SPORTISIMO is a leading Czech retailer of sporting goods and sport is the key element throughout the company's entire new HQ, which CAPEXUS both designed and built. The company's work environment was designed to be as flexible as possible. Employees can work in offices from anywhere.
"It's important that offices adapt to the needs of upcoming generations," said Daniel Matula, the co-founder of CAPEXUS, which designed and built the office for SPORTISIMO. "One third of employees today are millennials, and employees under 30 definitely prefer workplaces that can be changed easily, rather than strictly divided offices and meeting rooms."
CAPEXUS architects therefore emphasized the variability of the workplace. The new headquarters of the sporting goods chain in Prague's Zličín district has a large number of closed and open meeting rooms of different sizes. Meeting rooms occupy approximately 20% of the whole area – much more than in similar projects.
Space for meetings and for independent work
Thanks to this, employees can choose where they want to work. Some places are better suited for individual work requiring a great deal of concentration, others for work in teams or for short meetings. The architects took into account the fact that offices need to create a space where people can meet and naturally exchange information.
Sport clearly was going to be the main source of inspiration for the SPORTISIMO offices. The dominant element is a blue running track that circles the skylight around the perimeter and helps guide new employees and visitors. In addition to looking like an authentic tartan track, the material also has surprising sound absorbing qualities, helping to reduce the reverberation time of sound in the open space.
The office is full of clever and amusing ideas that refer to sport. "Each of the ten meeting rooms was inspired by a different sport," explains Jakub Seči, an architect with CAPEXUS. "There's one that looks like a squash court with lines and real rackets, another with a real bicycle racing out of the wall, and one with skateboards on the walls and a U ramp. There is always something new to discover." Visitors are also surprised by the reception desk, which is installed in a real size football goal.
Another key element of the design is the open ceiling with exposed mechanical, electrical and plumbing features. The anthracite colour of the ceiling lends it a hip industrial look.
A new approach: focus on acoustics
"The company moved into the new open space from a classical cubicle office, which was a huge change for the employees," said architect Erika Bohatá. "The transition therefore had to be as smooth as possible. We focused on the optical and functional separation of the open space offices and paid a lot of attention to acoustic comfort."
The workspace is lined with cabinets serving four functions: absorbing sounds, dividing the corridor from the workspace, providing storage for items, and a place for flowers. Each team is also divided by furniture walls that help keep out noise while also serving as additional storage space.
In addition, the designers focused even more than usual on special acoustic solutions. Acoustic plasterboard was used in the meeting rooms, and hanging acoustic panels were placed directly above the employees' desks. Panels separating individual workplaces then contribute not only to acoustic comfort but also to the feeling of privacy.
Visitors are greeted by a reception desk installed in a football goal, employees can run around the athletics track, and the design of each meeting room reflects a different sport. The head office of Czech retailer SPORTISIMO certainly reflects the active nature of the company.
Actiu's furniture, and the general configuration of Sportisimo's offices, are specifically designed to meet the furnishing needs of today’s workforce. Workstations are set out in an ergonomic way, surrounded by plants and with large windows and wooden highlights to add warmth. Cabinetry is installed to perform multiple functions, including the absorption of sound, dividing the corridor from the workspace, providing storage and hosting floral and plant elements.
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The values of hard work, discipline and a sporting attitude can be seen in each and every one of the details and spaces that make up the new central offices of Sportissimo in the Czech Republic, located in Prague and furnished by Actiu.
Two Badminton chairs welcome visitors to a lobby that, like the other corridors in this workspace, visually emulate an athletics track. Green and blue are the dynamic and corporate colours that take centre stage in the space, leading you around the rest of this company's location.
Sportissimo, which specialises in the marketing of sports products, has made movement, energy and sporting efficiency the backbone of the aesthetic of its new offices. A sporty look that translates into a reception table located in a real football goal and meeting rooms that reflect various sporting disciplines: tennis, cycling, skating and squash.
In the open space used for meetings and collaborative work, Actiu's panelled spaces and soft seating solutions have been installed to enhance ergonomics and comfort whilst, at the same time, creating a relaxed atmosphere in which to share ideas and experience and develop joint projects.
This layout represents a radical change for Sportissimo, whose employees previously worked in traditional offices structured around cubes, a layout that was badly in need of wholesale modernisation.
The Actiu products fit into the Capexus interior design project, which sought to enhance the flexibility of the offices and enable employees to work in any part of this corporate space. Hence the importance of an open space in which to exchange information naturally, work in groups, have short meetings and even perform individual tasks.
The athletics track is a visible marking between the various meeting rooms which, designed around various sporting themes and with highly variable capacities, allow team members to call meetings and get-togethers both in person as well as online.
The workstations, where a total of 30 people work, have been laid out in a welcoming and comfortable space, surrounded by plants, near large windows and with wooden highlights to add warmth. The space is furnished with cabinets that perform four functions: absorbing sound, dividing the corridor from the workspace, providing storage and hosting floral and plant elements.
This desire to promote socialisation is also reflected in the cafeteria, which has made use of Wing chars as the ideal solution for efficiency and comfort.
Actiu's furniture, and the general configuration of Sportissimo's offices, is specifically designed to meet the furnishing needs of new workspaces and new generations, who prefer workplaces that can be easily changed and adapted, a far cry from strict and limited models.