Combining aesthetics with user-friendliness is hard to do. Yet, both are vital when creating a 21st-century-proof industrial building. GDesign is one of Flanders’ leading experts in designing offices, factories, warehouses – the works. “Their ease-of-use is paramount, but so is their atmosphere. An ambitious company needs a work spot that attracts the best in business.”
TEXT: ARNE ADRIAENSSENS | PHOTOS: GDESIGN
“Industrial design like ours is fairly young,” explains Paul Gijsemans, founder of GDesign. “Until recently, companies were afraid to build nice buildings as they would give their clients the impression that they were making loads of money off them. Today, however, the focus of commercial real estate is on attracting talent. Companies are constantly looking for those rare employees who own the perfect skill-set to take their businesses to the next level. Offering an amazing workspace definitely helps in attracting those.”
While creating delightful buildings, GDesign’s main focus remains the optimisation of the company’s workflow. “An industrial building is a tool that facilitates a smooth working process. To find out how a company’s perfect building looks, you must follow its workflow. In a catering company, ingredients are delivered, after which they must be stored, washed and prepared so they can head to the supermarket. This process is the essence of your building’s design.” Of course, these workflows vary from company to company. Therefore, GDesign analyses each company they work with thoroughly. For days, they are a fly on the wall during every step of the production process. Afterwards, they ask a series of questions and brainstorm on how all of this can be done more effectively. With that knowledge, they then start designing.
Of course, not only products move through a company. Also, its staff has a workflow which must be considered. By simplifying the employees most-common walking trails to the max, they make their lives easier and prevent chaos. “A great industrial building is one where man and machine collaborate seamlessly.”
But GDesign also looks at the future. In a rapidly-changing economy, workflows can change in a heartbeat. Luckily, their buildings are well-equipped to handle such changes. “Whenever a company grows or the production rates increases, our buildings can easily transform to those new situations. Often, companies can make these changes themselves. Yet, we are always happy to help. Many of our clients return to us for other projects or to help them improve their building. We can build you an entire factory or help you hang a new awning. We are a partner on which you can always count.”