Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We use cookies to personalise your experience; learn more in our Privacy and Cookie Policy. You can opt out of some cookies by adjusting your browser settings; see the cookie policy for details. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies.

Microsoft Building by Sevil Peach in Schiphol, The Netherlands

Typology Case Study

Bill Gates wrote to Microsoft’s employees about ‘The New World of Work’ in 2005, highlighting the way that advances in technology were building bridges ‘between disconnected islands of information’, and enabling greater communication and collaboration and a new way of working. Microsoft’s Dutch headquarters in Schiphol was designed to embody the spirit of that message and has evolved an innovative workplace based around activity-based working.

The feeling that this is not a traditional office begins at the entrance − visitors are greeted by receptionists on their feet, not behind a desk.Visitors are then led to a large communal coffee area on the first floor to await the person they have come to meet − a space also used byemployees and managers in a shared, club-like environment.

Each floor accommodates a team or community and people share specific activity-based spaces. A variety of environments have been created that are designed to suit both task and mood. So there are kitchen tables for individuals, orcollaborative spaces for small teams. Other ad hoc meeting environments such as cockpits or stand-up meeting rooms make meeting with teamsof any size easy and quick to arrange.


Typical floor plans showing the informality and fluidity of corporate life at Microsoft in Amsterdam

The whole building is designed to encourage collaboration and communication, supported by sophisticated technology enabling employees to communicate using extreme wireless, instant messenger through Lync, email, video conferencing and some social networking tools whereverthey happen to be. A dramatic staircase has been punched through the slab to create verticality and connect clusters between floors.

The workplace has an energy and buzz, and creates a democratic approach to the office where no one has a dedicated desk or room. The building provides lockers for personal effects and a range of innovative spaces from sleep pods to outdoor meeting cabanas. With the first floor acting as a communal, social hub, the office creates a sense of belonging and at the same time provides space that is aligned to both purposeand the business.




Introductory Esaay


Interpolis Building by Abe Bonnema in Tilburg, The Netherlands

British Airways Building by Niels Torp in Heathrow, UK

Macquarie Building by Fitzpatrick + Partners in Sydney, Australia

PwC Building by Foster + Partners in London, UK


Related files

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.