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Workspace of the week

ODOS Architects designs Slack’s new London HQ

A row of skylights offering extensive views of London’s skyline influenced ODOS Architects’ design for Slack’s first UK offices, the creator of the workplace messaging system by the same name. Slack’s London office is located on the top two floors of the former BBC Radio 1 broadcasting building on Great Portland Street, and is the company’s second European base.

The San Francisco-based company opened its first European office in Dublin in 2015, but relocated to a bigger space earlier this year in the capital. ODOS Architects, which has offices in London, Dublin and New York, also designed this space for the company.

For Slack’s new offices, which span 540 square metres, the architects chose a largely monochrome colour palette that reflects the company’s desired aesthetic: “mature and timeless”.

An pale oiled oak floor laid in a herringbone pattern is offset by black-stained timber and dark leather upholstery. Planting set between rows of rooflights spills from the upper to lower floors, adding an accent of colour to the workspace.

The rooflights are surrounded by protruding black frames that offer seating nooks offering office workers views of the London skyline, and form what the architects call “eyes to the city”. “We lined the portals so as to reflect and extend the view of the London rooftop horizon and capture the movement of passing clouds, planes and the city’s birdlife,” explained the architects.

“This intervention as with many others in the space serves to create inspiring work spaces and opportunities for social interaction.”

In contrast to the brightly and naturally lit offices, an ominous black corridor is illuminated by harsh strip lighting arranged to create a gridded pattern.

“This is a space of contrasts,” said architects. “An all-black and highly reflective gallery space with perimeter light bands serves to create a space with a somewhat otherworldly quality and one which contrasts and compliments the brighter spaces at either end.”

Slack branding is kept minimal, with one company logo lettered in a semi-transparent grey by a skylight, and another in solid white on the reception. Launched in 2013 by Flikr co-founder Stewart Butterfield, Slack was set up to offer a digital workspace where employees can communicate with each other. The company has seen a rapid expansion, with new offices opening in Manhattan and Dublin this year, in addition to London.

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East London architecture and engineering studio Interrobang use plywood and pastel hues in their new studio.

Architecture and engineering studio Interrobang has fitted out its east London office with freestanding plywood furniture units, painted in the same pastel hues as insulating foam typically concealed within a building’s walls.

When Interrobang moved into the space on the first floor of a five-storey 1970s office block in 2016, it was completely empty and had no kitchen or meeting room.

The studio designed a series of freestanding furniture units that are used to compartmentalise the office, creating these essential spaces, as well as a reception, IT room and various breakout areas.

“Our aim was to create a working environment that would encourage communication and collaboration,” Interrobang co-founder Maria Smith told Dezeen.

“The office is organised around two large tables – one pink, one green – where we come together for everything from design workshops to curry Thursdays,” said Sith.

“We then defined the other spaces by colour, with a pink meeting room, green kitchen, blue library, and yellow printer bar.”
Interrobang chose to use spruce plywood, not only for its affordability, but because it could be used to create precisely detailed furniture using computer-controlled cutting and assembly techniques.

The freestanding walls can be removed in the future without damaging the building fabric in any way.

Each of the hues chosen for the painted surfaces is borrowed from a specific type of insulating product. For example, Kooltherm Pink is used for the reception, IT room and meeting room.

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Zalando’s new offices dubbed “the coolest tech hub”

Zalando hired Interior Architects Fyra for new offices that have been dubbed “the coolest tech hub in Helsinki.” The offices offer plenty of places to work as a group, or if the employees would rather have some quiet to concentrate, there’s space for that as well. Besides workstations, they incorporated lots of fun elements that would make it easy to roll out of bed in the morning knowing you were spending the day here.

Overall, Zalando wanted a raw industrial look with a color palette pulled from the brand’s colors. They jumped on the office when the space opened up in central Helsinki knowing it had lots of possibilities for the brand to grow, work, hold events, and just hang out.

They divided the office into two spaces – one with a double-height ceiling that was open and perfect for hanging out, and the other area more quiet for working. The open space allows games of pool and foosball, chatting with colleagues, and spots for lunch, with a stadium style setup next to a staircase.

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Sinergia Co-working space by Emilio Magnone + Marcos Guiponi

Sinergia Co-working originally started as a real estate development project, with 32 offices and 4 rental meeting rooms. Just another operation inside a recycled space that in its history housed a carpentry, mechanical workshop, movie studio and warehouse.

The project seeks to maintain the aesthetics of the pre-existing building  by using completely removable lightweight structures, made through metal beams and Structural Insulated Panels walls and by using a neutral colour palette (white and light grey), where the only colour is given by the coworkers, vegetation and furniture.

The main entrance of the building is through a garage door, that is highlighted by the logo of the company. The ground floor consists of a central yard that articulates offices with co-working spaces and meeting rooms. Smaller offices are distributed on the upper floor, together with a 3d printing workshop, flexible co-working spaces, living rooms and a photography studio.

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Fosbury & Sons co-working space designed by GOING EAST

Fosbury & Sons has taken up residence in the WATT-tower in Antwerp, a building by legendary modernist architect Léon Stynen. On the impressive first floor Fosbury & Sons founders Stijn Geeraets and Maarten Van Gool have launched a new and high-quality way of working, ‘the renaissance of work’, focussing on the needs of today’s generation. Fosbury & Sons is an inspiring and professional workplace where entrepreneurs, digital nomads and larger companies come together and benefit from all kinds of additional services. As a member, you will enjoy the comfort of a professional office, with the welcome warmth of your living room, the services and looks of a hotel and the fun of your free time. The impressive 3000 m² area was decorated by the Antwerp-based interior design studio Going East.

Fosbury & Sons provides the working man and woman with tools to better juggle their work-life balance. Useful professional services, educational lectures and fun events raise your quality of life during or after work. A quality work environment that inspires both before, during and after work.

As a member, you will enjoy the comfort of a professional office, with the welcome warmth of your living room, the services and looks of a hotel and the fun of your free time.

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Slack’s European headquarters eschews bright colours of tech start-up offices

The “urban grain” of Dublin influenced ODOS Architects’ design for the European offices of Slack, the company known for its inter-office messaging app.

The San Francisco-based company opened a Dublin office to serve as its European headquarters in 2015 but soon outgrew its original space.

For Slack’s new offices, which span 2,700 square metres of the One Park Place building on Hatch Street in the city centre, ODOS Architects chose a dark colour palette and a winding layout inspired by the office’s locality.

“The concept of the design originated from the urban grain of Dublin City,” said the architects. “Unlike the planned American streets with a regular street grid system, the streets of Dublin have a unique fluidity to their routes which in essence became the core of the concept.”

In keeping with this idea, the main path through the office is designed to be a “lively, active” space with common areas for break-out sessions.

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Selencky Parsons adds cork-lined pod with pegboard walls to its own office

Selencky Parsons has designed its own London studio, using a cork pod with pegboard walls for storing stationery, displaying models and hanging plants.

Selencky Parsons’ studio occupies the ground floor of a residential building located on a street corner opposite Brockley station in southeast London.

Large windows make the space visible from the outside, so the architects used the pod to create an intimate working studio in the pointed corner of the irregularly shaped space.

Cork is used to line the walls and floors, as well as make desks, to add a warmer atmosphere to the previously “characterless” commercial space.

“We wanted to create a comfortable working zone within the space, while maximising the benefits afforded by the highly visible site,” said the architects.

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B.Amsterdam by NEXT architects

What can be done with a 18.000 m2 empty office building situated at the outskirts of the city and that has been deemed unsuited for redevelopment for the last 11 years? This is the big challenge faced with B.Amsterdam at the Johan Huizingalaan in Amsterdam. From the start, NEXT architects was closely involved in the transformation of this static cube-shaped building into a lively hotspot for startups, freelancers and creative entrepreneurs. Strategic interventions are used to strengthen the quality, experience and identity of the building.

B.Amsterdam is a new working space concept in the former IMB headquarters building in the Rieker Business Park in Amsterdam’s Nieuw-West district. Usually, this is the place to find monofunctional office buildings, lack of occupancy, and, outside office hours, a chronic absence of entertainment. It is exactly here that B.Amsterdam’s 5 stores building is re-thought as a lively and dynamic city. Just as with any city, different functions are present that grow and develop organically. People can go to B.Amsterdam for work, sports, dining, events, and, most recently, to enjoy lunch or dinner on the rooftop restaurant Bureau.

NEXT was involved in developing the vision of the building as a city, with a recognisable, industrial appeal and re-use of materials. An important intervention is the new entrance situation, which now focuses on the experience and the quality of the entrance space for dwelling and encounters. Likewise, the raising the external fire staircase with the characteristic orange top makes the building highly recognizable from the road.

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Sky Central designed by AL_A + PLP Architecture + HASSELL Architects

Sky Central was designed to challenge conventional ideas of workspace; embracing and evolving the simplicity of the industrial shed, to define a new model for the industries fast-paced and evolving future.

The vision reflects the workings of the organisation with a campus connected by the assets that drive the Sky business forward: creativity and people. AL_A along with PLP and Hassell brought this vision to life with naturally lit, overlapping voids within deep floor plates to create high levels of visual connectivity.

Sky Group CEO, Jeremy Darroch said: “Our culture and our people are fundamental to Sky’s sustained success. Our people want to do their best and be their best, and we want to support them in doing so, creating an inclusive and creative workplace that facilitates the flow of brilliant ideas and creativity.”

Open and flexible spaces are designed in clusters of neighbourhoods to accommodate a new type of creative industry, where the traditional distinctions between creative, technical, production and corporate have been broken down. These have been replaced with an interwoven, fluid workspace that can be utilized by all of Sky Central’s different expertise and needs.

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Iconwebs new office designed by NAN Architects

The space retains much of its original appearance because the idea was to keep alive the “spirit” of the place giving a playful appearance in order to favour fluency in the communications as well as the exchange and relations among workers.

An open office concept was the request from the customer with a meeting room, an office, a small library, toilets and a break-out area to relax and eat. The main task was to adapt the project to all of these requirements.

A modular piece made of wood and glass was constructed to contain the meeting rooms, private office and toilets. In the southern part of the space are the desks with communal seating, to support meeting spaces and help the communication among the workers.

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