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DDS - new name and working concept

The New Way of Working extends to the offices and the philosophy. (Image: DDS+ / Lydie Nesvadba)
The New Way of Working extends to the offices and the philosophy. (Image: DDS+ / Lydie Nesvadba)

As it celebrates its tenth anniversary, Brussels-base architectural bureau DDS & Partners has unveiled its new name and given details of its working methods. The new name is DDS+, and the firm now numbers 6 partners and 65 members of staff. There is also now an Antwerp office covering the Flemish part of the country, and to a lesser degree, the Netherlands.

One of the points DDS+ wished to communicate was that there is a very high proportion of time spent working with clients, authorities and others on the administrative side of dossiers, in particular permits. The work of the bureau – and its staff – is therefore divided into approximately 32% on the study phase, 27% in actual construction, and the remaining 41% on building permits. The message is that while the public may only see the final result, there is a huge amount of discussion and negotiation with all the partners involved in a project before the construction phase even starts. To achieve all of this, DDS+ therefore has the full range of skills in-house, from a team representing 9 different nationalities.

Where projects themselves are concerned, complex and large dossiers are now back, as demonstrated by the canal zone in Brussels. Mixed use is the order of the day, and the whole of the space around a project – its integration into the wider district, the quality of the public spaces – has to be considered as an integral component. Hand in hand with this goes the fact that housing now constitutes a diverse segment in itself, with apartments, senior housing, student housing, co-living…
Where offices are concerned, DDS+ believes that he diversity here (co-working spaces and so on) should prevent the creation of a future bubble waiting to burst.

To achieve its goals, DDS+ has adopted a New Way of Working both in terms of its refurbished open plan premises on the Avenue Louise, and in the way it organises the work. The whole team is involved in initial discussions on a project, bringing ideas, with the objective of creating the possibility to surprise each other. Project teams are then formulated not according to a pre-defined ‘order’ with a set project head or designer, but according to the strengths of each person and the needs of the project in question. Because of this, every project is different when it emerges from the ground, and there is not a ‘DDS+ style’ which can be identified.
Tim Harrup
02-10-2017


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