Multifunctional Headquarters

Schindler had decided to leave its office on rue de la Source in Brussels when GLOBAL was contacted. Objective: bring together the Brussels and Antwerp teams and integrate a warehouse as well as a training centre all under the same roof – boulevard de l’Humanité in Drogenbos. GLOBAL proposed a fit-out plan enabling the client to make the most of the new building in terms of collaboration. The project also incorporated technical solutions adapted to the original structure of the building and to the special features of the job roles and Schindler’s specific requirements and desires.

GLOBAL is a ‘one-stop-shop’, from design through to final acceptance of the project. They manage all the trades, using quality contractors.

Loebrecht Lievens, General Counsel & Compliance Officer Benelux

Challenges encountered

Better communication for better collaboration

One of the main challenges for Schindler was to improve internal communication and inter-team collaboration. The boulevard de l’Humanité complex comprises a triangular building over 4 floors annexed to a warehouse. GLOBAL created two staircases to connect the two largest floor areas of the main structure and link the office teams (support and sales teams), technical profiles and training staff. A communication street was installed on each floor. This facilitates the organisation of formal and informal meetings in direct proximity to the work spaces.

A refreshed look

Schindler wanted to refresh its image. Its offices therefore need to be both functional and ergonomic, while conveying a more modern and dynamic identity. In concrete terms, the branding objective was to inspire clients and visitors coming for training while still enhancing the well-being of staff working in the offices.

Integrated functions

Bringing together two geographical entities with different functions was one of the main challenges of this project. A connection was conceived between the main building housing the offices and the annex, where the training centre was set up. The latter houses a model lift and escalator, making it possible to organise demonstrations and training sessions under real conditions.

Stages followed

Layout plan

The building on boulevard de l’Humanité was lacking flexibility. For example, it did not have a raised floor. The distribution of technology services for work stations therefore required the installation of electrical boxes in the existing screed. The rebalancing of the HVAC system had to be performed in line with the new layout and requirements. This included not only the addition of new HVAC units but also air conditioner cassettes, mainly in meeting rooms. The Schindler group also required the construction of an IT room, built to extremely exacting standards, in terms of both security and ventilation.

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The site

Delivery time frames were relatively short and required optimised follow-up by all experts and artisan trades. The IT room needed to be delivered two months before project completion so that Schindler could undertake technical testing according to the specific protocol for the group’s international IT network.

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Acceptance of the model floor

All solutions selected were developed for all four floors in the main building. In order to facilitate completion of the site, GLOBAL applied a proven method that involved the acceptance of all trades on a pilot floor and drawing up a snagging list of elements to be corrected and/or finalised. The other floors have all been finalised taking into account these guidelines.

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The results

A boost for the business

By optimising the location and layout of spaces, Schindler increased its performance and the well-being of staff internally, just like the image conveyed to its external partners. The business gained square meterage while improving the comfort of work spaces. The communication between the various trades within the company is substantially more effective and free-flowing, which has a beneficial impact on the service experienced by clients. From a relatively isolated company, Schindler Belgium has become a dynamic and agile entity.

An optimised budget

The very specific budget allowance at the start of the project required flexibility on the part of GLOBAL to tackle unforeseen issues and make savings wherever possible.

A flexible, future-focused solution

As the previous owner that still occupies a section of the ground floor until 2021, GLOBAL needed to implement a two-stage plan. The restaurant was installed on the first floor. For its design, GLOBAL considered its future installation on the ground floor in order to limit the costs and to already plan for the required services in the new layout plan. Similarly, the reception will also be moved in 2021. These two spaces are expected to become an exchange and meeting platform, both internally and for receiving clients.