The future of workspaces
The new Orbea offices in the Biscay town of Mallavia, in the Basque Country, feature an Actiu Cool Working® project. A process that was carried out in continuous collaboration with the well-known bike manufacturer and the architect overseeing the refurbishments which identified Orbea staff needs and fully implemented them in the new space.
Actiu ran a co-creation workshop with employees from different areas of the company to find out the team’s real needs. Creative and conceptual, this process allowed participants to show how they view their way of working, the links between departments and internal synergies as a means of finding new models of work that would improve their working day. Privacy, teamwork, and connectivity were the most sought-after features in the workshop which defined each department’s needs and their place in the new layout.
In full consideration of Orbea’s team’s needs, Actiu designed a space built around the furniture, which boosts work and communication in and between departments. What used to be an office taken up by desks, chairs, and seemingly unordered filing has been transformed into a setting that both answers the needs of employees and enables them to work better.
The workers, who identify with the local area and countryside and have a strong feeling of belonging, wanted a space that represented the culture and lifestyle of mountain biking.
To do so, concepts such as forests, earth, and rocks define the finishes, materials, and style of the project that is focused on user wellbeing.
The new office, which joins the original offices in two industrial buildings, is laid out according to the results of an analysis of flows and movements. The most dynamic areas, for meetings and teamwork, are in the centre, whilst the operating areas are placed around it closer to the windows to receive much more natural light.
To address the needs of the marketing and sales teams, which requested a space more suited to collaboration and teamwork, including creative and informal meeting areas, the workstations for these two departments were equipped with Twist Gen desking, whose organic and flexible design fosters interaction between workers, whilst TNK Flex chairs provide the required ergonomics and comfort.
In addition to the meeting areas, featuring Tábula desking and Noom chairs alongside whiteboards and notice boards, dotted all over the office, the marketing area has a space set aside for informal meetups that is equipped with height-adjustable Power desking and Bend modules around it.
In the product, purchasing, finance, and operations areas, Prisma desking, with dividing, soundproofing screens for improved visual and sound comfort, was selected to boost focus.
The product department has an area for working standing up and handling the product that includes height-adjustable, multipurpose Mobility Step desking. The ever-changing and bustling workshop is equipped with versatile Talent desking and stackable Whass chairs. The requirement for direct contact with the product is met by a panel for placing prototypes, frames, and other bike accessories.
The strong collaborative spirit of ORCA, a company belonging to Orbea specialising in the cycling experience and performance, comes to the fore in a coworking-style space.
In the HR department, employees needed to replace their often cold and impersonal traditional design for a warmer and more welcoming style using friendly colours and warm natural materials such as wood. In addition to the Longo workstation and TNK Flex chairs, separated from ORCA by panels and plant and flower items, space was allocated for a dynamic meeting area and another more private area. Designed for interviews and private conversations, the private area is equipped with Longo nomad seating and Bend pouffes, which replace the traditional separating desk and offer comfort and accessibility.
Mobile partitions between departments, including whiteboards, filing, and display and hanging areas, melamine cabinets and plant and mesh dividers make the space adaptable to future demands and ways of working.
Placed in three closed modules in the central, dynamic area, the meeting rooms are designed for different types of meetings and independent working. From work desks for private meetings or independent working, to videoconference rooms or phonebooths for phone calls, equipped with light Tábula desking and Wing chairs, employees can speak on the phone without disturbing anyone else or being disturbed themselves.
The third module features the large Longo table and Noom chairs to assist the managing director in his duties. Connected on one side and nestled in the finance department, a small multilevel seating area with cushions and Bend pouffes houses a welcoming, informal space for groupwork and sharing ideas.
To ensure that the constant flow of visitors to the office has the minimum impact on staff as they go about their work, two paths to the meeting rooms were designed.
Like a circular stage with two possible routes, where the mountain passes are the meeting rooms and the checkpoints are for general use, the flow converges around the central area.
To promote the Paperless Office imitative, printers and other stationery items are housed in closed spaces or out of the way areas. Furthermore, to reduce the number of cabinets, a small area under the lowest point of the ceiling was set aside for a filing system. Two small independent working rooms next to it offer sanctuary to those needing to work with greater focus and privacy.
The communal area was designed to boost teamwork and social time as requested by the staff. They wanted a space that included a cafeteria, acted as a meeting point, and could house training sessions and presentations. The roll-up dividing partitions and the highly versatile and light furniture allow both spaces to be split or merged as required.
Teamwork, focus, social time, mobility, and flexibility all come together in this space, which embodies the vision of a company that is firmly committed to its surroundings and the wellbeing of its employees.
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