betonskelet van het M+P-kantoor in Aalsmeer

How M+P flourished in Aalsmeer (29/50)

When we grew out of our first office as M+P - the ground floor of a block of flats in Amstelveen - we bought an abandoned, half-finished building in Aalsmeer. ”A good choice,” says former colleague Cees Sangers. "After 40 years, we can still move forward here."

Cees Sangers started at M+P in 1978 immediately after finishing his studies. In those early days, our office was still in converted garages under a block of flats in Amstelveen. "There were about eight of us but we wanted to hire more people," he recalls. “Especially when the Noise Reduction Act (Wet geluidhinder) came into effect, it generated a lot of work. First, we broke through to the adjacent garage, but even the doubling in size did not provide us with enough office space. So we all started looking for premises that could provide space for about 20 people.”

Great advice

“We went to look at many properties, especially around Amstelveen and Amsterdam-Zuid. In retrospect, it often turned out to be a good thing we didn't end up there. There was no parking, it was an unattractive location under an overpass, or the owner turned out to be unreliable. Finally, a secretary came up with the perfect solution. She lived in Aalsmeer - we weren't looking there - and knew that a building that was still under construction there had been vacant for a long time because the client had gone bankrupt.”

Big party

“In 1982, we partnered with the original architect and completed the construction in six months. The bricks and façade elements were still stored on site. The concrete skeleton was already finished but we could still furnish our offices ourselves. When we moved into the building, we organised a big party. An entire bus full of our German colleagues from Müller-BBM came over for it. Some colleagues emerged from moving boxes and sang a song they composed especially for the occasion. Others performed with a band in the basement.”

Computer in the basement

“Having a basement that stretched the entire building was a bonus. Here, for example, we could also place our first computer: the man-sized HP 1000. That machine provided a breakthrough in our automation. In Amstelveen, we still used a wooden box to minimise the noise. Now it had its own dedicated computer room. Another big advantage of this property was that it had a lot of land around it. We later used that for parking and an additional wing.”

Space to grow

“It's a pleasant building. Previously, we had to share the space; now everyone was able to have their own little office. That gave us peace of mind. The move also coincided with stepping up our professionalisation. From Amstelveen, for example, I remember a director spending an entire afternoon tinkering with a drill to save money for a repair. As we continued to grow, we did not need to do that anymore. Especially the emergence of noise legislation created very large orders, for which we developed our own equipment. The building in Aalsmeer has given us the freedom to actually achieve that growth.”