This project started with a very clear briefing: - the company had to move in in a very short period of time; the budget was as low as possible, and the building team would be composed by two people previously chosen. Keeping this strict briefing in mind, we had to adapt our proposal to a different approach to a usual project. Nevertheless, we tried to use this briefing not as a problem, but as a challenge to create an office concept that would still be a pleasant and personalized working place.
The existing space was made by two main elements: a big open plan area, North-South facing; and another space split into two smaller areas with the building core in-between, that was East-West facing. It was a 2006-built building in very good shape, but the program would now be different.
Concept and program
The briefing was very clear about their needs: unlike the common ground about open plan offices, this company needed to have enclosed working spaces – smaller ones for 4-6 people, and bigger ones up to 12; a multi-purpose area that combines the auditorium for up 100 people, a kitchen and a training room for up to 30 people, preferably next to a lounge and a zen space.
There was also the purpose of reusing as much as possible from the previous office space, not only due to the short time for the move, but also for a minimum waste production, something that we consider a big issue in construction to be thought about nowadays.
We were asked to create a humanized space with its own personality, and there was a very curious element in the briefing: the “plants hospital”.
Having all this in mind, mixing all the context and the strict program, we proposed a central corridor layout that serves different rooms where we’ve integrated all the common functions for the office: the printer spaces, daily storage and some planters, that create a natural environment in this spaces that are usually very artificial.
The construction method was a key strategy to meet the construction deadline, the budget and the contractors’ small team issues. And it was also the opportunity to state the new presence in the building, that was added to the existing office space. We used OSB finished walls in a stud wall partition system, as these boards would come cut and finished from the supplier, saving a lot of time in plastering and painting.
This timber skin is voided with glass openings, in half-height and full-height windows, that were randomly placed to create, in each space and point of view, different visual situations that increase or decrease the space view depth.