Studio Dott to build new offices next to ‘Groen Kwartier’

Studio Dott, a creative design studio for products, interiors, services and strategies, is already planning their next New Year’s party to take place in their new offices in Berchem. “Our new location is only a short walk from our current offices”, says CEO Pieter Lesage. “A very conscious decision.”

Today, Studio Dott’s Berchem office—one of three sites, the other two being in Kapellen and Hong Kong—is bursting at the seams. “We always intended to stay here until the team reached 16 members”, Pieter Lesage says. “Let’s just say that now, with 25 employees, things are getting a bit cramped.”

‘May we build here, please?’

“We quickly discovered it would be difficult to find a space that met all our requirements. Our list of must-haves: a building with space for growth, including a workshop and a conference room, within walking distance from the railway station. You can see how that would limit our options. We were finally able to buy two adjoining buildings with lots of warehouse space next to Berchem’s new development site, Groen Kwartier. We just went there and rang the bell: ‘It looks like you have lots of unused space here. Would you consider selling it?’”

Prioritising mobility

“Finding a central location was our main concern. We made a very conscious choice to stay in the city centre. I’ve seen many growing businesses move away to the suburbs to find more affordable office space. That’s not what we want. None of our employees commute by car: they walk, bike or take the train to work. If, for whatever reason, one of us does need a car, we use a car-sharing service. As a design studio, we have to be pioneers and dare to make ideological choices. Mobility is a priority.”

Ready by the end of 2018

“Our new office space is 1300 m2 plus garden. We’re likely to start demolishing the old structures in February and if all goes well, building should be finished by the end of the year. Our biggest challenge has been getting the necessary permits. Our new location is situated in the middle of Berchem, a residential area. Specific building regulations apply for offices. Thankfully, I had worked with the city’s InvestDesk before and had very pleasant experiences with them, so I got in touch again. They’ve acted as a mediator in the process of acquiring building permits, offering advice on which steps to take next and what to pay attention to. Their advice has been invaluable. Now for the home stretch: we are finally ready to go!”

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