Architecture has always been about user experience; this is the ultimate outcome of the design process. The built environment defines how we experience cities. They may simply be boring or controversial, nice or ugly, but at the end of the day, we all have opinions once a new building is built, and those buildings instantly become part of our footprint in history.
Interior design is even more focused on the users and what they experience. Spaces predetermine how people behave. Imagine yourself in a library: it is silence, concentration; in a café: there are murmuring discussions all around, but you would not raise your voice; in your own cozy living room: here you can just be yourself. Interior design creates moods. The materials we use, the colors and lights have a great impact on how we feel.
Workplaces today are an acknowledged tool for employer branding, empowering and engagement, and require an even more conscious experience-focused design. The challenge in designing a workplace is growing, since the generation gap is increasing within companies. Younger employees, who have grown up with computer literacy and heavy media use, like to multitask, while baby boomers require more space for focus. This means that a comprehensive office interior should offer different spaces for individual work and collaboration: meeting rooms of various sizes, agile work corners, brainstorming spaces and work cafés, with ideas and content sharing facilities, but there also need to be areas for leisure and recreation.
Company culture is also going through a huge transformation, with startups emerging at a fast pace. Technology enables working or meeting from a distance, while distraction, created by notifications have a heavy mental impact. Companies with more traditional values, like those from the financial sector, are also going through this change.
Two notable tenants of Promenade Gardens, Citi and TransferWise are great examples for how the evolution of workplaces is happening today. Citi is a traditional institution while TransferWise is known for developing new ways of banking. Still, these two great brands are closer to each other than what one might think; and not only because both chose Promenade Gardens as their new home on the Váci office corridor.
The design procedure of the two offices were completely different. Citi followed standards and practices developed throughout its decades of operation and set up an internal project team of experts. TransferWise gave large freedom for ideas after certain strict foundations were laid, and once the framework was clear, delegated the coordination of the planning process to one executive.
Although one wears business formal while the other says come as you are, their goals were identical: to create welcoming and inspiring offices. Our team took different paths to achieve these clients’ aims, but the results had some surprisingly similar features, one of which is that both offices have a cozy work café at their heart, serving primarily as a meeting point and secondly a lunching space, showing that facilitating personal interaction is key.
DVM group’s design studio moving to Promenade Gardens was a strong declaration of confidence in our own creation and the building’s creative and inspiring environment. Showcasing efficient and modern spatial organization, our co-working-style office makes perfect use of the space, turning it into a community hub and knowledge center, while creating venues for formal and informal project meetings as well.
The diversity of people using Promenade Gardens is exciting. Each company has its own story to tell of why they chose to settle down here and for their process of office fit-out and implementation. Some aimed to redefine their brand (like HBM or Celanese), some wished to strengthen it (Electrolux or Capsys). The promenade of the office complex became a semi-urban space, an extension of the city towards the building’s interiors. It is airy and close to nature, with a green garden for contemplation and relaxation. Both the building and its individual units are great examples of a new workplace experience for multiple generations of employees providing advantages for all types of tenants.