ZUS Zones Urbaines Sensibles

ZUS architects, urban planners and landscape architects sit on chairs from the Lensvelt collection.

The architects, urban planners and landscape architects from ZUS sit on chairs from the Lensvelt collection. Boring Office Chairs from Space Encounters are at the conference table. At the lunch table the different Maarten Baas 101 chairs.

The conviction of the founders of ZUS – landscape architects Elma van Boxel and Kristian Koreman – is that every place has the potential to be unique and exciting. This also applies to their own workplace in the Schieblock in Rotterdam. In this building they started an anti-squat project in 2001 that became one of the most important cultural breeding grounds in the city. Here you will find lectures, debates, a bar, a ‘Roof-field’ with bees and vegetables, a restaurant, numerous companies and on the third floor ZUS (short for Zones Urbaines Sensibles).

From a two-man business, ZUS grew to a company with thirty employees. Time for more serious furniture. ‘Because there are scale models everywhere and cabinets full of books, we wanted as little interior as possible with that messiness’, says Elma van Boxtel. ‘That’s why we chose good, modest, and well-designed gray Boring Office Chairs (and waste bins) that provide peace of mind at workplaces and at the conference table.’

A freer, happier image fits the lunch table, according to ZUS. The architects, urban planners and landscape architects now have 101 seats by Maarten Baas. A choice was made to combine various colors and back shapes. As a family, they form a funny and playful image together.

‘When I re-did the office, I immediately knew that I wanted these chairs from Lensvelt’, says Van Boxtel. ‘The quality is high, the price is right, and the picture is unique and special. Sustainability is also absolutely important. We were looking for timeless furniture that you do not tire of.

Elma van Boxel (1975) and Kristian Koreman (1978) both trained as landscape architects. Van Boxel then studied architecture and urban design, Koreman philosophy. In 2001 they founded ZUS. In the early years they were seen as alternatives in architecture. While others made the largest, wildest buildings, Koreman and Van Boxel were fascinated by spatial developments in the Parisian banlieues, which are called Zones Urbaines Sensibles by the French government – hence the name ZUS. Instead of designing icons, they made plans for vacant office buildings. The Schieblock, divided by the 400 meter long walkway, the Luchtsingel, is an example of this.

Architects: www.zus.cc
Photography: www.ingapowilleit.nl

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