Matching Mindsets

They first met in Düsseldorf in 2019. There, they discussed the design and realization of a new European positive footprint wearhouse in Germany. A substantial and prestigious project in which the German GJL+ Architects* and Quadrant4 both play significant roles. And there was an instant connection. They thought alike and communicated well with each other. Both were always focused on solving problems and found a positive atmosphere and a pleasant way of working together, which tasted like more. Jürgen Löffler (partner at GJL+), Rosario Pititto (architect at GJL+), Rudy van de Water (owner Quadrant4), and Eric de Vetten (owner Quadrant4) share more about their joint plans.

Rosario: “Architecture is passion. And you only achieve the best result when you understand the client’s thoughts very well. We share that conviction with Quadrant4. On top of that, trust was immense from the first meeting. Time to explore how we can work together more regularly! We are confident that this can bring us a lot.”

Rudy: “Both at GJL+ and with us, realizing a successful project in every respect always comes first. We are more success-driven than money-driven and prioritize the customer’s wishes. I immediately felt a connection, purely based on intuition. Quite special considering we’ve known each other for a relatively short time.”

Jürgen: “You might also think that we are very different in terms of culture, but that’s not the case at all. I think it’s because we are certainly not a mainstream architectural firm in Germany. We often do things differently, are innovative, and also quite relaxed. Just like Quadrant4.”

First joint project: headquarters of the Lemken Group

Eric: “Quadrant4 took on the interior design and guidance for the new premises of Steketee in Dinteloord, a producer of weed control machines and part of the German Lemken Group since 2018. They became a valuable contact for us. They asked us (and two other architects) if we could also design the headquarters of the Lemken Group in Alpen, just across the border from Venlo. GJL+ and Quadrant4 jointly submitted a proposal for the building and interior design. We won the competition with our vision and groundbreaking design, winning a design competition in Germany for the second time. The bold design and focus on sustainability made the difference. And the fact that we are working with a German partner gave the Lemken Group a lot of confidence.”



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Getting aquainted and sharing knowledge

Eric: “When we first went to Germany for further acquaintance, Rudy and I were in suits. While the partners at GJL+ were just wearing jeans and polo shirts. That was probably a funny sight.”

Rosario: “That was indeed amusing. They expected something else while we and all our colleagues are quite informal and open-minded. I look forward to learning a lot from each other. For example, in Germany, we are used to ‘tougher, stronger, and heavier’ construction. That’s
different from the Netherlands. We can work with that.”

Eric: “Also, the regulations regarding climate systems are different, and that probably applies to several areas. We are learning about the German market and the German way of working, and GJL+ is learning about the Netherlands.”

Rudy: “The next step now is that we really start working together. Our employees with GJL+ employees. And that will also go well because our people would seamlessly fit with GJL+. And vice versa. The joy you have with each other makes the business.”

Jürgen: “We really have the same mindset, also when it comes to sustainable construction. Together we create a new +. I’m really looking forward to that!”



GJL+ Architects was founded in 1995. It is an innovative German architectural firm with offices in Karlsruhe and Gütersloh. About sixty employees work on projects in the fields of urban and residential construction, offices, and industrial and logistics buildings. GJL+ architects are active in architecture, planning, project management, and representing building owners.



Interview and text provided by Willemijn van Beers




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