Designing an office space for a marketing team is not the same as designing an office space for a law firm. Ceiling heights for example affect thinking style. High ceilings are conducive to abstract or creative thought. Low ceilings promote detail-driven tasks. Longer hours mean that offices need to address both work and personal needs. Workplace interaction as well as social interaction leads to more successful collaboration. General awareness and focus on these needs and well-being promote employee satisfaction and employee satisfaction in turn is good for people and good for business.
Let's get to know Nestle Lahore's Story as take a look closer,
The Nestle's workplace interior comprises of 3 floor levels within an old warehouse building located within the new packages mall development scheme for the area. The workplace interior design by Design Partnership Australia draws inspiration from cool, calm tones and is grounded with biophilic design principles.
You have one chance to make a first impression when visitors enter your office for the first time and your reception area is usually where you get that chance. When visitors walk in, their experience at the front desk and receptionist area should give them an idea of your company’s priorities and personality. That impression should pull through into the rest of the design and allude to what will follow once the visitor passes the area and travels deeper into the building's interior.
A small retail store across from the reception to hold Nestlé products for its staff and clients visiting the head offices. We kept the design intention of the retail store in line with the rest of the workplace concept so that it would form part of the bigger narrative of the design.
Careful consideration was undertaken to ensure the corporate use and functionality of specialised rooms met the needs of the brand. As simple as this room appears it serves a very important key as this is where consumables and products are tested in group sessions around the tables.
Consumer Demo Room,
The demo room is an opportunity to create an atmosphere where virtual and in-person education and learning its purpose.
An ideal workspace must encourage both the presentation of ideas and the acquisition of feedback and interaction from clients, staff, and guests. These rooms can provide an opportunity for collaboration and the development of ideas that can play a key role in "getting things right". Each room is fitted with an overhead projector, flat-screen displays, surround sound, and other audio-visual aids to add to the experience. The intention is to also use this room for live broadcasting.
The room is connected to the 60/40 Room mentioned in the previous post and a large-scale commercial kitchen to aid in food demonstrations and events.
Essentially, a training room is a place where staff, clients, and guests of the company can come together to learn and be educated on new skills that may add value to their workplace. Although training rooms aren't just for formal use, they can be used for informal sessions as well. Their purpose is to facilitate people to share ideas, brainstorm solutions to problems, and collaborate together.
We note that these rooms are not all alike, and any training room should allow for the various ways in which employees interact with presenters and with each other during seminars, programs, or workshops.
In this case, the walls on the left and right have been designed to open and stack behind the display screen allowing the room to expand contract and connect to the adjacent specialty rooms. The room is connected to the 60/40 Room and to the Consumer Demo Rooms mentioned in the previous post, and a large-scale commercial kitchen to aid in food demonstrations and events.
A key takeout here is that It’s less about the design of the space and more about the way it can be used.
Imagine yourself walking down a long passageway deeper into the workplace guided by the waving light above. On the left, you pass the retail shop, consumer demo room, and training rooms. On the right there is floor to ceiling glazing so that you can see onto the rose the green lawns and well-kept rose gardens. Even though you are walking down a long passage it still feels open.
Reaching the foyer area there is a grand reveal. A vertical live garden connects all the levels together with glass elevators allowing you to enjoy an express journey upwards in the building, or simply take the scenic route up by taking the looping staircase.
“The goal of a designer is to listen, observe, understand, sympathize, empathize, synthesize, and glean insights that enable him or her to ‘make the invisible visible.”
- Hillman Curtis
When designing interiors we leverage an arrangement of design principles and methods for formulating the design. In this case, we leveraged off, Form, Scale, Light, and Outlook. We tie these together with our understanding of designing for predictive behaviour to ensure we are able to connect the functional design and aesthetics to the people that use it.
Pit-Stop Pause Areas,
Along the ground floor, there are break-out areas intentionally placed at key locations for staff to stop, pause and take a moment. This may be a quick coffee or informal chat away from their work stations.
These spaces are open to staff and visitors which is separate from their dedicated working and meeting areas. It is a place for employees to relax, eat a snack and even hold informal conversations as we mentioned above. The Pit Stops still follow the design of the office environment however, they have been intentionally made to be more comfier, cater or small groups, or pair seating with a more casual look and feel than the rest of the working environment.
They add to the wellbeing of the employees, they provide a space for interaction and collaboration and the areas offer additional informal working areas throughout the building. By the way, the booth seats and ottomans will be made out of velvet.
Workplace Ground Floor,
Open workspaces or smaller rooms?
In our own offices, we've noticed (and experienced) a pendulum swing between open plan and private offices. It is quite possible that both enclosed and open spaces have their merits - while enclosed spaces favor privacy and concentration, open spaces are conducive to connection, collaboration, and experimentation.
Open spaces promote team building, one of the most important functions of a great workplace. While private spaces enhance productivity, open spaces facilitate workplace collaboration.
Offering a range of spaces that can accommodate the different work activities & enable a good work experience is considered more effective.
Private Phone and Meeting Booths
Some calls are better in a soundproof cubical...
There are small private booths next to the working zones to provide quiet spots for discrete calls and online meetings. The booths provide a needed quiet spot where staff can walk into, slide the door closed, and have that call without being interrupted. In this case, the client asked for standing rooms to facilitate shorter calls and time spent in each pod.
These spaces bring the volume down a notch for a few moments. People inside the soundproof rooms will hear soft muffled sounds from the outside. This is because we've learned that soft ambient/ white noise provides a better experience for people in space compared to being in an area of complete silence or the opposite where there is too much noise.
Each room has been designed with pastel fabric felt wall paneling that lines the walls above blue-stained timber oak paneling. A LED light washes down the timber wall to highlight it with a soft glow. A marble countertop at standing working height is carefully positioned for notebooks and laptops. This is tied together by the accent lighting in each room, may this be a mirror copper pendant or white Tyvek table lamp with a soft glow. The intention is to enhance and change the mood of the small spaces compared to the rest of the workplace environment.
Workplace Top Floor,
The warehouse shell has an old barrel-vaulted soffit cast out of concrete. The intention was to make use of this beautiful feature that the building had to offer and let it become a feature along the top floor within the building where possible.
Each vault is being repaired and cleaned in order to bring it back to its original state. With clever lighting, linear strips of LED lights wash up the sides of each vault filling the voids with ambient lighting to make each barrel glow. We designed the new ceilings to run at the bottom of each barrel to hold services, cables, and other important items needed to make the floor operational.
Manager office and Meeting room,
Each open workspace zone is anchored with a small private office for the managers of the team on the left and a small team meeting room on the right. The intention behind this is to make each workplace operate as a small hub where the manager can perform confidential work tasks during the day and have a short group meeting in the adjoining room. This eliminates the extensive need for too many large-scale boardrooms that would be utilised less often and by bigger groups only. This is a way how we subtly start to maximize the usability of a corporate office that has larger open plan seating and a working area.
Manager office Interior,
Looking inside each smaller office we notice that the furniture and joinery are similar to the items used in the larger open workspace. We standardised the design between the two areas to avoid creating a visual hierarchy between the staff and areas. The purpose was to create equality between the people using the space so that staff wouldn't feel intimidated when walking into the manager's office or adjacent meeting room, this is something that was important to the client and their ethos.
The only real perk of being in the office is having your own larger storage cabinet, a pin-up board and a view of the royal rose gardens through the large glass windows.
Meeting Room Interior,
Smaller meeting rooms adjacent to the manager's office have been intentionally grouped together to make each open plan work area operate as a small independent within the greater building. The purpose of the room is to accommodate short group meetings for small to medium groups of people.
Smaller meeting rooms are to remove the excessive need for too many large-scale boardrooms that can only be used one at a time. When looking at the design of the Nestlé workplace a ratio of 1:4 was followed. For every 1 big boardroom, there would be 4 smaller meeting rooms, taking up the same amount of area within the building. The Nestlé workplace accommodates 2 big boardrooms and 8 smaller meeting rooms just for employees to use. This allocation of the area in the interior maximizes the useability of the workplace environment without wasting large areas of space.
Data Center and Studio,
The recording studio is a specialized room used for audio and visual production of educational or entertainment content. Following a professional and production setup scenario. A studio consists of three dedicated areas in order to make it functional,
Where the content is being recording and created. In most cases this is referred to as the “live room”. There is normally very specialised lighting, Mics, Cameras, a green screen and most importantly engineered acoustic systems to dress the room. This can be seen in the back area in the image.
The control room, This is where the content from the live room is edited, mixed and produced to refine the content. This room consists of specialised dimmed lighting so not interfere with the live studio. Acoustic paneling on the workstations to further absorb sound. This can seen with the work stations in the foreground.
The server room, This is where noisier equipment that may interfere with the live recording and production process. These rooms normally have dedicated air-conditioned systems to keep everything very cool along with engineered acoustics to capture the sound made by the servers. In this case the server room is behind us and only accessible through the production room.
There are two large boardrooms located on the top floor of the building. Both of them have the beautiful concrete vaulted soffits exposed which is no easy task when taking lighting, ventilation, and other services needed to make them functional. Often in these situations, it's easier to install a normal ceiling to hide everything in place and have all the services run to their points, however the opportunity to make the great would be missed.
What makes the design not good but, rather great?
Great design can be defined by the experience it creates for people using a product or being within a space. Specifically, the feeling they get when they are within a space whilst performing an activity or interacting with a product. In this case, a good design solution would be to have a ceiling in the space that easily hides all the services of the space however, a great design solution would be to expose what the building has to offer and carefully figure out how to hide the services within the room to still make it work.
We constantly ask ourselves what would make the design great, no matter how small or challenging it may be to achieve it.
Chairman's and Market Head's Office,
Inside the executive offices, we notice that the furniture and joinery are similar to the items used in the smaller offices, meeting rooms, and open workspace areas. Following what we mentioned before, these items have been standardised in the design between the different areas to avoid creating a visual hierarchy between the staff and other areas within the workplace. The intention of this is to create equality between the people using the workplace so that the employees wouldn't feel intimidated when walking into the executive offices. This is something that was important to the client and their ethos.
The only real perk of being in the executive office is that they have a smaller table for meetings within the same room, and they have more storage behind their desks. The Chairman asked for a lot of storage to file away his documents, whilst the Market Head asked to have less storage as a preference. They also have a view of the royal rose gardens through the large glass windows.
Nestlé Headquarters Lahore was by Design Partnership Australia
Top Floor Pit Stop Pause area,
There are two Pit Stop areas located on the third floor of the interior. They are connected to the glass elevators and main circulation staircases within the building as central open breathing spaces between the workstation and meeting rooms.
The top concrete vault was originally solid as seen in the previous posts. In the effort to lighten the space and embrace the existing architecture. An area is being cut out to allow for large skylights above the stairs. As a result, the interior is visually open out to the sky, whilst rays of sunlight fill the staircase and touch the planter walls.
The Skylight will be treated to reduce the UV light entering the space and this was made possible by the clever work by the engineering team.
The Pit Stops follow the design of the office environment however, they have been intentionally made to be more comfier, cater or small groups, or pair seating with a more casual look and feel than the rest of the working environment.
Welcome to Nestlé's Headquarters in Lahore.
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