The 57 Building, opened by HM King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands in April 2013, is Heinz’s new state of the art Innovation centre. The new facility is located in Nijmegen and is now home to 200 Heinz R&D employees, 50% of which were relocated from the existing facility in the UK.

Working in partnership with base build architects and Engineers Tebodin, AECOM were asked to develop a new workplace strategy, interior design and change management programme for the new facility.

The key driver for this project was to create a vibrant, energetic, professional R&D centre that will drive high levels of innovation, collaboration and knowledge sharing. In addition, the new ‘HIC’ is seen as a future magnet for high-calibre recruits, as well as international staff. It is also a showcase building for the Heinz brand and will drive new strategic partnerships with Heinz clients and suppliers.

The facility spans circa 8000m² over three levels, with the boundaries between the technical space and workspace merging on all levels to create a working and research & development environment that fosters collaboration and innovation. The building is interconnected via a three-story open atrium, with a large main circulation stair connecting all levels. The ground floor space acts as a funnel, drawing people through the building, and visitors and staff are greeted by a 19m-long feature wall designed by AECOM and curated and installed by Acrylize. The café and restaurant are connected by an exhibition/display cooking facility and flexible meeting suite all, of which can be fully opened up to create one main ground floor space. The main workspace is on level 2, which is all open-plan with a high ratio of open project and team working space, quiet study rooms and enclosed bookable conference and meeting rooms, all within easy access to teams.

Heinz also engaged AECOM to undertake change management with staff, to introduce them to new ways of working and flexible working principles and protocols.

This project is now complete, and has been documented within a coffee table-style glossy booklet, designed by AECOM in order to enable Heinz to socialise the concept within the organisation.