A custom made floor plan, why?

A custom made floor plan, why?

“You actually have no idea when entering or exiting the area what the area is like”.The neighborhood police officer’s comment totally surprised me. I took part in a placemaking session in Rijswijk. That is improving a place, by walking around with all those involved and harvesting ideas on the spot. My role was to ‘give the best ideas good text and images’. Delightfully pompous, could easily be put on a tile. For a moment I was very satisfied. Until, in injury time, the neighborhood policeman opened her mouth:
“We don’t even know who the tenants are in this area, sometimes.” And, “this place might just need a floor plan.” Wow.

What? A floor plan?

One of those paper maps with pictures of pizzeria’s around it. Boring! Everyone has Google Maps on their phone to find a restaurant, right? So why would a city district or business park create its own map anyway? For marketing purposes. Showing what’s there to do.

  1. A map on sign or brochure is welcoming. Visible, readable, approachable. Even if it is digital.
  2. This is not about navigation, it is about overview. ‘What is there to do or see here, approximately?’
  3. A map proves that your area is a whole.
  4. The most important: a floor plan is a carrier of your identity.

Definition: a floor plan is an orderly drawing of a location that raises or adjusts expectations.

Visitors have already seen the place on Google Maps, but conveying the “feel of the place” cannot be done with Google Maps because it is universal, American too. The floor plan is marketing, your first chance to let people know the identity of a place. It’s a communication tool, which like all other corporate identity elements conveys how you want to be seen. Such a floor plan can be cozy, or hip, or sleek, or energetic. Or just very beautiful. That always works wonders with visitors.

What characterizes our place?

You have to decide together what to put on the map, with what emphasis and what details. It must be correct, of course. Real estate people, tenants, municipality and marketing people need to talk to each other about this. Convenient if the floor plan designer is right there. No, not “convenient,” it’s a must. And invite the neighborhood cop too, you now know why.
And what happens when residents, users and administrators see such a floor plan? They say, “that’s our place!”

Our place!


Floor plan for marketing the ArenAPoort area in Amsterdam-Zuidoost. Meant to “show what’s out there,” and that it’s all right nearby. Created as Booqi ( small foldable map for marketing) and web page.


Floor plan of the library of the National Council for Art History Documentation. Note the beautiful sofa in the waiting area and the gender-neutral toilet icons. Details!


Location marketing

A bicycle route along wet Friesland. Map colored in pencil for an educational, warm-blooded effect. (created for IVN Fryslan)

Elaborate floor plan for the Stedelijk Museum, in the very strict corporate style. If you want something beautiful that can be put on the wall.
(Commissioned by Mevis & Van Deursen)

Two from a series of 12 wine region maps. Refined, for the book by sophisticated wine merchant Okhuysen. These kinds of maps have to be hand-drawn, to become specific.



Location marketing

Floor plan of the Villa ArenA shopping mall. The building is rendered, true to the direction of the walkways, not true to reality. This is the only way you can see all the stores and display all the names.


Kind of rustic. Map of Elswout Estate.

Location marketing

Area map for a series of informational signs for a water board. The water should all be on it, the rest be left out except for the landmark places. There may also be layers on top with inundation or drainage areas.

Location marketing

Schematic representation of obstructions in Zaandam, occurring during lock reconstruction. (For BAM via Roel Stavorinus)


Location marketing

Floor plan for Kunstfort Vijfhuizen. Not only does it look military, but it is also easy to multiply using a xerox machine.