Arhitekt 11 designed the new offices for Estonian business news source Äripäev, located in Tallinn, Estonia. For Arhitekt 11, the inspiration for planning the Äripäev office was a very special factory building built at the beginning of the 20th century and the media company’s wish for an open office for 280 employees. Äripäev is Estonia’s most famous and largest business newspaper, radio and publishing company.
The chosen space, Luther’s Machine Room, is a former Luther plywood manufacturing plant, one of the largest industrial buildings in the Baltic States from that time. The office space has a maximum height of 12.6m, office length 63.7m and a width of 38.3m. Äripäev office has a total of 2739 m², of which 2326 m² is located on the main office floor.
A modern open-space media company office for 280 people has been created in this historic space with activity-based working principles. Working landscape is on the outer perimeter of the space, moving to the center there are open and closed meeting rooms and in the center is a public space with a library and work cafe.
Existing materials like limestone walls and concrete posts, beams and ceilings have been preserved and cleaned. 50% of the closed glass nave has been opened up. In order to exhibit the unique constructions of the building, there is a small atrium between the ground floor and the main floor, from where a whole constructive post can be seen from top to bottom.
Inspired by the birch veneer produced in Luther’s factory in the first half of the 20th century, plywood boards are used as a finishing material for the “room inside a room” objects. The objects – meeting rooms covered with plywood form an intermittent and interesting landscape on the human level and leave the concrete body of a dignified factory building untouched. Inner streets form between the objects, where the light from the top and the trees create an outdoorsy feel.
The biggest challenge was to achieve the acoustics needed for working. Since there are not enough wall surfaces, all closed ceilings are covered with acoustic wool boards. There are also many acoustic materials used in the furniture – the screens on tables, the backs of cabinets, telephone chairs. Acoustic measuring and feedback from employees of Äripäev are proof that the results are satisfying.