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ACTIU Berbegal y Formas, S.A.
Biodiversity Foundation
May 2018 | 4 minutes

An open, functional and fun layout, with flexible and dynamic spaces that promote teamwork and collaboration. These are the characteristics that identify the new headquarters of the Biodiversity Foundation in Madrid, which until recently was an old mechanics shop on Peñuelas street. Leading the project, the property consultant Savills Aguirre Newman was clear from the outset that the new space should be a true reflection of its 'tenant', an intimate, dynamic organisation involved in protecting and conserving cultural heritage and biodiversity, with people, flexibility, collaboration, integration and creative energy as the main pillars of its work.

Following the study made on the Foundation’s old headquarters, located on calle José Abascal in Madrid, the Savills Aguirre Newman team knew how important it was to increase the number of meeting rooms in the new offices, as the dynamic and creative nature of their work meant that many of the offices and traditional places were often used as group work areas. In this way and to respond to the needs of its workers, the new space is designed as “a place for everyone”, organised into different types of environments:

  • Single, for individual work that requires focus.
  • Connection, for group tasks based on communication and interaction.
  • Sharing, for multi-disciplinary work and to exchange knowledge.
  • All Together, as a door to connect with the outside, where employees and collaborators meet. 

The LEED certification, ergonomic requirements and electricity solutions have been a priority when designing the new space.

Distributed over two floors which combine operational furniture from manufacturers specialising in work environments, sustainable and recovered furniture from Emprendeverde suppliers, and reused furniture from the old headquarters. Also, with the aim of achieving the LEED certification, the property and architects were supported by Actiu bringing its knowledge and experience after achieving this certificate in its highest category for its Castalla Business Park.

Together with the consultant in charge of designing the space, resources, installations and lighting, Actiu carried out a dynamic analysis and assessment process of the needs from the user’s experience, offering innovative and sustainable solutions to the project through furniture and its interaction with people, under the Cool Working® concept.

After passing through the entrance door, a small wooden reception welcomes visitors. Along the large dividing wall of exposed brick, an interior street has been created with a pavement of urban paving stones and a meandering wooden bench.

Covering the wall and street, and inspired by the geometric structures of nature, an organic development of triangular elements made from recycled cardboard reproduce a blanket of vegetation. In different tones of green and sizes, some of them incorporate LED backlighting which creates interesting visual effects on the brick. In this way, nature is divided into zones, lit up and given a personal feel to a space of which it is the focus.

The Biodiversity Foundation’s philosophy requires a highly collaborative work place, with a layout that goes beyond the classic bench and could also integrate landscaped areas and different positions. In response to this, the large open-plan area at twice the height of the ground floor is full of Twist Gen desks, an organic and flexible range that, among trees and small plants, allows desks to connect and promotes interaction.  Nature fills the entire space through a wooden pavement that brings warmth and the green, blue and golden tones of the tapestries.

On the same ground floor and opening out onto the large open-plan space through floor-to-ceiling glass panels, are the offices and project, meeting and filing rooms. In them, chairs reused from the old headquarters live alongside new chairs such as Stay, an ergonomic and sustainable office chair that allows a variety of configurations and also inhabits the open work areas of the ground floor and the mezzanine. The Prisma desk was chosen for the meeting rooms, a clean and minimalist design that provides maximum versatility.

The Twist range, this time in a bench format with four work places, and again accompanied by the Stay chair, once more the focus is on the mezzanine, which provides a collaborative and relaxed atmosphere distributed in open corridors and across the ground floor.

In the centre of the space, the modular range of Link sound-absorbing panels hold small semi-open refuges that allow workers to enjoy greater privacy and focus if they need it.

The new headquarters perfectly reflect the creative nature of the Biodiversity Foundation, a flexible, dynamic, committed and collaborative organisation that required a space with the same characteristics to accommodate its workers. A collaborative environment, where talking, sharing and working in a team, that with a great ability to communicate its values to the user and visitor, enhances work and supports peoples’ comfort and health.

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