Start-up companies are defined by growth, change and wonderful potential and the office or headquarters from which all of that is made possible needs to be characterized by the same attributes. A successful case that relates to all that is the Uniplaces Headquarters.
Developed for a young start-up company that specializes in helping students all around the world find housing and accommodations. Their headquarters was designed by Paralelo Zero, an architecture office founded in 2013 and dedicated to the study and preservation of Portuguese culture and heritage in Africa but which also has other more diverse projects.
The headquarters offers a space of 1000 square meters and is located in Lisboa, Portugal. One of the architects’ goal for this project was to find a way to maximize work performance by adapting and optimizing the space as best as possible.
In order to ensure the best spatial approach for the company, the architects developed an open space concept. A design with as few partitions as possible was preferred in order to maintain an open and flexible layout throughout the office.
The design concept also aimed at creating a flexible relationship between individuals and groups, ensuring easy transfer and collaborations for various projects and tasks. This is an approach chosen by a lot of big companies for their headquarters.
However, even though the overall layout is open and spacious, this doesn’t completely obliterate privacy. The headquarters features a series of small-scale spaces that are strategically distributed throughout the floor plan. They each have a distinct function.
These small spaces also have their own unique designs. They can be fixed such as the library nook or the meeting rooms or they can be flexible and designed using mobile furniture or partitions. A good example in this case is a private pod dedicated to Skype calls.
To ensure a very pleasant and fresh work environment, the architects also included in their design a series of contemplation areas a few such small-scale spaces are integrated within the open space while at the heart of the office there’s a greenhouse.
In here, the walls are green and the décor is fresh and simple. The wooden flooring adds a warm touch to the space and also makes it look a bit more like a porch. Of course, all of this is emphasized through the use of outdoor furniture. A series of sleek small tables with round tops are complemented by delicate chairs.
But there’s more to this particular area than just that. The greenhouse it was called also makes it easier for the office to integrate within the architectural context and to look like a part of the building that doesn’t try to distance itself from the surroundings.
The office can be found in the Rossio railway building, a structure with lots of history, beautiful arched windows and bohemian architecture. A distinctive characteristic of the building is the abundance of nautical details embedded in its design. Some of these were also integrated into the new design of this office.
For example, rope netting was used in various spaces. A very interesting feature is the extension of the mezzanine through a suspended net structure where employees can relax and work in a casual and relaxed environment. This type of dynamic design helps add a playful touch to the work environment. It’s also a feature that stimulates communication and interaction between employees, creating a friendly setting for everyone to enjoy.
The architects set a goal for themselves and managed to achieve it. They wanted to create an office with character that would represent the company’s values and culture and that’s exactly what they managed to do.