Impact Hub Amsterdam is part of a global ecosystem of 60+ Impact Hubs with over 7000 members that make impact makers thrive, around the world. This co-working space is a gateway to resources, knowledge and talent to move ideas and initiatives forward, and collaboratively create a better world. To increase Impact, every community in every Impact Hub has its own local flavor, responding to the needs of impact makers locally. In this project AKKA was asked to design the new location for the Impact Hub Amsterdam, our purpose was to create spaces that actively foster interactions between people, to inspire, connect and empower them to realize enterprising ideas for a sustainable impact.
More information about this project Concept | Process | Design Development | Construction | The New Impact Hub Amsterdam | Built project
The Impact Hub Amsterdam is located on the first floor of a 19th century building in the beautiful Westerpark. The Impact Hub is a co-working place for Impact Makers to work, meet, collaborate, connect, innovate, start, grow and scale. Opened in 2013, this space is specifically designed to foster human interactions, which are indispensable for collaboration and innovation. Every space, furniture item or even accessory in the space are designed as tools for conversations and interactions. Every space needs to foster interactions, only to varying degrees. Every space needs its anti-space and to enrich the collaborative and communal spaces, the Impact Hub also ensures a variety of semi-private and private areas for individual reclusion, reflection and focus. The space houses nine different yet interconnected areas which include meeting rooms, event spaces, team offices and both silent and lively co-working spaces. The Impact Hub facilitates working, meeting, networking, events, presentations, exhibitions, launches, parties and countless other activities. The energetic atmosphere of the space fosters human interactions, supports collaboration and triggers creative thinking.
Like all our projects, the Impact Hub Amsterdam was run according to our AKKA Process; made of four phases.Phase 1: Appreciate
In this phase, our team at AKKA conducted a series of community consultation sessions with the different groups of people concerned by the project. Starting with the three founders of the Impact Hub Amsterdam, we then went on to consult with the team made of 15 people and after that all the 250 or so members. We even consulted with the global network of Impact Hubs to engage their learning into our process. That phase resulted in a shared understanding and the creation of a Home Language document: a visual verbal document that captures the culture of the Impact Hub Amsterdam and its community. Request a copy of the Home Language document here.
Phase 2: Kernel
Based on those community consultation sessions, and in an ongoing consultation, the shared understanding was transformed into a Shared Vision. A series of studies were conducted to understand the implication of the vision on the space and to explore the different interaction dynamics in the new space. To create a Living Space, the way we approached the project is by first looking at the flows in the space. The densities for example show where people stay as opposed to where they move; which are the sedentary corners and which are the transient spaces. The interaction nodes are another important aspect; where are the nodes where people tend to interact the most? what creates those nodes? how does the rest of the space organise itself around them? Another dynamic concerns the activity levels in a space, its heartbeat.
Another major item is the users’ flows. Different people use the same spaces in different ways, and so the flows are crucial in deriving the best configuration of the space to support people’s interactions with each others and with the space. It is based on the flows of interactions that the form of the space emerges.
In this phase, the shared vision is translated into a tangible design. Design development and implementation now take place. Different spaces are visualised, materials are explored and sustainable practices studied. Wherever possible, Cradle to Cradle thinking and methods were put into place in the design.
The construction phase of this project started with the heavy load works of demolition, creating openings in walls and the implementation of the infrastructure and services. This was smoothly linked with the softer works of interior construction, including light partitions, built in kitchens and counters, cabinets, shelves…etc. Watch the Impact Hub construction video below which records the progress of the Impact HUB construction completed in less than two months. This video also shows the beginning of the next phase we call Adapting, where users inhabit the space and are involved in its refinement.
The New Impact Hub Amsterdam
After the hard construction and after safety, security and hygiene were secured, the users of the space were invited in – before the construction was complete. Their involvement allowed them to be part of the process. The construction (part of the kickstart phase of the AKKA Process) smoothly and naturally merged into the inhabited living phase of the project, which is our fourth phase of the AKKA process called Adapting.