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In mid-June 2012 we were approached by Rituals, Mr Raymond Cloosterman. Rituals was looking into new housing in Amsterdam and the surrounding area. When choosing the location and building, they were looking for a building that could house Rituals' head office and match the DNA of the organization. They were looking for an architect who could assist Rituals in conceiving and designing an innovative working environment based on working independently of time and place. During our first introductory meeting there was an immediate good click. Raymond Cloosterman was very charmed by our project at Schiphol, the Privium ClubLounge. This space exudes tranquility, is balanced and the material composition also appealed to Rituals.

Concept and design innovative working environment + look & feel






Rituals Cosmetics Enterprise


The Privium ClubLounge is an organically shaped space with natural materials and light colors, where the environment is fully tailored to the needs of the 'frequent flyer'. The traveler is central in the lounge: is 'on stage' where all facilities have been carefully created in the space, with different functions, but always working as a safe cocoon with a view of the surroundings - 'connecting'.

For the design of the lounge we applied the Eastern philosophy of Feng Sui: how the environment can influence the visitor's happiness. This philosophy fits perfectly with Rituals, and it is not surprising that Privium has become the leitmotif for Rituals' new premises. Together with Raymond we visited three locations, two modern office buildings and the canal houses on the Keizersgracht. The latter location has been given preference over the new office buildings. These canal houses have a suitable authenticity and better match the DNA of Rituals.

The choice was made. The building on the Keizersgracht is a combination of 3 connected buildings where, behind the monumental exterior facades, a modern office space has been created by the owner. The original level differences have been maintained, but the design is entirely in line with 'current' building standards. White climate ceilings with energy-efficient fluorescent lighting, stairwells and elevators; in short, a modern office.

Rituals DNA
The challenge for us was to create a Rituals environment based on the New Way of Working in the modern environment. To accommodate the entire program, Rituals has rented two floors in the 5-storey canal house, a total of approximately 1,500 m2.
Based on the number of employees and occupancy rate measurements, we have created a layout concept with different workplace shapes. In close consultation with Rituals, we have arrived at the ideal layout and types of workplaces. We have designed, among other things, long work tables with movable wooden frames so that the employee can adjust his or her workplace to his or her own wishes. The wooden frames are also equipped with sound-absorbing cushions. A large number of workplaces have become sit-stand workplaces, which contribute to a more active working posture. Because there are a lot of telephone calls within Rituals, telephone booths have been provided in various places, so that employees can work optimally undisturbed. For better interaction between the two floors, we have designed an open organic staircase, directly accessible behind the reception desk. Walk-in closets are located on the closed side walls, which are equipped with a printed fabric with acoustic filling at the front. These walk-in cabinets provide maximum storage capacity for samples and materials, easily accessible and without an annoying view.

Use of color and materials
The color and material palette of the Privium Club lounge has served as inspiration; natural sustainable materials and light natural tones; wood, glass and natural stone.
The wooden floor is an oak strip parquet composed of sustainable residual material, finished with a white glaze. The permanent fixture is made of sustainable FSC wood. Bamboo trunks are included in the interior as room dividers. Color accents have been achieved through colored re-used carpets, furniture, plants and Oriental images using our 'mood boards' carefully selected by the Rituals design department

The coherence
We also approached this project from an architectural perspective. We have analyzed the functions and use of the building and investigated how you can best organize this building and its functions within the given space. We worked from a total concept for the entire project. All elements of the interior and exterior form a whole, where every detail is tailored to the desired result: Rituals.

Light and rhythm
To create order in all parts of a space, light and rhythm are our most important tools. Natural daylight is essential for the experience of the interior spaces and must be able to do its work unobstructed as much as possible, supplemented with artificial light where necessary. Light gives depth and contrast to a space. It emphasizes the shapes and rhythm of architectural elements. Light in combination with rhythm makes a space come to life.

The human dimension
How does a person (visitor, employee, resident) experience the space, do they feel safe and at ease? The exterior is the shell that preserves the interior space, the usable space. The use is the main purpose of the space. That is why the interior is so important: this is where the human scale is created.
Our work ultimately revolves around creating a 'second skin' in buildings, the environment with which people come into direct contact and which they experience most strongly.
Spaces should feel pleasant and safe. To achieve this, we have ensured that the space speaks completely for itself. Upon entering, a clear Rituals atmosphere is recognizable and one can immediately orientate themselves. Everything had to be right: lighting, acoustics, climate control, routing, materials. Well-chosen shapes, colors and materials also ensure that an environment has a positive effect on people.

In our opinion, the most obvious interpretation of sustainability is: setting up projects that also benefit the client in the long term. Material, finish and detailing are very important for this. We have also strived for sustainability from an ecological perspective. This means that we use as many materials as possible that do not put too much strain on the environment and natural resources. Sustainability and innovation are an excellent combination and it has worked out well for Rituals. What could be more sustainable, would you say, than repurposing an existing building?

The Rituals organization is developing. The organization is growing and adapting, so a flexible working environment had to be created. Flexibility means the ability to adapt effortlessly as the situation demands. The Rituals employee can work anytime and anywhere, aided by the continuous development of communication tools. The result is there, we are receiving positive reactions from Rituals employees, people are praising the new accommodation, the building and its use.


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