepreneurial spirit where they would have the freedom to develop innovative ideas and events.
The building shell that they ultimately ended up with is in the North side of Amsterdam, in the port area which held a previous life as a shipbuilding factory.
So much of the space is open to interpretation and there’s a great whimsical feel to it all– the bathroom, for instance is definitely not something you see everyday, but the mosaic tiles in reference to a DJ’ing angel certainly consistent with the brand.
Photographs courtesy of: Ewout Huibers