Schiphol is the thread running through Pieter-Bas Braam’s working life. After having worked for Schiphol for a decade, doing a stint at Schiphol Cargo, working for IWG (Regus, Spaces & TOO), he has been working as a project manager for Cerius Projects for two years.
‘Our head office is in Koog aan de Zaan, but we opened an office in the WTC Schiphol Airport nine months ago’, says Pieter-Bas. It is no coincidence that the location was chosen because Cerius Projects serves numerous clients at the airport. ‘If you want to get things done, you need to be located there', is Pieter-Bas’ logical explanation. ‘The office is compact, but we have a local presence. You can engage more with your clients at Schiphol, shift gears faster and approach new clients more easily. Because I keep in touch with my Schiphol network and enjoy telling people about our work, we receive many projects by word of mouth.
Cerius Projects creates office spaces for both lessees and lessors. ‘Our work for lessors often involves renovating buildings and focuses more on the "shell". We serve every segment, from high-end to modest budget. Our work for lessees focuses more on the interior of the building. We identify requirements together with the client: how the business operates, how many people work there and who does what. We use this as the basis to look for an architect to create the design. We then renovate the space, furnish it with new furniture or the owner’s relocated furniture. We carry out the entire refurbishment, from an empty floor to the complete interior. We sometimes work at night, so that staff can work during the day. We don't employ any architects or people who are skilled at working with a hammer or a screwdriver, but instead hire companies to build the office spaces.' In the meantime, his company has gained considerable experience in working in a coronavirus-proof manner. ‘We arrange solutions for various clients, such as installing Plexiglas.'
A mutual friend of the boss put him in touch with Cerius Projects. Pieter-Bas now looks at Schiphol from a completely different perspective. ‘Schiphol is a large company, embedded in processes. Our business is much smaller, there are only ten of us. You’re more flexible and are given a lot of freedom. We have a no-nonsense mentality, which really appeals to me. Most important of all, the work should be enjoyable. I found it extremely valuable to have experienced the corporate mentality. You retain these attributes and take them with you to your current work. Our motto is: whatever happens, we’ll arrange it, and that matches one of my own character traits: I’m known as someone who comes up with solutions.’
You need to have affinity with design to be able to do this work. Pieter-Bas certainly has. ‘I do nothing else. I sometimes say: I don’t have a job, I have an enjoyable way to spend my day. At home, I’m always busy improving the look of our house. I like different styles, as long as it’s right. If the style is traditional, it should also be effectively implemented in every single detail.
He is also enthusiastic about the Spot Schiphol community. ‘When I worked for Schiphol Real Estate, initially I was rather sceptical about the community. We already had a ‘village’ at Schiphol that worked really well, and was there any real need to add yet another community? I recognised the value of the community when I was travelling around the country for IWG. Most locations have multiple property owners but no umbrella organisation to bring people together. This means that you’re less concerned with creating a pleasant environment together. If your neighbour doesn't participate in what you want to do, you won’t be putting any money into it. You can achieve more with a community and create a pleasant area. Spot Schiphol often organises an event around the corner, and everyone will join in. And I talk to people from Microsoft, Cargill and Dutch Customs. You attract people from various buildings and bring them together. That’s what’s great about our community.’
- Who: Cerius Projects
- What: Creates office spaces, for both lessees and lessors for every segment, from high-end to modest budget.
- Number of employees 10.
- Location at Schiphol: WTC, Tower C, third floor.
- Clients at Schiphol: various airlines and business service providers.
- Proud of: being involved in the redevelopment of the sustainable head office of the Goede Doelen Loterij (Charities Lottery) in the Amsterdam Zuidas business district.