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ACTIU Berbegal y Formas, S.A.
PMMT Architects
November 2017 | 4 minutes

PMMT Arquitectos is a studio specialised in making hospital facilities more about people, along with their needs, their movement within the facility, their stay and well-being.

Their Barcelona offices, that have been partly furnished by Actiu, reflect its creativity, imagination, innovation and social commitment. A social commitment which is seen as a showroom in its offices, where they fully apply its Clear Code Architecture protocol, a global concept of accessibility for all kinds of functional diversities that are implemented in each of its projects.

PMMT Arquitectos, which was founded in 2001, is a leader in the field of hospital architecture and has helped to project more than two million square metres in national and international hospitals.

A team of 40 people, that work in an old factory in Poblenou, are responsible for researching care models that are converted into comfortable and practical spaces and for turning them into a reality using a truly collaborative work process. Its offices reflect its way of working, of understanding architecture and of applying it. This leads to offices that, through furniture, promote communication, creativity and the constant exchange of ideas.

With an area of 460 square metres, its offices are divided into two halves. One is configured as an open space with no hierarchies. And the other holds a library and a wide variety of meeting rooms. A design that promotes a dynamic and flexible work style from a philosophy of cooperation that they define as ‘collective intelligence’ and that stimulates innovation in each project. A way of working that is fuelled by a multidisciplinary team made up of architects, journalists, historians, economists and teachers.

“Our offices are a reflection of the excellence we strive for in each project. They are universally accessible, they have been created using collective intelligence and have a healthy environment where each material and furniture has been taken into account. We always say that our architecture is like a “botijo” (a Spanish drinking jug). Practical, useful, solves problems and never compromises on beauty, at any point”, PMMT Arquitectos explains. So much so, that they have created their own work methodologies that they try to export to other projects, such as Friendly Materials, a bank of healthy materials for architect projects.

The central work space is structured around four large desks, equipped with high performance TNK Flex chairs. Attached to this area is a zone for one-off and collaborative meetings with a high Longo table, stools and shelves that provide quality and comfort.

The studio’s philosophy revolves around the concept of working by projects and the spaces are configurated to enable creative and collaborative work and bring together talent, with all kinds of meeting rooms where large boards are extremely important.

The library area manages to provide the staff with a moment to relax and reflect, which is key to a creative job like theirs. This space is furnished with the Longo system that incorporates seating and desks.

Shared spaces and tools, innovation panels and rooms specifically for ‘Brainstorming’, spaces for relaxed meetings and places for videoconferencing are some of the distinguishing features of these offices, that encourage free time and a healthy lifestyle, with a foosball table for breaks and an indoor parking area for bicycles.

One of the unique qualities of these offices is their concept of accessibility, defined as Clear Code Architecture, and that they aim to become a leading standard both in hospital environments and in all public spaces. A universal concept that goes beyond people in wheelchairs and that includes all kinds of functional diversity. So, they have text in Braille to explain which room it is, a font that can be easily read by dyslexic people or those with a visual impairment and pictograms that everyone can understand.

Even, a space specifically for concentrating: the quiet room. An area where mobile phones and talking are not allowed and that can accommodate up to six people with no interruptions.

The furniture is also designed so that people with reduced mobility can have access. Their offices serve as a showroom that shows all the functions that can be implemented in an architecture project to achieve a 100% inclusive and accessible space.

And this accessibility is especially important in hospitals, as well as the well-being of all the persons in it. The work of PMMT Arquitectos applies the mathematics of flows to understand how people move, maximising the work efficiency of medical teams and the comfort of users. A more people-oriented architecture that is replicated in the studio's own offices, where as in their hospital projects, their core principle is that people feel at home.

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