ARCADIS NV



Arnheim, population 120,000, lies in the center of The Netherlands near the German border. From the city center it's a 10 minute walk to ARCADIS's six-story head office. Founded in 1888, ARCADIS is Holland's largest consultancy and engineering firm with over 7,000 employees (of which 3,500 are in Holland).

Situated on high ground and built less than 10 years ago, its location affords employees views of the nearby Rhine River. In front of the building stands a very large piece of curved metal sculpture which looks like a giant awning someone forgot to place on the building. I chuckle to myself and say it's probably left over from construction. Don't laugh, I've sometimes found it to be the case. *(When visiting TRW's beautiful facility outside of Cleveland, Ohio I asked about the prominently displayed large steel sculpture near the entrance and was told it was actually a piece of curved steel leftover from constructing the head office building).

The inside of ARCADIS's large building is highlighted by an impressive atrium running the length of the structure. Evelien Hamelink, Corporate Communications, isn't sure how many work here but, says they have been occupants since 1995, leasing 75% of the place with a local utility firm (Nuon) occupying the remainder.
Handing me her business card I notice what looks to be a red dinosaur next to the company's name. It looks very similar to Dino the dinosaur on the Flintstones cartoon show. Hamelink says it's the company logo and it's a salamander not a dinosaur. "Why the salamander", I ask. "It's an environmental friendly animal", she replies.

Speaking of the environment and cutting down the number of vehicles on the road, ARCADIS has a special program where employees can lease bicycles from the company. It's a one and a half hour drive to Amsterdam's airport and though there isn't a stop here, train tracks run right past the rear of the building. There are no recreational facilities and smoking is allowed in the building. ARCADIS does have a presence on the Internet but, only for giving background information on the company.

I can't see the boardroom and its oval-shaped table due to "it's being used" . CEO Frans Luttmer's middle office contains a map of the world along with a commanding view of the river.