Project: Effective Communication Offices
Design: EL EQUIPO CREATIVO / Oliver Franz Schmidt, Natali Canas del Pozo, Lucas Echeveste Lacy
Team Members: Cesc Buxó, Daniel Trujillo
Client: Effective Communication
General Contractor: 4retail
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Surface: 1000 m2 interior + 150 m2 terraza
Photographer: Adrià Goula
The Swedish company Effective Communication approaches EL EQUIPO CREATIVO with a clear wish: to offer their young Swedish team a new fun and fresh workspace in Barcelona; a place where they can both “work hard” and “party hard”, and which allows them to celebrate their “after-work” events and “Friday barbecues”, important activities of their corporate strategy.
The design converts their workspace into a beach, bringing a fresh and fun atmosphere that invites the team to maintain a positive attitude, as part of their corporate philosophy.
In summary, the objective is that the design help lightens the call centre’s hard-working schedule by offering spaces to relax, socialize and play. Through a new spatial concept, the company envisions generating a happy and fun company culture, with one aim: to retain their staff by developing personal relationships beyond work and creating a small “Swedish family” in Barcelona.
From the beginning, EL EQUIPO CREATIVO understood that the design needed to speak about the city of Barcelona since it was the main element of attraction for the Swedish staff moving to the company’s new headquarters. And more specifically a spontaneous and fresh Barcelona, full of colour and joy, which is the image that the city exports to northern Europe.
The offices are in the Poble Nou neighbourhood, an old industrial and workshop area next to the coast, today converted into the 22@ District, the new technological and artistic centre of the city: the new “place to be” for any young company. Its proximity to the sea, and the idea of creating a playful workplace for young Swedes in Barcelona, made the designers think of creating an office inspired by the beach. Who has never dreamt of working at the beach?
The main space of the headquarters is the large call-centre room, which requires very careful acoustics due to the type of work carried out there. EL EQUIPO CREATIVO used sound-insulation elements as one of the leading design strategies. The result is a lively acoustic ceiling simulating beach towels with an explosion of bright colours and sailor stripes.
The textured carpet flooring performs as the organic counterpoint to the ceiling. In different shades and grades of blue, the carpet simulates the seawater sweeping up on the beach.
The result is a dynamic space that generates an energetic and positive attitude among the staff, part of the company’s corporate philosophy.
The kitchen represents the alter-ego of the workspace. Strategically located next to the facade and directly connected to the terrace— the other principal protagonist of the offices— the kitchen is the place to socialize par excellence. The design in both spaces reflects the most playful and sporty beach aesthetic, offering different seating and socializing arrangements: intimate corners, more group-friendly surfboard tables, table games, pool and even a kiosk-bar for “after-work” parties every Friday.
The kitchen opens onto the terrace through large sliders, connecting both spaces on sunny days. To emphasize that “outdoor feeling”, the kitchen’s ceiling acoustic panels, in white organic shapes, simulate clouds under a blue sky.
Together with the meeting rooms and staff’s bathrooms, the primary access maintains the graphic strategy of beach inspiration, fresh and colourful. Metallic curtains with striped patterns, along with diagonally placed flooring and luminaires, help to create a casual and playful atmosphere intended to inspire a positive attitude. The bathrooms contain an extra surprise with the use of graphics of vintage sailor characters.
There is secondary access to the administration and coordination area, with a more neutral aesthetic, culminating in the luxurious management office, a little whim of the partners. Because life also deserves an occasional whim, right?
One of the principal objectives of EL EQUIPO CREATIVO is to make the person who inhabits or visits its designs feel positively inspired by them.
Through a design centred on the user experience, the company’s staff becomes the protagonist of the space itself, it’s activating element. The design strategy seeks to generate a rewarding work experience, active, optimistic, and, why not, fun! With this aim, the design introduces “play” as the counterpoint to the idea of “work”, as playing generates camaraderie among colleagues. The result could not be more favourable for the company: a highly productive, motivated team with a great sense of camaraderie.