Interior design of The Rise

Scaling mountains together

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The Rise, consisting of two towers placed on a transparent plinth, is located at the city edge of Tilburg. Owner Somerset Capital Partners is renting out both (individual) office-spaces as well as complete floors. Boas Schraven was assigned as project manager and based the The Rise's concept on free solo rock climber Alex Honnold. Boas paired up with interior designer Philip Bogaerts to bring this story to life.

Philip Bogaerts was assigned as interior designer to bring the story to life.

The climber is a metaphor for the entrepreneur that starts at the bottom and - by cooperating with colleagues and The Rise community - eventually reaches the top. This is the reason why Boas wanted to accommodate the ground floor with facilities aimed at meeting other people and exchanging ideas. For example: a restaurant, coffee bar, meeting- and presentation areas, a gym and even a room equipped for parents and their newborn. Philip: “We used the metaphor as our thread and the design followed naturally.”

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The second starting point for Philip was to somehow maintain the interior that NL Architects developed in 2003 for its former tenant, Interpolis. “We were wondering how the interior was built and how we could tweak it to fit our own storyline.” Centered on the ground floor was a cluster of different areas, separated by glass walls and curtains. Philip: “We conceived this ‘island’ as rocks, which we visualized by applying white foil portraying mountain peaks. These opaque pictures offer privacy to the users of the areas. To make the corners of the ‘rock’ softer, we applied a strip of organically meandering gray carpet. This makes it look like the rock-island is floating.”

The different areas are named after famous mountain peaks. Some are decorated as lounge areas, others simply as meeting rooms. The colored ceilings are refreshed and the furniture has been preserved. The carpet is renewed, with innovative woven gray vinyl. The original heavy curtains are replaced by a standard voile-product.

After Interpolis moved out of the building, a lot of designer furniture - like the visitor's desk - was left behind. It is redesigned with wooden triangles in 3D-pattern. This design, referring to the mountain peaks, is a design of Wonderwall Studios. A larger triangle functions as a light element. Also, the high wall of lockers at the right side of the entrance is preserved. The open working area adjacent to this wall is transformed into a meeting spot with minimalistic interior. Terracotta army statues are watching over the area.

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Lighting is carefully taken into consideration. Tolomeo-desklamps are bundled into a chandelier. The hanging ceiling was supposed to be cleaned, but eventually removed and surprisingly the underlying ceiling appeared to suit the space. In the hallways Philip wanted to have cast floors, however because of the piping in the floor a ‘loose-lay’ PVC-floor has been implemented.

To stimulate people coming together, a restaurant-area and coffee lounge were purposefully designed. Philip: “To make this as easy as possible, we got into contact with the only coffee roaster in Tilburg; Locals. They installed their coffee roaster for daily use and provide fresh coffee beans to all tenants. Besides this, tenants can purchase the beans for use at home. This way local entrepreneurs are stimulating and meeting each other at the same place.” The coffee roaster is placed behind glass wall-panels that was superfluous elsewhere. The wall is cancelling the noise and serves as a way to display the activities. The coffee lounge itself is decorated with furniture of regional designers. The lamps of Steven Bank, carpets of studio RENS and furniture of Tom Frencken for example are ensuring a refined diversity of Dutch Design.

Philip applied furniture and lamps from his own label to the restaurant-area. Resulting in an elegant interior, in which beautiful materials and luxurious workmanship are increasing the level of comfort. Here you will find the same wooden triangles as at the visitor’s desk. The couches and walls are newly upholstered. The textile is made of fibrous absorbent material and is picturing a skyline of mountains.

One of the highlights is the bar, which is meant as buffet for food straight out of the kitchen and for people to sit down and have a drink. The bar top is coated with Corian, which reminds you of icebergs and glaciers. The same material is used in the open kitchen. The lamp above the bar is made by Studio Os & Oos. It refers to clouds, the ones you see hanging over the mountains.
Philip: “The enormous light object at the entrance was already there. We placed ottomans underneath it, for people to sit down and relax.” Everywhere in the main area you will find plants, meant to stimulate relaxation and spontaneous informal interaction. The interior all together is making The Rise an inspiring place for entrepreneurs to meet and for the individual to grow.

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Print: Vakblad Project en Interieur

Author: Peter van Kester

Photography: Nick Bookelaar

Edition: August - September 2020