Check out the A&B portal!

Fighting stereotypes. Cozy office for IT company MAP project

13 of March '23

Cold, artificial materials, exclusively pragmatic solutions and the constant, annoying hum of computers in the background? If this is how you imagine the office of an IT company, it's high time to move away from this stereotype! Marta Szczepanska and Paulina Szeroczynska, a design duo from Warsaw's MAP studio, have completely redefined the vision of a modern office full of computers, arranging a space where both employees and their clients can feel at home.

industrialne przeszklenia pozwalają na akustyczny podział przestrzeni przy zachowaniu wędrówki światła i szerszej perspektywy dla oka

Industrial glazing allows acoustic division of the space while maintaining the wandering of light and a wider perspective for the eye

photo: PION Studio

Ola Kloc: You designed an office for a cyber-security company in one of Warsaw's townhouses - what were the challenges of converting a residential space into an office? What changes did the functional layout require?

Marta Szczepanska: The space was completely redesigned from scratch. Walls disappeared, and in their place appeared coils of cables for various installations. In order to get the right square footage, it was necessary to merge two premises. Here, of course, the help of a builder was needed.

The central part of the office is an elongated room divided into three sections:an open space withlarge desks made to a custom design and ergonomic, airy armchairs for high working comfort; at the edges a conference room was placed, and a laboratory allowing people to work in concentration away from the office bustle.

In the case of an office, the issue of electrical installation is approached in a different way; for example, it is necessary to anticipate what will happen in the event of a power outage or blackout, what form of access control to choose, the appropriate lighting parameters must be met, and these in the regulations require a considerable number of lumens. You also need to develop escape routes and similar technical elements. Besides, human needs at home and in the office are quite similar.

biuro utrzymane jest w jasnych kolorach

The office is kept in bright colors

Photo: PION Studio

Ola: Despite the fact that this is an office space, you have maintained a cozy, homey atmosphere, with what procedures did you achieve this?

Marta: The project fights against the stereotype of a cool office full of artificial materials, which no longer fits in with modern times. After the pandemic, our love of life, freedom has increased, and at the same time we crave comfort at work and contact with people. Discipline is no longer a guarantee of efficiency and success, especially in the IT industry.

Modernist vintagefurniture from the era of the beginning of computers and works of art reflect the spirit of the company hence their presence in every room - from the reception area to the kitchen facilities. They are important for both employees and visitors. A collection of plants also ensures the right atmosphere and takes care of it.

projektantki przekształciły wnętrze kamienicy na przestrzeń biurową

The designers transformed the interior of the townhouse into an office space

Photo: PION Studio

Ola: What influenced such a choice of colors, materials and textures?

Marta: The investors liked the rather raw, loft-like atmosphere and furniture from the middle of the previous century. The office is located in a tenement, but borrows many elements from industrial halls. We also wanted consistency in materials and colors to maintain spaciousness.

The flooring in the office had to be durable and easy to maintain - hence the choice of microcement. To break up the coolness of the material used in the large area, we added noble, natural and durable materials like dark oak, raw MDF and steel. Industrial glazing allows the space to be divided acoustically while maintaining the wandering of light and a wider perspective for the eye.

zieleń we wnętrzu tworzy przytulną, domową atmosferę kuchnia w biurze

open space and kitchen

Photo: PION Studio

Ola : What was the biggest challenge in this project?

Marta: As probably in any office, a rather difficult aspect is acoustics. Here, the space is divided in such a way that it provides the possibility for both a noisy meeting and an intimate conversation. The conference room is equipped not only with glazing, but also with curtains with good noise-absorbing qualities and carpets, which also improve acoustic parameters. Potential clients can watch the experts at work, which makes it easier to build trust, but if needed, you can isolate yourself well.

In the townhouse, we didn't have the option of setting up air conditioning, and after all, this is an office with a mass of computers. We dealt with this problem by putting fans on the ceiling. It turned out that putting air in motion works well.

w sali konferencyjnej umieszczono zasłony o dobrych parametrach pochłaniających hałas ponieważ w kamienicy nie było możliwości założenia klimatyzacji, projektantki postawiły na wiatraki

Since there was no way to set up air conditioning in the tenement, the designers opted for windmills

Photo: PION Studio

Ola: And what are you most pleased with?

Marta: It is a great joy for us to design bespoke furniture in this case, for example, desks, which had to accommodate a mass of cables, accessories and at the same time maintain clarity of form. By the way, we managed to use an original product of the Polish brand Forner - a conferencetable that can be put together in different ways depending on whether we need one long piece of furniture or two for group work.

Ola: Thank you for the interview.

she asked: Ola Kloc

The vote has already been cast