Agility, versatility, connection and convenience: the concept of “office” and “workplace” has undergone profound transformations and is still changing to adapt to new needs not just in work habits but also in people’s lifestyles in general.
This trend has been strongly reinforced as a consequence of changes due to the pandemic. Today’s office is a fluid environment – it is a hybrid space for working, meeting, and connecting with people who work remotely, but also for relaxing, socializing and decompressing in a place that offers domestic comforts.
The architecture and interior design firm Garibaldi Architects recently designed two office projects that exemplify this new paradigm: the new Milan headquarters of the company IRI and the offices of a large distribution company with a branch located in Rho.
Thanks to a well-established collaboration after designing the company’s central headquarters in Milan, Garibaldi Architects also rethought the 1,600-sq.-m space in Rho, which is located above the company’s retail outlet. According to the client’s requests, the architects designed a dynamic and fluid space that promotes teamwork and collaboration while also respecting privacy. The space is organized in two macro areas. The first is dedicated to social areas and open spaces and was developed according to a design concept that utilizes soft lines, curves and circular spaces to emphasize the idea of meeting and fluidity. The second is dedicated to offices and meeting rooms. In these areas, the lines become oblique and broken to encourage the privacy and concentration needed at workstations. The reception and lounge area connect the two areas and serve as a hinge or a filter element between these two poles. Alternating between custom-made furniture and iconic design pieces, Garibaldi Architects has given the spaces a subdued and elegant allure, characterized by a use of natural materials, rich paneling, and color contrasts through chiaroscuro interplay. To complete this refined environment, a series of indoor plants mark the spaces, contributing to the creation of a zen atmosphere that promotes concentration and productivity.
For the new headquarters of IRI – a global leader in big data management, predictive analytical solutions and market intelligence in the fast-moving consumer good sector – Garibaldi Architects came up with offices that the architects define “hyper-tech 4.0” for a newly renovated building in Viale Cassala in Milan. The configuration of the space is all about enabling employees to collaborate with colleagues and clients remotely with the same efficiency as in person. To this end, video cameras, screens and connection points have been placed ubiquitously in the workspaces. To promote hybrid connection, the executive offices and fixed workstations were eliminated, and the space was reconfigured according to three functional areas: a central entrance area used for the noisiest and most social activities, a perimeter area near the windows with reservable workstations, and glass-paneled meeting rooms in the corner areas. To round out the offerings for employees, there are also soundproofed phone booths for the most private calls, a cafeteria with tables of different sizes and heights, a large custom-made social table located between the floor pillars, and an open bookcase. Finally, natural materials, finishings, and delicate and welcoming patterns were selected to maximize the comfort of the users of the space.
Location: Rho, Milan, Italy
Gross Floor Area: 1,600 m2
Interior Design: Garibaldi Architects
Main Contractor: Kostruire
Plant Equipment Consultant: REN Solution
Photography: Giacomo Albo, courtesy of Garibaldi Architects
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