This project is the answer to an ambitious shift in the way of understanding a work space occupied by a group of sister companies that share resources and management, but that have heterogeneous missions. The commission's parameters took into account things like a greater corporate identification with the space, and an increase in the number of work stations ¬– all in record time with a minimal budget and without interfering in the office's day to day operations. In essence, it required updating the work space. After successive partial expansions, the shared office lacked both identity and a structure that would be adaptable over time. These deficiencies, when added to the introduction of a business indicator and the need to create an international network of offices, led to the initiation of this long term project, which was implemented in various phases.
The project consisted of 3 main actions:
Reboot the space.
The principle characteristic of this conglomerate is its adaptability in terms of context and rotation. It is made up of different companies which can change quickly in size, with some joining and others making way for more vigorous operations. Therefore, the first action consisted of returning the office space to a hypothetical starting point, in order to invoke the spirit of rebirth. The carpeting and flooring were removed, as was the false ceiling, the paneling and the covering around the columns. Any later transformations would thereby be more closely linked to this theoretical starting point.
Reorganize the material hierarchies.
Against the protagonism of the horizontal work plane, the dynamics of periodic, on-site meetings; and the pseudo-domestic flooring, the gaze in today's work space tilts up to the screen, with its constant communications with remote locations which are received with a close-up of one's face surrounded by a general view of the ceiling; the view of the floor disappearing as a repository for the aesthetic experience. The project stripped the conventional flooring, to leave the high-traffic industrial floors in full view, which were painted white. Meanwhile, the warmth of the carpeting was transferred to the ceiling in the form of wooden beams anchored to the original bare lattice structure. The presence of all secondary building elements was reduced through the application of white paint, bringing the people, the plants, the spoils of trade shows, the belongings and the attachments of this community to the forefront.
If the organization of offices is traditionally articulated around the creation of a space that is optimized for production, strangely cut off from other contexts of the city and design in accordance with specific constructive systems for offices, this project has questioned all of these principals to find a model that is replicable, scalable and sustainable.
The project follows a simple maxim: this is not one ambiance, but rather the coexistence of various superimposed worlds: this office is a garden, a museum, a restaurant, a storage space, a store, a showroom, an exchange... for now.