Dezeen Magazine

The Platform by Space Encounters

Space Encounters puts office building on stilts above brick warehouse

Architecture studio Space Encounters built a tile-clad office building on stilts in Amersfoort, the Netherlands, above an existing brick warehouse.

Called The Platform, the project is a homage to the superstructures designed by radical 1960s Italian practice Superstudio.

The collective, whose founders recently passed away, imagined the world encircled by gridded structures. They also produced a series of furniture in this shape, covered in white tiled effect.

The Platform by Space Encounters
Photo is by Peter Tijhuis

Located in De Niewe Stad innovation district,  The Platform, was commissioned by Schipper Bosch Development.

It adds two floors of workspace without disturbing the building below.

The Platform by Space Encounters
Photo is by Peter Tijhuis

This brick and concrete building, formerly a warehouse for the Prodent factory, currently houses online supermarket Picnic as well as a pop-up venue space.

Space Encounters installed a system of seven steel trusses spanning 34 metres above the existing structure.

The Platform by Space Encounters

The Platform spans the entire length of the warehouse, with supports only necessary around its edge.

"Constructively is is more like a bridge than a building - a typological crossover," said the studio.

The Platform by Space Encounters

Its slight overhang creates an arcade-like space at the front of the building.

White tiles cover the exterior of the new building, with thin window frames made using Fraké hardwood.

The Platform by Space Encounters

"The white glazed ceramic tiles are traditionally used in industrial interiors because of their resilience," said the practice.

"By placing them on the facade, the enormous scale of the building becomes tactile and connects with the history of the place."

The Platform by Space Encounters

Slimline prefabricated floor panels were instead of pouring wet concrete above the warehouse, so the space below could still be occupied during construction.

A large concrete staircase leads up from the public square to The Platform.

The Platform by Space Encounters

A long balcony extends three metres over the edges of the warehouse to create a covered entrance area.

Workspaces are arranged around a double-height planted courtyard on the roof of the warehouse below.

The Platform by Space Encounters

Hardwood walls, bright red-painted steel supports at the building's edges and pastel-pink balustrades contrast with the white tiles of the exterior.

Service and bathroom spaces have been combined in separate blocks, to help emphasise the open feeling of the rest of the office space.

The Platform by Space Encounters

Previous workspace projects by Space Encounters include an office in Amsterdam that uses soft partitions of columns and curtains, and an office in Utrecht featuring planted divisions that provide privacy for workers.

Photography is by Lorenzo Zandri unless stated.

Project credits

Architect: Space Encounters
Lead architects: Gijs Baks, Joost Baks, Remi Versteeg, Stijn de Weerd
Design team: Vincent van Leeuwen, Bram van den Heuvel, Carlos Callejo, Agatha Popieluch, Clara Jansen, Matilde Scali
Client: Schipper Bosch
Structural engineer: Van Rossum Raadgevende Ingenieurs
MEP consultant: Hiensch Engineering
Contractor: Bouwonderneming Van Bekkum
Interior architect: Space Encounters
Graphic design: Sanne Beeren

More images and plans

The Platform by Space Encounters
The Platform by Space Encounters