by Tom Bosschaert

May 20, 2013

Tom Bosschaert

This exciting office jungle in a glass cocoon is an energy-neutral circular plug-in retrofit for empty industrial real estate. It integrates all facilities and luxuries a stimulating cooperative office environment can wish for today. The Crystal Forest is a modular system that can be built and removed quickly on virtually any entirely self-contained location. It offers a feasible business case for a wide variety of real estate challenges, including adaptive re-use of industrial heritage.


Innovation in our backyard

The Crystal Forest was born when we set out to find a new office in Amsterdam, found an abandoned historical shipyard, and fell in love with the possibilities. Not only did we want unique and inspiring office space, but we were inspired to put blend our best ideas to make it work. 

The research and conceptualization phase revealed that a similar approach would make sense in many other places. There are empty and run-down industrial structures scattered across all European cities. So we put our office plans on hold for a bit and started working on a universal concept available to everyone. And here it is.

Easily relocated and replicable

The Crystal Forest has a modular structure that adapts itself to any configuration is disassembled and moved as quickly as it is built. This way, the material investment retains its value, even when the future of the industrial site is unclear or only available for a relatively short time.


Lush, green and joyful forest

The plants don't just look impressive; they're a vital part of the Crystal Forest's operations. Rainwater is collected and automatically fed into the planters, nutrients added along the way. The plants filter the air and condition and humidify it when necessary. Food-producing modules based on hydroponic and aquaponic systems are available to slot right in.

Research on nature in office environments shows that direct access to substantial green and natural spaces can reduce stress, physical complaints, and sick leave while significantly improving concentration and satisfaction. That's what Crystal Forest is all about - achieving satisfaction for users.

An oversupply of empty factory space

In almost every European city (and even beyond other nations), there are remnants of the industrial era and large empty warehouses from later periods. While they can be impressive and inspiring, these buildings are challenging for redevelopment projects in finance, engineering, and functionality.

The leading cause is that these facilities were not originally meant for human habitation, and heating, ventilation, and safe working environments are often costly to implement. Additionally, the monumental state of some buildings prohibits typical adjustments to the structure, making any redevelopment task a significant undertaking.

The Crystal Forest system accommodates a range of different situations. Its framework is a lightweight, light-impact system that can easily be fitted into any space. Its lively plant-filled environment is attractive, healthy, and offers many additional possibilities, including on-site hydroponic farming, education and conference centers, and entertainment purposes.


Turn-key solutions

Based on our experience setting up innovation communities and other co-location offices, we've built a turn-key business model to implement the Crystal Forest model. The goal is to remain an energy-neutral, fully fitted office ideal for modern co-location concepts, innovation communities, and incubators. We offer this service in its entirety, from structure to internet connection, reception staff, and even the coffee machines. 

A complete Crystal Forest can be fit into a space of a minimum of 400m2.

Fancy your own Crystal Forest?

Interested to find out if a Crystal Forest can fit your industrial location? Contact  Jeroen van der Vlist to find out about the possibilities.

May 20, 2013

Project team

  • Tom Bosschaert


  • Arjan Luiten

    Duurzaam Ruimtelijk Ontwerper & Architect
    Except Integrated Sustainability

  • Erik Westerduin

    Business Developer
    Except Integrated Sustainability

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