Workplace renewal for fishing company

Cornelis Vrolijk

Refurbish office interiors to reflect company slogan: Fishers of tomorrow.

Workspaces in bright and airy ambiance

Canteen as a social heart welcoming all staff and visitors.

Visual connections between spaces

References to sea life and shipping

HQ builds bridge to future, and is futureproof

Cornelis Vrolijk catches, farms and processes fish and seafood. Founded in 1880, the family-owned company has been based since the 1950s in the port of IJmuiden, where its quayside cold stores are fronted by an office volume.
CE remodelled the interiors – entrance hall, reception, workspaces, canteen, meeting rooms and director’s office – to reflect the company slogan: fishers of tomorrow.
our approach
Entrance and reception areas
The new-look Cornelis Vrolijk interior hits you as soon as you walk through the main door. To the left, the hatch in the wall where visitors announced their arrival has been replaced by a friendly reception desk faced in aquatic-green tiles set on an biobased poured floor of seashells. To the right, armchairs provide an inviting waiting area. Beyond them, a glass wall visually connects the entrance hall with the new canteen.
Transforming from a lunchroom to a central meeting place
A crucial key task was to enhance the accessibility of the canteen. The previous lunchroom primarily served the workers from the freezing house, with office workers often opting to eat at their desks. Now, the canteen has evolved beyond a traditional food service area. A social heart for staff management and visitors. The entrance is more welcoming, encouraging visitors to drop by at any time of the day, transforming it into a hub for impromptu gatherings and conversations.
The seashell floor extends from the entrance into the canteen, which offers a range of seating options: low tables, standing-height tables, built-in seating in the corners, and a group table. Contrasting with the bright and airy feel is the bar counter, faced in aquatic green tiles and standing on a biobased poured floor of seashells. Zones within the space are further defined by the wavy lines of fishing nets hanging from the ceiling and enclosing the lighting fixtures.
Increasing working comfort for employees was an important consideration.
CE converted the initially introspective offices on the first and second floors into bright and airy spaces, whenever feasible, using glass walls for separation. Redesigning the workstations according to the latest standards of chairs, screens and desks. Placing sound-absorbent panels between the desks to soften the acoustics in the offices. Carpet tiles in various shades of grey, ranging from lighter to increasingly darker blue-green greys near the doors, enliven the spaces.
To enhance the visibility of material qualities and their utilization, incorporating contrasts proves beneficial. Consider the seating arrangement, for instance, where the sofa's comfort is accentuated by the juxtaposition of a round cushion against sleek, shiny tiles.

The counter's distinct shape is prominent due to its minimalistic detailing, allowing the form to speak for itself.

The chosen color palette mirrors the essence of "Ship to Shelves." Aqua tones reminiscent of the sea, silver hues inspired by fish and vessels, and rich brown wood tones evoking both ship timber and cured fish contribute to a cohesive narrative.

The architecture boasts sleek geometric shapes, gently softened by flowing lines that mimic the graceful movement of fish. This interplay of elements weaves a compelling story of form, function, and maritime inspiration.


Lieke Genten
architect & interior architect | partner
Luis Monteiro
architect | image maker
Wouter Hoevers
engineer | project manager
Madeleine Racz
interior architect

visit this place?

An inspiring fusion of contemporary design and maritime heritage. Transformed by CE, the office interiors embody the company's ethos as 'fishers of tomorrow'. A space where modern functionality meets the charm of sea life and shipping, reflecting the rich legacy of this family-owned fishing company founded in 1880. If you like to have more information, please contact us. We are delighted to give you more insight in the project.

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