Eight-Hour Energy

Red Bull’s revved-up Dutch headquarters
All office furniture (including these Eames chairs) is from high-end manufacturer Vitra Photograph by Guus Kaandorp for Bloomberg Businessweek

Just beyond a decommissioned Russian submarine, Red Bull Studio Amsterdam occupies three bays of a former shipbuilding structure. The workplace was designed to reflect the energy drink’s high-octane image. Employees who chug too much of the merchandise, from seven Red Bull-stocked fridges, can burn off excess energy in “The Beast,” the half of the office dedicated to play. It includes an Xbox 360 connected to a giant screen made up of four LG Flatron TVs. Soccer “is by far the most popular game here,” says Mariska Rijnders, whose business card reads “Defensive Line” but who is in fact assistant to the general manager. “The girls, sometimes they play their dancing games.”

The work half of the space, which houses sales and marketing teams, is nicknamed “The Arena.” Six offices are closed off by glass walls, including that of General Manager Jan Smilde, whose desk is built from the wing of a Red Bull–emblazoned airplane. Starting at 5:30 on Fridays, employees stop answering their phones, and take turns DJ-ing as beer and wine are served. More formal occasions call for a house favorite, Red Bull and Prosecco.

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