How to combine Scandinavian style and bright accents in an office interior: Sever Minerals' experience
Our client Sever Minerals is a representative of the international Metso holding company — a supplier of technological solutions, equipment, and materials for mineral beneficiation and processing. The company grows and regularly opens new offices, and we help with the creation and implementation of design projects.
Today we will tell you about the fall of 2017, when we worked on the Scandinavian-style office, located in business center Technopolis, and how we were able to provide noise insulation of the office with open space. This project was nominated for the annual Best Office Awards 2018.
Two main requirements were functionality and environmental friendliness
The Scandinavian-style office in question is located in the same business center as the other departments of the company. Sever Minerals has shown that when departments are located close to one another, their employees interact much more effectively.
The two main requirements were as follows:
- equip fixed workplaces and rest areas to let everyone decide for themselves where to work;
- to consider the features of the business center, which is LEED and Gold-certified (60-79 points out of a possible 100). In Technopolis offices, only materials with certificates of conformity can be used: environmentally friendly and safe.
Scandinavian office design project concept
We decided to decorate the Sever Minerals office in a Scandinavian style. It is designed in a gray and white color scheme, which emphasizes the texture of natural wood and dilutes the orange and green elements.
We used a lot of wood in the office interior. For example, the rest area is decorated with drawers with images of mountain peaks from the Russian manufacturer, The Idea factory in St. Petersburg.
Live plants add to the coziness. Floor planters are placed around the office, and hinged ones are used in the area for informal communication.
The design of the office lounge area follows gray tones. We actively used wood in the office interior, as well as live plants in hinged planters with automatic irrigation.
Gray office design for Sever Minerals: from a cubicle system to an open floor plan
We used to create offices with a cubicle system for the client, but in this project, we decided to move away from it for the first time. Among the employees in the new office were those for whom it is important to be able to focus on their work, and those who communicate with colleagues a lot and regularly. It was important to consider the needs of both groups and create a balanced workspace.
You can see from the diagrams how the approach to organizing workspace in the office has changed over four years.
One of the team members who worked on the project has the floor:
«A modern Activity Based Office concept was used in the design of the space. The result is a pleasant and very cozy Scandinavian-style office with wooden partitions and live plants, which, in my opinion, is very important if a company wants its employees to feel at home in the workplace.»
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The new Scandinavian-style office includes:
- offices for employees who need to work in silence and privacy;
- open space area for those who constantly interact with each other in the work process, it is also soundproofed;
- area for relaxation and informal communication.
The space is designed so that the zones flow smoothly into each other.
In the office interior in gray colors, we actively used wood and live plants.
Scandinavian-style office reception area
There was no need for a spacious entrance area, so we made it compact. We placed here a small counter, cabinets for outerwear and office equipment.
The office design is in gray and white tones. Furniture and decorative elements are used as bright accents. In the reception area, these are sofas and work chairs in corporate orange color.
Working areas in a Scandinavian-style office
To the right of the reception, we placed five offices with side partitions made of plasterboard and a glazed entrance facing the lounge area.
The interior of the office is dominated by the Scandinavian style, which is characterized by the use of calm tones. Corporate orange chairs and paintings are used as bright accents.
Behind the rest area is an open space with office desks separated by soft acoustic partitions and orange armchairs.
Open space and rest area are separated by floor planters with houseplants. Wooden planters — as you can see, wood is used everywhere in the office interior.
Rest and informal communication area in a Scandinavian-style office
In one part of the area, we placed an upholstered sofa with poufs and a coffee point with a high table and half-bar chairs. Here you can relax, work with your laptop, have an informal meeting, or brainstorm.
The bright accents in this part of the office are in gray: chairs, sofa cushions, and posters on the wall.
Behind the partition are acoustic sofas with high sides (we paid a lot of attention to soundproofing the office) and a round table with chairs. Here you can talk with your team, have an informal meeting or call clients.
High sides and backs of sofas contribute to noise isolation of the office and provide visual privacy.
This table is suitable for informal communication with colleagues over lunch.
Noise isolation of the office
Since most of the work area was implemented in an open space format, the noise could interfere with the full-fledged work. We approached the office soundproofing responsibly.
For the floor in the open space area, we used sound-absorbing Forbo marmoleum, and the workplaces were separated from each other by soft acoustic screens.
For the rest area, we chose sofas with acoustic backs and sides, and above them, we hung panels with built-in LEDs.
In the director’s office, a map of the company’s branches was hung on the wall, and in the reception area, a bright mosaic of large panels. They are made of EcoSund material, simultaneously contribute to the noise isolation of the office, and perform a decorative function.
Scandinavian-style office for Sever Minerals: client assessment
How did the company perceive the new format of the free-plan office? We asked Service Director Anatoly Lavrentiev and received this answer:
«This is not the first year we have been working with DESIGNIC. The spaces that the colleagues designed for us have passed all the tests. We can say with confidence that we are satisfied with their work.
The last project that was realized by our partners was an office in gray for one of the company’s branches in St. Petersburg.
The Designic team came up with a solution that combines a cubicle system and an open space for work. Functional design and ergonomics of workplaces provide a high level of comfort for our employees, and carefully thought-out zoning and noise isolation of the office allow working meetings directly in the open space, without distracting other colleagues.
An important detail of the project is that the interior reflects the ideology and corporate culture of the company: we care about the environment, so most of the materials are environmentally friendly. The interior of the office uses a lot of wood.
Our partners have helped create not only a place to work but also a place to live, which certainly contributes to efficient work and increases the team spirit.»