B2B design agencyMaastricht 2005
B2B is a graphic design agency based in Maastricht. It's a young and innovative company which creates hip and very high-quality graphic designs. Its offices are located in the 11th century ‘Castle de Burght’. The contrast between the hip, young and dynamic people working inside the building and the traditional, historic and almost idyllic looking environment surrounding them greatly intrigued me and provided me with a point of departure for my design. The castle was built as a fort and served for many years as monastery, recreational complex and prison for the Saint Servaes Chapter. In 1425, Jacoba van Beieren was imprisoned here, and tradition has it that there is a secret underground tunnel running from the castle beneath the Maas River to the Saint Servaas Church in the heart of Maastricht. The 12 golden apostles, man-sized golden figures which have been lost for centuries, are supposedly hidden in this tunnel. In these surroundings, hip modern young people now work, and they have managed to introduce the digital age within these centuries-old walls. This inspired me to take the history of the castle as my point of departure in designing the interior and to place modern objects in the interior which are based on medieval architectural elements.
The office area consists of a large workspace and two smaller rooms, separated from each other by a hall. One of the smaller rooms is purple-pink and serves as office and/or conference space; the other smaller room is grey and serves as kitchen/conference/relaxation space. Inside the larger workspace, there are two large white work tables set up in line so as to divide the area in two, with a passageway left open between the tables. At the end of one table there is a large red bookshelf, and at the end of the other a smaller white bookshelf. The tables remind one of the castle's fortifications and drawbridge, but are also reminiscent of the tables at which the monks ate in the refectory. Next to the table, there is a large wooden tower-shaped cabinet and a large cabinet panel covered by long velvet drapes in heraldic colours. On the opposite wall, there is a wall painting depicting the shadow of a tree with a cuckoo clock as an independent element in the branches. The wall painting was designed by B2B. The two other rooms are identical in size and are located next to each other on the other side of the hallway. In both rooms, a very large cylinder (Ø: 100cm, h: 160 cm) is suspended from the ceiling. In the purple room, it appears to emerge from the ceiling as the remains of a tower. The cylinder is of exactly the same colour and texture as the wall and ceiling and is therefore an integral part of its surroundings. On the rear wall, a wall painting in silver is visible, designed by B2B. In the middle of the room stands a large silver desk/conference table precisely beneath the lamp. A large red translucent cylinder is suspended in the grey room, reminiscent of a giant red oil lamp hanging above an altar, which in this case is the dark grey kitchen unit. The grey walls and concrete floor reinforce the impression of being in a chapel, whereas the reddish glow from the lamp adds an element of warmth to the room. On one side, the room is closed off by a large wooden wall, which looks somewhat like an old castle gate.