Ravimed, a medical equipment manufacturing facility will soon get a new look. Architects from the A88 studio have undertaken a comprehensive project - they are responsible for both the reconstruction and superstructure of the facility located in Łajska near Legionowo, as well as the interior design of its office part.
The project, for which architects from A88 are responsible, consists of two stages. The first is the refreshment of the functioning Ravimed plant, along with its office part and entrance area. The second stage is the construction of a new facility with production and office functions, for which the design process will begin next year.
The concept consists of two phases: the remodeling and addition and the design of the new Ravimed plant building
As part of the changes, the architects envisaged the reconstruction of the parking lot and the entrance area, including the gatehouse. The section of the added building took the form of an elongated cuboid, strongly distinguishing itself from the existing buildings of the plant created in the 1990s and after 2000. The building finished in elongated brick will be a monolithic block with a simple division, which is marked by strips of window openings.
The entrance, in the form of a massive canopy, visually separates the production part from the office part. The material that leads the user from the gate to the plant entrance is wood; it appears in the gatehouse sluice, in the soffit of the bicycle shed and in the canopy, and continues in the interiors of the facility. The plant has gained three more elements: the cubic volume of the technical room, the tall cuboid hiding the elevator in Building 2, and the distinctive CC mesh sliding window shades. The shutters bring natural, diffused light into the rooms, making it easier for the plant's employees to work.
The project also includes an entrance area
The interior design covers two floors of the existing building and the superstructure. The first floor includes a vestibule, two reception desks, the CEO's office, a conference room, an office space and a public bathroom. Moreover, the production part of the building is accessible from the main corridor. The design by A88 also included part of the employee area for dozens of workers, with a cleanliness lock, locker room complexes, kitchenette and sanitary facilities, and an entrance to the production facility.
The interior design covers two floors of the existing and superstructure building
On the first floor there is an open-space office space with a kitchenette, bathrooms, an archive room and a server room. The element that binds all the rooms together is the investor's favorite, concrete floor. Exposing it, is helped by furniture floating on thin metal or wooden legs. Concrete also appears on many of the building's walls and ceilings. Large windows and numerous glass partitions make the rooms very bright. Working comfort is helped by the building's lack of exposure to the south side. A distinctive feature of the open-space is a several-meter-long closet, also hiding the door to the rooms, and structural BSH beams on the ceiling.
The characteristic element is the exposed CLT wood beams
Dobrawa Bies: Ravimed is a comprehensive project, you are the authors of both the remodeling of the building and its interiors. How does the work on such a "full project" proceed?
A88: Yes, our design activities are aimed at improving the company's image as a whole. We designed both the superstructure of the existing building, along with the renovation of the facade, and the interior of the superstructure of the office part. In addition, we previously obtained two permits for the reconstruction of the adjacent plant building, on the same plot of land. We are also rebuilding the plant's entrance area, and a completely new office and industrial building is planned for the future. Our activities also included, together with DOT Studio, the design of a new logotype and a new graphic identity for Ravimed. We really like this formula of activities, where the end goal is clear to everyone.
There is an open-space office space on the first floor
Dobrawa: Ravimed is engaged in the production of medical equipment, did the investor place any special requirements on you in connection with this?
A88: The special requirements mainly concerned the buffer zone - between the office and production parts of the building. The flow of employees, clean and dirty locker rooms, requirements to change into specialized suits, changing shoes twice, etc. We did not deal with the production part, where everything is conditioned by technology. However, the superstructure we designed had to provide for extensive installation centers standing on it - serving just the production part, as well as the routes of plant installations of considerable dimensions. The office part was already more traditional, with typical office requirements. Other requirements we were given resulted from the investor's uncommon awareness of ecological issues. For example, at one of the first meetings we heard that we were to use locally available materials to reduce the carbon footprint as much as possible, and in the interior design we were forbidden to use furniture made of animal skins.
The design of the investor's office is reminiscent of interiors from the first half of the 20th century
Dobrawa: Natural materials have been used in the building - concrete, brick and laminated wood, which is also visible in the interiors. Please tell us more about the structure and the spaces of the building.
A88: The building has a pitched roof, was erected in the 1990s, and its aesthetics currently leave much to be desired. Our task was to increase the building's volume by replacing the roof with a flat one and improving its appearance. The next stage of our activities will be the construction of a new building with glulam construction technology, hence the designed superstructure is, in a way, an apprenticeship before the next larger task. In our country, building with wood is still a huge challenge, mainly due to anachronistic fire regulations. We spent many hours consulting with an expert and building material suppliers to agree on the details of the exposed BSH beams supporting the roof. The right cross-section ensures their safety, but in order to comply with the regulations, they also had to be properly separated from the roof covering.
The interiors are kept in a light color scheme, with accents of color in places
Dobrawa: The aesthetics of the interiors are reminiscent of that of the first half of the last century. Where did this design decision come from? What were the inspirations?
A88: The aesthetic in which the interiors are designed is the aesthetic in which the investor feels most comfortable - fascinated, together with his wife, by contemporary architecture and design, mainly Danish. Hence the concrete floor, furniture made of coniferous plywood, bright and open spaces, color accents. Details referring to the aesthetics of the first half of the 20th century appear only in the office of the investor - the president of the company, who, due to the profile of his business, often hosts business partners from different corners of the world. Hence he was keen to introduce a slight variation and distinguish the study from the rest of the rooms. Plywood is replaced with classic darker wood, soft materials appear, there are curves and roundness in the forms used. Nevertheless, in our opinion, the study remains consistent with the rest of the project.
Dobrawa: What caused you the greatest difficulty, and what are you satisfied with?
A88: The biggest difficulty was certainly getting the whole process under control and coordinating multiple tasks in parallel. At the same time, we were thinking about architecture, mastering fire issues, consulting with specialized external companies dealing with medical technology, interior design and working on the identity of the Ravimed facility. Despite the small scale of the facility, it was a demanding and complex project. We are very pleased with the result and are looking forward to implementation.
Dobrawa: Thank you for the interview.