In order to design, it is necessary to have a clean space that leaves room for creativity. So, we had been keeping an eye on the office market in Palma de Mallorca for a while, in search of a space that met our needs where we could receive our clients and develop our passion: architecture. The result could not have been more disappointing: the offices that were available did not reflect what we understand a workspace has to be.
So, we finally decided to do what we do best: create our own space, designing and building it to meet our needs and to be what we understand a creative space should be: a neutral, function environment with no limitations to project our clients’ needs.
When it comes to looking for a space to renovate, there are some essential requirements that will enable you to design the space without constraints: regular geometry and outdoor areas. These two basic questions enable you to develop the reconfiguration of the space more freely, since there are no pre-existing elements that are going to put constraints on the final design.
After searching the market for a while, we managed to find an indoor mezzanine in a building constructed in the 1930s, in a central office zone in Palma. The building in questions was in a disheartening state after being closed for over 15 years and not being renovated since it was built, but met the basic aforementioned requirements. During our visits to the building, we Confirmed that we had a blank canvas on which we could create our current office. We just had to see beyond the building itself.
However, all existing buildings always have elements that need to be integrated into the new space: the important thing in these cases is to be able to work with them to accommodate them into the new layout, since they are either structural or deal with common installations that simply cannot be relocated.
On the plan of the original situation, we can see that the indoor layout prior to the intervention was not suitable for our needs. The layout is untidy with many partitions.
The spaces are perceived individually and the general perception is that the space is small.
INITIAL IDEA: CONCEPTION OF THE SPACE
- SPACIOUSNESS OF PUBLIC ZONE
From the entrance to the space, create a large public zone that is spacious and clean, where activities for the public are carried out: reception, waiting room and meeting room.
- MAXIMUM POSSIBLE OFFICES
Three functional workspaces have also been created, each one for one or two professionals.
The geometry of the perimeter allows for a tidy layout, while in the centre of the building there are two concrete pillars separated by just a few feet.
The existence of two independent entrances, one from the building’s entrance and the other directly from the outside.
Windows of different sizes and with view of an indoor courtyard.
Current design, explanation and solution
One of the requirements for designing this office is that any zones that had a public nature had to belong visually to the space itself, undertaking a layout with low elements or glass walls to encourage the sensation of spaciousness.
First impressions are important, so, when entering the office practically all the space is visible. This gives a sensation of spaciousness.
Light colours were used.
In the entrance an original marés (typical local sandstone) wall belonging to the building was recovered.
The meeting room is situated in a glass box. As it is not used constantly throughout the day, providing the space with a general air of spaciousness is a priority.
The glass walls and sliding doors allow for the privacy needed when the room is used.
The two concrete pillars are integrated into a cupboard that delimits the meeting room.
In the entrance, a wall of cupboards meets the storage needs of an office while the access to the bathroom is hidden behind one of the doors.
SMALL PALETTE OF LIGHT COLOURS, SPACIOUSNESS AND TRANQUILITY
This was done by reducing to a maximum the palette of textures and colours, where the oak sliding doors that go from floor to ceiling and the building’s old marés wall stand out on the white.
Of the lighting, the grid-like embedded lights stand out as the main lighting, along with the baths of LED light located inside the cavities of the perimeter walls as secondary lighting.
A clean, neutral and functional space with a minimalist style. The result is a space where our work is done efficiently, a pleasant environment where clients feel at home.
The intervention undertaken increases the value per square metre of the investment in the building, exceeding the cost of the renovation.
The project is proof that it is possible to control and reduce deadlines to a maximum if we meet the following requirements:
- Clear idea of the objective of the intervention
- Exhaustive prior analysis.
- Project that maximises the building’s possibilities, minimising and reducing the intervention to a minimum.
- Flexibility in the choice of materials that make quick supply possible.
- Proper detailed planning of all the phases, being demanding, but realistic with deadlines.
- Project management with strict execution control.
- Quick adaptation to the inevitable problems caused by the execution of any renovation.
- Coordination of different contractors and subcontractors.