GaS studio was selected by an international pharmaceutical company for the design of their new Roman headquarters. Our office had already worked previously on one of the branch offices a few years back and we were delighted to be called once again for this new Italian headquarters.
Although the main objective was to centralize all company activities into a single location, our client wanted this project to also integrate new concepts for the workplace and some “smart working” principles.
The new space consists of roughly 6500m2 of useable area. In addition to general office functions, some very specific areas of the brief included a technical demonstration area at the ground floor near the client/employee lounge with an outdoor seating area, a sister company that, for legal reasons, required separate access with their own distinct graphics and signage, and on the top floor meeting and board room facilities.
The use of color to enhance spaces
The base building presented several inherent characteristics that influenced the design: a) a floor plate divided by a corridor creating two very different zones. The first narrow and including services such as stairs and bathrooms and a second zone much deeper b) mullion spacing on a 2.5m grid which influenced greatly the positioning of partitions.
These existing conditions pushed the design team to concentrate all functions such as conference rooms and closed offices as well as open plan areas to the deeper zone and concentrate services such as photocopy rooms, supplies and archives to the shallower zone.
Along the corridor a glass partition separated these zones and became a graphic wall of company identity.
In the deeper zone we proposed a system of fully glazed spaces with colored vertical blinds. This approach allows even inbound spaces to benefit from generous natural light and when visual privacy is needed it can easily be accommodated.
From an esthetic point of view this created a vibrant and ever changing environment as the different colors of the blinds blend in transparency and create an infinite variety of hues depending on the degree of their closure, and suggests a dynamic environment in “movement”.
This organizational concept relates to colors and partitions, which assist in defining more traditional work areas and department identity, whereas open plan areas refer instead to a more uniform color scheme and principles of smart working (some desk sharing complimented by informal lounges and ample meeting facilities).
In contrast to the vibrant color scheme of blinds and lounge furniture, the service zone and all floor finishes (vinyl in corridor and carpet in work areas) are treated in tones of grey creating balance.
A new workplace culture
This project represents for the company a first but forceful step into a new work culture. Fully enclosed offices have been reduced but are still deemed necessary. Non assigned work stations are common and increased conferencing facilities with remote booking and improved video conferencing facilitate team work and working from home. Informal lounges have also been increased and distributed throughout and all spaces are planned to accommodate spontaneous meetings supported by technology.