Avast office by VRTIŠKA • ŽÁK, Prague – Czech Republic

September 8th, 2016 by retail design blog

Architects began with works on the project in the summer of 2014, when they won the tender with an innovative interior design solution. “We had a specific task from the client, which for us was a clear challenge. Create a more playful office and environments than the Google Zurich have. Therefore, we have most of our creativity at the beginning invested in finding new informal solutions for the offices of today.

The main topic was to find elements that are not only attractive, but still practical and widely used by all employees. The next task was to solve the running of the company, the location of individual departments and still maintain as possibly most airy space with maximum preservation of privacy, “says Roman Vrtiška, one of the two authors.

In a Prague office, we can find a private restaurant (whose running and eating employee is paid by the company), an internal, central staircase through all seven floors, gym, shop, recording studio, playroom, movie theater, game room, golf simulator, library or relaxation room full of hammocks and parasols. This amount, for the office non-standard elements, however, has its own reason.

“IT segment is currently one of the fastest growing in the world, so a recruitment has a great interest in new talents, which now has the opportunity, not only because of these attractive spaces to better adopt. It is essential that the company Avast paves the relatively benevolent and liberal strategy towards their employees, so we were able to integrate these elements into the interior and to equip them basically almost the whole floor, “says architect Vrtiška.

The authors then tried to incorporate into the interior relaxed atmosphere that prevails in Avast while using industrial materials to highlight the origin IT companies and technology background. Therefore, the duo Vrtiška • Žák decided to put in a relatively narrow footprint of the building core, which is located on the longitudinal axis and has concentrated most of the space that are “not working” (meeting rooms, telephone booths, private employment booths, press corners, etc.).

This core was chosen by the architects as the dominant element throughout all floors and subsequently cladded with white corrugated metal which supports the slightly industrial character of the space. In this white tin matter are then “bites” of different color spaces for the aforementioned functions, each room has its own identical color (conference room yellow phone booth pink, working booths blue,
corner with printer and coffee black or green), which of course serves not only as a color accent, but also as reference points in space. These rooms are also completely lined with a felt material (100% recycled PET), which improves their excellent acoustical values. “Basically, we managed to create such a small recording studios,” says Vladimír Žák, one of the two authors.

Not quite traditional solution is the staircase in the office. Vladimír Žák adds: “We wanted to preserve the natural turnover of staff. In addition, the staircase became a sort of ‘spinal cord’ of the offices, with big flows of people passing. Therefore elevators are used minimally. The stairs are deliberately extended so that employees are able to cumulate and use it for informal meetings or just sit around.

Around the staircase we have also designed kitchens with dining tables and resting areas in the form of comfortable seats and chairs. In the imaginary center of the building space plan so there is a very efficient place to relax. Also carpet here has a different color – as opposed to the gray shades that are used in offices, we have opted for brown rocks that employees did not feel that when they go to relax, still sitting in the office. ”

An interesting solution to the problem of open space is called “Mancave”. These are semi-open offices, which are on each floor decorated in different materials such as wood, steel, cement board (CETRIS), expanded, or cork. “We wanted to form a living organism, offices that give people the opportunity to actually use them for real. The whole project was basically one big analysis of life in the “IT office” and its study.

We have tried to avoid the usual stereotypes and offer the company Avast completely different perspective of work in offices. The result led into our idea called “Office golf”. In essence, it is our own invention, when we tried to get employees to regular exercise on all floors. Each office floor has a total of eighteen holes, just like a regular golf course.

Additionally, everything is designed so that each of them is always different difficulty. Employees have the opportunity to go one after each other individualy floor by floor brainstorming, playing and visiting the places where most of them would probably never go. The idea of office golf indirectly linked the idea of scooters, which are tailor-made for Avast and are freely available to all floors. The building is 135 meters long, so the scooter is ideal, simple and quick way to move all over the floors, “added the authors.

Authors: Roman Vrtiška, Vladimír Žák / VRTIŠKA • ŽÁK

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