Boardroom Vaeshartelt CastleMaastricht 2009
Kasteel Vaeshartelt is a hotel with conference facilities.
The hotel management asked Maurice Mentjens to design a boardroom, using the Cradle-to-Cradle interpretation of sustainability as inspiration. A table that could accommodate at least 14 people and maximum sustainability in the use of materials were fixed conditions.
The existing space has three small windows, which admit very little daylight. They overlook the Vaeshartelt park, so the view is stunning. If you would be able to fold back the walls you would find yourself on a terrace with a magnificent view. The park really captured my imagination, also because a healthy environment and conservation of nature lie at the heart of the Cradle-to-Cradle philosophy.
A second source of inspiration was the Fumoir, a monumental old hall in the castle with walls adorned in murals depicting Arcadian scenes. This led me to cover the boardroom walls with a panoramic picture of the park (reminiscent of Panorama Mesdag).
XY-Dumboffice 2002 (Jean Pierre Zoetbrood) handled the digital processing of the photos of the park, creating a charming pointillist effect with huge picturesque appeal. Two sets of trough lights on the walls cast a square-shaped illumination on the panoramic image and create – as it were – two fake windows.
As the name suggests, the Cradle-to-Cradle philosophy is based on the principle of regenerative lifecycles. It advocates maximum use of local materials to avoid transportation across long distances and to ease the burden on the environment.
This sparked the idea to fell an oak tree in the Vaeshartelt park and to use the timber to build a large boardroom table. The tree was diseased and had to be felled anyway.
The comfortable Mirra chairs by Herman Miller are entirely Cradle-to-Cradle and the Flux floor covering from Desso bears the Cradle-to-Cradle label.