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A Place of Energy: the Red Bull HQ in Milan.

The Red Bull HQ in Milan express thoroughly the company’s mission: energize people. The architect firm Il Prisma has told the multi-faceted activity of the company all across the space, through four different worksettings, expressing the kind useful energy for a modern workplace: energy is nightlife, energy is take it easy, energy is sport and energy is adventure.

A workplace that “gives you wings” and expresses perfectly the vision of the company. That was the idea behind the Red Bull HQ in Milan, designed by Il Prisma, following their multidisciplinary approach “Redefine your habits, centred on innovation, technology and sensory perception.

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“Energy”
is the leading idea of the project and of the company’s vision that has inspired four different environments.
The “Welcome Experience” areas, as the entrance and the reception, recall the dynamism and amusement of the “Energy of the nightlife”. An experience of sharing, break and working, as well, where Red Bull cans are offered in small coolers on the side of the stairs.

The working environment is inspired by the adrenaline and adventurous activity that the company has sponsored in these years, and it aims to let people express their own talent and go beyond any difficulties.

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The spaces dedicated to teamworking are inspired by the sport’s value: tenacity, dynamism, sharing of the problems and ideas to reach a common goal.
Finally, “Energy is take it easy” is the slogan chosen for the break and relax areas. Slowing down, sometimes, is the key to productivity. Il Prisma has designed a playful atmosphere that helps workers to “recharge workers’ energy” and to create a fertile workplace where ideas are shared and actually take place.
Text by Gabriele Masi.

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Copernico Martesana: well-being and business trends.

A dynamic hub where well-being and business trends are well balanced, a flexible, hybrid and multifunctional workplace, core of an urban renovation process. The simple internal design of Copernico Martesana in Milan follows the main trends and needs of the new ways of working, like the biophilic design of the Oxygen Room and the home-feeling given by the Loft Office.

The Copernico Platform for Smart Working is constantly growing; following the successful experiences of Copernico Centrale, ClubHouse Brera , the workplace in Turin, and many others, the 6.500 sqm of the thirteenth Copernico hub in the north-eastern part of Milan.
“With Copernico Martesana we want to put our focus on the wellbeing of each worker becoming, at the same time, actors in the new economic processes that lead to new business opportunity”, Pietro Martani, Copernico’s CEO, says. “We want to anticipate the ever-evolving market and workers needs”.

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Copernico Martesana is designed by the firm Studio DC10, mixing different and connected environments as offices, meeting space, lounge area.

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Interior design is inspired by “genius loci” and the building of the ’70s was transformed in a vibrant environment featured by a cool, industrial design.

The centre of the project is the main cafeteria, a hybrid and informal meeting space, designed together by Bunker, Torricelli Associati and Weltgebraus to foster the culture of communication and interaction.

08-Copernico Martesana-hub-wow-webmagazineStudio DC10 has, also, added two environments completely dedicated to the wellbeing of the people: the Oxygen room, a green area where workers can find some rest form the daily stress,  the Loft Office, a comfortable place giving the sense of home-feeling and cosiness and an Art Gallery.

For the interiors, a neutral and neat design was chosen in order to help communication and to create a homogeneous workplace.
“The innovative system Copernico is made by three dimensions: space, connection, culture“, Pietro Martani concludes. “Copernico Martesana wants to become a benchmark in the area”, transmitting his features to an urban redeveloping area.
Text by Gabriele Masi.

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Spaces, a new business community format in Milan.

Milan was chosen by Regus as first Italian base for Amsterdam-born creative workspace pioneer. Located between newly developed Porta Nuova area and the Brera Design District, Spaces lands in Italy with the ambitious aim to redefine the concept of the workplace. It occupies 7 floors of a fully renovated building with a roof top with amazing view on Milano skyline.

Originating in Amsterdam, the Spaces format by Regus was built on the idea that success breeds more success. That’s why we’ve cultivated a community of members who are thinkers, achievers and imagineers. We’ve built workspaces that suit your every need. And our energetic staff attends to all the details so you can focus on your next big idea.

“The range of services offered is huge, from private offices to co-working spaces, meeting rooms, conference rooms and virtual offices, but the real Spaces hallmark is the community of thinkers, achievers and imagineers that we’ve cultivated.” quoted Emanuele Arpini, regional marketing manager of Spaces.

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“The interior design by Laboratorio Permanente blends urban and domestic approaches to create a workplace that inspires collaborative and creative ways of working” explains architect Angelica Sylos Labini.

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The position of the building is both exclusive and strategic, but above all reflects the soul of Spaces, indeed the culture will play a pivotal role in the neighbourhoods due to the abundance of libraries, bookshops, artisan’s ateliers, exhibition centres for art and design which will nourish the minds of the new and young talent that Milan has always attracted.
The new Spaces Porta Nuova provides excellent business and networking opportunities as well as an inspiring working environment.

Spaces offers:
5000 mq2,
740 mq2 exclusive Business Club,
3,300 mq2 private and co-working offices,
8 meeting rooms and 2 conference rooms,
Dedicated lounge bar,
Parking ( 25 cars).

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Home Sweet Office Home: Plantronics’ offices in Italy.

Plantronics will open on April 6th its new offices in Italy at the LEED Platinum Energy Park building -by Garretti Associati– in Vimercate, close to Milan: a 400 sqm space to experience smart-working now and into the future, where the concepts of “work elsewhere” and “work-life balance” lend greater comfort and harmonized mind-body ergonomics to the environment.

Plantronics, pioneer in Wearable technology, was one of the first firms to theorize and implement smart-working, but our work and life styles have changed a lot in the last few years.
I need an office, but I don’t want an office” Daniele Andriolo, Global Manager of Facilities and Workplace Services di Plantronics, asked to architect Daniela Carta, founder of MQA Metro Quadro Architetti and her team -Irene Pacioni and Marianna De Vivo architects. They accepted the challenge.

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The concepts in the lead just a few years ago are no longer relevant and the key words pinpoint the current trends of the creative jobs: Liquid Worklife, Café Co-Working, Pop-Up Workplace, Hacker Culture, Meetings Without Borders, fino a Fighting the Tech Fatigue and Wellness is the New Green.
The result is a non-office-office, designed as a welcoming and comfortable Great Place to Stay.


“We were fascinated with the idea of opening fluid spaces so that everyone feels right at home, welcome, thanks to a comfortable and flexible environment –quoted Ilaria Santambrogio, Country Manager Plantronics Italia– the Italian headquarter is today an open office, designed to host customers, partners, resellers, so that everyone feels at home, thanks to the comfort and flexibility of the spaces”.

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No more rooms specifically meant for concentration, communication, contemplation and collaboration, so the whole environment is suited to be lived in a free, at all times and in whatever manner.
The 80% of the office does not represent the standard office. There are spaces that can be experienced and exploited, in different way, with no fixed positions for the employees.
To encourage the conviviality and the welcoming atmosphere, the office includes several areas: an area with sit-stand desks, a kitchen area, a relaxation area with elegant couches of design and polished wood tables. A unique and innovative concept in the European and global context and not only, which allows to the Italian headquarter to improve the wellbeing of the team, encouraging greater productivity and pursuing its growth goals in the world of the headsets in more targeted manner.


Into the new offices there is not a strict division of the areas, so that employees, guests, partners, customers can experience the Smart Working space in a free way, choosing to work on the table of the kitchen, in the relaxation areas, on one of the tables , scattered in different areas, or in one of the meeting rooms.
During the planning phase, Plantronics highlighted primarily the need of ergonomics and acoustic comfort: each element is an expression of a different way, smart to work. The heigh-adjustable desks (by Sedus) can be changed from time to time.
This reflects the freedom to decide the workstation, depending on the type of activities: focusing, brainstorming, connecting to a conference call.
The whole office presents itself as an open space everywhere, with monitors in each room or blackboards glass on which to take notes during an informal meeting or during a coffee. At level of lighting design, maximum attention also to the use of natural light and use of LED 100% .


The architectural studio has used wood everywhere: in addition the use of sound-absorbing materials makes the environment already soundproofed.
In line with a sustainability choice, Plantronics has selected the Interface modular carpets, made with 100% recycled materials , it reclaims the typical pavement of the European roads.
The kitchen corner includes an authentic italian kitchen, which is also a meeting place, and point of connection thanks to the Watercooler videoconference system, an open window with the other Smart Working offices, with the purpose to favor the collaboration with the colleagues from various European Plantronics offices.
The use of natural materials and warm colors, the high acoustic comfort, the variety of furnishings of valuable finishes and the curved surfaces make the room pleasant and comfortable.
The criteria of environmental sustainability taken into consideration in the planning are most appreciated by employees and guests, whom are received in the central kitchen, where “But first… coffee!” is written in big letters.

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Happiness at work. Geico awarded by GPTW.

Last March 3rd Great Place to Work made the list of the best companies to work for in Italy public. The list –large, medium and small companies- was drawn up on the basis of a questionnaire about the perceived quality of the work experience handed out to the employees. The survey considered the relation between managers and collaborators, how they are involved in their job and the relation with their colleagues.
The company climate is strictly related with happiness: the three pillars of wellbeing: social, economic and environmental, cannot be separated, as they define together the global gross happiness, according to the UN general secretary Ban Ki-moon.

Those leaders who enforce such prerequisites make the principle that positive attitudes between managers, collaborators and colleagues come from individual commitment and economically successful companies effective. There are several studies supportino this thesis. In Italy, organizations recording the highest levels of wellbeing of their workers have increased their turnover by 12,61%, (over the Italian average of 2,28%) thus confirming a trend that has been going on now for five years.
The recent GPTW’s survey was especially focused on the physical environment of the workplaces.

Geico was awarded for its best work environments.

Geico, a world leader in the design and manufacture of automated turnkey vehicle body painting plants, was awarded by its employees the best work environment.
Great Place To Work analyses the workplace perception at Geico related with the availability of high levels of concentration and privacy, and the possibility to flexible adapt to different worker’s needs and to reflect the corporate image.

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The design of the new offices close to Milan is a 360° answer to to the workers’ needs: flexible layouts, activity settings spaces, shared areas and private ones.
Not only functional solutions but answers focused on wellness and work-life balance (gardens, bistrot, relax areas, kitchenettes, and so on).

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It is estimated that one percentage point of enhanced perception of workplaces brings about an increase of 0,6-0.8 points in the perception of a “great place to work”.
The workplace impact on “happiness” isn’t an end in itself, but rather something that is reflected in the best performances of the organizational structure and economic out-turns.

Text by Antonino Borgese, Director of Great Place to Work® research.

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Laura’s Garden of Thoughts is the physical place in which thought processes take place. It is the physical space that Chairman Arabnia wanted to dedicate to his wife Laura and to his extended family: his employees. This is the very heart of Geico. Here the right side of his brain has free reign. This is where the company’s soul is.
2,000 square metres of beauty and wellbeing, an essential prelude before accessing the Pardis Innovation Centre, the perfect synthesis of emotions and creativity.
A meditation space, corporate gym, bistro area and cultural and entertainment area comprising an amphitheatre and a photo gallery make up this wonderful Zen garden.
Ideal for the physical and mental wellbeing of all those employed by Geico.

 

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The AB Medica’s speadboat: speed and comfort, productivity and leisure.

Giuseppe Tortato designed an iconic headquarters inspired by fast boat hulls to reflect dynamism and innovation of the Italian pharmaceutical company AB Medica; space planning and interior design by DEGW aim to wellbeing, too and interact with the architecture and outdoor.

The project for the headquarters of AB Medica, designed by Giuseppe Tortato, incorporates all the functional/symbolic features the client specifically requested in a landmark building designed to develop and enhance a suburban location right alongside the Milan-Varese motorway.

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Inspired by the hull designs of super-fast speed boats, the architectural design embodies the dynamism and innovation of a group at the very cutting edge in the realm of research, combined with a real focus on energy-saving and the psychophysical well-being of the company workers.


My activity has always been aimed to break with conventions, proposing projects that focuses on sensory experience in a larger whole that is the urban territory. Create a place in which to work and live, but also refuge, an oasis, a refuge regenerator, showing where possible the presence of nature. A project in which the viewer never loses the dialogue with his sensory side, as opposed to what happens in many artificial casings which tend to cancel the man in established patterns. My projects at the center put a conscious man, who feeds on true experiences as opposted to what happens in many artificial casings, which tend to cancel individuality with established patterns”explains Giuseppe Tortato.
2000 m² of offices over an overall area of 9000 m² serving about 130 people.
The distinctive shape of the building lot and all the motorway restrictions/constraints dictated the design of a triangular-shaped form reminiscent of a ship’s hull gliding between man-made hills designed to provide heat and sound insulation for the entire construction.

The cutting-edge plant-engineering, which even exploits geothermal power as a renewable energy source through a hybrid system of heat pumps: a multipurpose water-water heat pump using groundwater and a multipurpose air-water heat pump exploiting heat in the air. Using groundwater for air-conditioning the premises by means of high-performance heat pumps is optimised by a supply of water for fire-extinguishing purposes. The groundwater also supplies the irrigation system for the extensive area of greenery.
The greenery blends indissolubly into the architectural object to become part of the building material itself, contributing to its insulation and the quality of life of its users.
The structure, which is sculpted at the base by the large sloping stanchions of the ventilated curtain facades, opens up at the top floor into an airier and more brightly-lit section composed of a column set on the prefabricated construction below but structurally freestanding.

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This free and totally-glazed floor accommodates the open space offices, where all the structural features are set around triangular patios and the irregular perimeter of the building.
The roof, which, in turn, is rotated in the direction of sunlight compared to the ground floor’s fixed position, has major overhangs acting as sunscreens and featured by the triangular perforations of the patios, which provide comfortable natural lighting throughout the entire operating level.
Natural lighting for the office floors is guaranteed by positioning the facades appropriately and the carefully-gauged use of overhangs in relation to almost fully-glazed walls.

Space Planning and Interior Design.
DEGW worked with Giuseppe Tortato on certain design features: the space planning of the offices, concept for the corporate canteen, the reception desk and general mood of the colour scheme and materials.
The Space Planning for the offices area was aimed at making the most of all the surface areas and different depths of each floor, setting out the enclosed and open space workstations around the perimeter, which, in turn, is focused around an elaborate central support hub: a diffused Hub consisting of a photocopying area, break area, lockers, niche informal areas and meeting rooms, which wind around a long and sinuous customised bench designed for touchdown stations and create a mixed-use environment where formal work comes together with more spontaneous and informal operations.

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The Interior Design was focused on new finishes, the concept for the canteen, the reception desk and the general mood of the colour schemes and materials, based on a palette of two main colour: fluid watery blue and cool technological shades, enhanced by qualities like transparency, care, reliability and comfort coming from the materials used.
Special features were studied for the executive offices, the reception, and the ground-floor canteen area (featuring a combination of a “set” of niche chairs and more conventional tables) and an area accommodating meeting rooms, open-space stations and informal areas to provide multiple potential uses between productivity and leisure, work and rest.

Photo by Dario Tettamanzi and Daniele Domenicali.

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Congress Center in Krasnodar by Piuarch: between river and town.

The Milan based Piuarch studio designs of the new Ekaterinensky Congress Center in Krasnodar, Russia, located on the banks of the Kuban River. The core concept is to activate the relationship between the city and the river by designing a connection among the natural water environment, the coastal parks, and the urban area, reconfiguring the city’s interaction with the river.

The design proposes a three level cultural center (2,840 sqm) that includes a conference hall with a capacity of 720 seats – which can be set up in different configurations – a foyer, a restaurant, a bar, a parking, service areas and a new pedestrian plaza. The building will also feature terraces on the roof and outdoor spaces on the ground floor, which allow for the expansion of the internal functions.
Piuarch’s objective is to redefine the relationship between waterways, greenery and the urban grid. The result is a complex featuring a soft, sinuous, organic façade that establishes a relationship with the river, letting itself be permeated by light. The building’s entrance – set on the side of the city – is characterized instead by a linear, geometric façade that creates a dialogue with the artificial weave of the urban fabric. At night the building becomes a “lantern,” a landmark visible all along the river.

The central body of the building contains all the services and vertical links and divides the entrance area from the plenary hall (with all its related functions) and from the restaurant on the second and highest floor.
The building’s curved lines, the open multipurpose interior spaces and the vantage points overlooking the river are the defining elements of the congress area, with the conference hall surrounded by areas for private meetings, offices and catering.
The hall occupies 700 sqm, and has movable soundproof walls that can be used to divide the space into several different configurations: the 720-seat plenary hall; 3 parallel 200-seat halls; 6 small 60-seat halls; or set up as a completely open room for gala dinners or dancing.
The interior height of approximately 9 meters allows for good sightlines for the audience and a wide range of possible setups. The interpreters’ booths and the control room are on the first floor.
The two-story hall is overlooked by the first floor, which only partially occupies the building and is used as multipurpose areas for private meetings and/or catering, with a bar on the side of the hall.
The design of the building and the technological systems is aimed at saving energy and reducing management and operational costs.

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Ecomat: made of olive waste.

Recommit is a sustainable, 100% recyclable material, even forever, the outcome of a mix of olive residue and recycled plastic in the Piana di Gioia Tauro area in south Italy. These panels can be used in the building industry, transports, office and school furnishing and in other fields.

Unique of its kind and already tested for the flooring of Expo, l’Oreal  and other important projects, this material is carried out with a state-of-the-art industrial process, glue-free, that’s why it’s an effective and eco-friendly alternative to wood.
It withstands water and atmospheric and chemical agents as well as sea salt; available in one-layer plates and panels in several thicknesses from 3 to 30 mm.
Ecomat is produced by Europlan and distributed by Livingoffice, office and retail  general contractor company based in Rome, founded by Mirella Raccuja.

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Joyful and inspiring offices for a multinational.

A multinational that gave a free hand to e45 creative and professional designers who, relying on a twenty-year experience, hand-picked reliable partners -the dealer Cardex and some of the best suppliers company like Dieffebi, Interface, Armstrong, Arper, a.s.o.- to carry out a functional workplace, really amazing, bright and versatile.

Pitney Bowes is a US multinational that employs 15.000 people in the world and works in supplies and delivery services. The Italian branch has just decided to move its office, in order to match the new needs resulting from its development.
The design of the new office was entrusted to e45 (Bruno De Rivo e Pietro Morandi), supported by Cardex for furniture and settings.
The headquarters include administrative offices, a demo room for presentation to the clients, the online assistance service for management softwares and a workshop.
The rooms mirrors the “technical” trait of the company, yet they are bright and attractive at the same time.

Respectful of ergonomics and environmental comfort – especially as lighting and acoustics are concerned – they  follow the contemporary dictates of an active, lively workplace pleasant to live in.

The design is a balanced mix of open plan and offices and closed rooms, individual and collective areas: open space offices with “writeable walls” are furnished with bench desks and useful storages (Primo System by Dieffebi); meetings rooms in several sizes, huddle rooms for video conferences, and also a kitchenette are closed by transparent and sound insulating glass partition walls by Gecopar facing on the open plan offices.

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As regards look and finishing touches, the company gave carte blanche to the designers.
Moderately used corporate colours for the visible technical equipment, the wall graphics in the reception area and ornamental details that make these offices exceptionally fascinating: corporate colours in the round sound-absorbing panels (Canopy by Armstrong) “twined” with the round hanging lamps; blue thick, domestic-looking curtains and the irregular chromatic pattern of the flooring by Interface.

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Photo by Matteo Zanardi.

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The Team 7 HQ will be designed by Shigeru Ban.

The Pritzker Prizker Prize-winning architect Shigeru Ban is the winner of the international competition for the Team 7 Headquarter in in Ried (Austria). “The design by Shigeru Ban really speaks to the heart and soul -quotes Georg Emprechtinger, owner and Managing Director of Team 7- The concept transforms our many-faceted philosophy into a reality in every respect”.

Shigeru Ban won over the jury with an innovative, energy-neutral wooden construction, which embodies Team 7’s love of solid wood and vision for a modern, sustainable lifestyle to great effect.

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It will be named Team 7 World and it will inspire creativity and meetings; transparency and openness are the main elements of the design; the smart use of glass and shade enables the optimization of daylight and the connection between interior and exterior.  A sophisticated ventilation technology provides the workplaces with perfect climate control.
The use of wood and modern energy-efficient technologies means that the building will have a minimal environmental footprint and a favourable CO2 balance.
The building will span four stories, joined together centrally by a huge oval interior space.
A spiral ramp, staircase, and a lift  will convey visitors and employees in this transparent atrium from the exhibition floor, over two stories of open space offices, to the skybox on the fourth floor.

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Soundproofing, air cleaning, humidity regulation.

Acoustic Mood Wall by Sedus is a wall design element suitable for professional sound absorption, especially in rooms with hard surfaces. It improves acoustics and simultaneously helps to keep the air clean and regulate humidity. Thanks to the use of renewable and natural materials in the product –hemp and wool– the “acoustic mood wall” is a 100% sustainable product.

Acoustic Mood Wall consists of a folding wooden cassette-like holder with an embedded layer of hemp and wool and is covered in fabric. While the hemp layer in the core is acoustically effective, the layer of wool is negatively ionised and therefore does not attract fine particulates; for this reason helps to clean the air and regulate humidity besides having sound-dampening qualities.


It can be used in open space offices, meeting and conference rooms, reception areas, corridors and waiting zones, cafeterias and company canteens.
It is available in different square and rectangular formats (600 x 600/1200/1800/2400 mm and 1200 x 1200 mm) and two thicknesses (55 and 95 mm), it can be attached to a wall horizontally or vertically or can simply be suspended from the ceiling. Up to three colours from a set range of colours can be selected for each element.

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Eliot: connected IoT objects in our daily life.

BTicino, leader of Gruppo Legrand in Italy, features a technological DNA and has always been innovation-oriented. The first to bring design to technical power products and introduce the concept of home automation and connected building, in a consistent path of innovation, the company moves on to Smart Building -namely the building integrated systems- to the creation of a new value through the development of IoT objects: here is the Programme ELIOT, the acronym of Electricity and IoT.

Friendly and easy as its name suggests, today ELIOT enters our homes and offices officially, although B Ticino has actually supported the revolution of the Internet of Things for a long time, as proved by the turnover of 200 million euros with connected objects in 2014 realized by BTicino and Legrand.
The Internet of Things is conquering practically all aspects of human life: from health, to transport, business, leisure and above all the home and buildings for which it is opening a new era. For BTicino, the Internet of Things represents an opportunity to offer greater value to its users, both private and professional. The capacity to communicate must increase the user value, guaranteeing a real plus in the long term”, commented Franco Villani, BTicino Managing Director.
Convinced that the Internet of Things will become the standard, BTicino is now aiming at accelerating the development of its connected products by launching the ELIOT programme, aimed at the evolution of BTicino products, inserting IOT solutions where they would lead to an increase in user value. The ELIOT brand will thus indicate all the BTicino products which form part of the family of objects which are or can be connected.
The solutions based on the Internet of Things must be able to communicate with each other. It is therefore important that they speak a common language. BTicino and the Legrand Group are active in international alliances such as AllSeen Alliance (which defines communication standards and interoperability) and ZigBee Alliance, building wireless communication standards. In the ambit of ELIOT the Group is intensifying its partnerships with innovation start-ups with the objective of enriching applications such as energy and heating management or assistance to autonomy.
“The connected objects supply added user value, proposing complementary services, automating processes, reducing response times, detecting a status and regulating any decisions. -commented Davide Colombo, BTicino Home-Automation Marketing Manager-The connected products simplify life, for example by means of preventive maintenance, remote controls and protection systems for buildingsThe connected objects will only be used if they guarantee an enduring advantage, fundamental and reliable for the user”.
IoT is also an advantage for Facility Management in commercial and b2b sectors.
BTicino ELIOT products include, for example:

Camera with sensor which can remotely signal and display the presence of an intruder, allowing the user to discriminate between a real alarm and a false one.
Salvavita Stop & Go which remotely informs the user of any unexpected Salvavita(Residual current device) trips, so that he can check that the device has been correctly reset and telling him whether in fact he needs a qualified electrician.

Connected timer thermostat which allows management of the heating system via app, simplifying the programming of switching ON and OFF.
Display of energy consumptions, made up of a set of sensors and intelligent sockets, which can measure the energy consumption, follow it over time and devise scenarios for energy saving, locally or remotely.
Management of lighting, rolling shutters, curtains and blinds by means of the BTicino wireless system gateway which makes even existing homes “intelligent” and which is thus ideal for restructuring without building work.
Classe 300 Video door entry system with which you can interact, also via smartphone and tablet, with the person ringing at the door, discovering in real time who was looking for you.
NuVo hi-fi audio components multi-room system, manages music inside the home using an app, taking the music both from libraries saved on mobile or fixed devices and from streaming services such as Spotify or Deezer.
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Smart Working: new spaces for the new working models. 

A survey and a vivacious event promoted by Sedus and IFMA Italia have analysed how the new work styles change the concept of workplace and how the furniture functional to smart working will evolve. From the point of view of space management, the results show the need for more focus rooms, namely enclosed offices or private areas for concentrated working, precisely widespread inside the working environments.

Sedus chose a stimulating and innovatory formula to present the survey carried out together with IFMA Italia. At Teatro Parenti in Milan, a place full of atmosphere, last May 19th, the meeting “Smart Working: new spaces for the new working models” gathered  facility managers and planners, who could have a debate, subdivided into three workteams and in three different rooms, with the objective to get a clear idea of the key subjects in the space planning of a smart office:
to determine the strategically most important areas,
to define the planning criteria of the new working areas,
to establish which features should furniture have,
in order to meet the requirements of smart working and most of all of smart workers.
The final, informal conference allowed to share the results of the three workshops.

The Country Manager di Sedus Italia, Lorenzo Maresca’s  opening speech stressed Sedus philosophy, now a Foundation, that hasn’t just invested in products for 140 years, but it also aims at a “productive wellbeing”.  After being a pioneer in the field of ergonomic seating, Sedus  has taken on a more dynamic view emphasizing that to be seated is however bad for our health, we must move about and, for this reason, it shifted its attention to the complexity of the workplace.
By collaborating with qualified Boards like IFMA or Osservatorio Smart Working of Politecnico di Milano, Sedus tries to find new solutions, in the plural, for the only certainty is that  there cannot be an effective solution for everyone: each company, each smart worker has to find its “own” way.
The meeting went on with Maria Antonietta Lisena, who presented the results of the study.


An excellent case study closed the first public part of the event: Pietro Fiorani, National General Services Manager di Coca Cola HBC Italia, explained the smart working solutions adopted for the new Milan Headquarters designed by DEGW.
The new premises were designed by considering the office as a place where people meet to develop projects, a sort of  “Mac-Drive to recharge devices, get through a piece of experience, absorb energy for one’s work and develop one’s network, to acquire knowledge and combine an action as a team.

During the second part of the event, the people present were divided into three groups to discuss as many subjects.The three workshop where conducted by Alessandro Adamo (DEGW Italia), Stefano Anfossi (Studio Pierandrei e Associati) e Renata Sias (WOW! Webmagazine) helped by the “graphic Facilitator” of Associazione Punto Uno (Claudio Francescato, Sara Seravalle e Marielle Binken).

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Plantronics’ office in Paris.

The new office in Paris is the latest smarter working environment specifically designed by Plantronics for today’s office worker. The goal of the company – global leader in audio communications- is to create the most effective working environment enabling staff to be comfortable and productive.

The workplace in Paris features state of the art design and soundscaping, including a waterfall feature, allowing noise to be masked with soothing running water sounds. As with the other offices, the space includes different workspaces designed to support a range of identified working styles and activities while at work. The new office also includes a gym with equipment connected to other Plantronics offices, so workers can jog and challenge colleagues based in other countries. Also featured is a brainstorm room with walls on which workers can write, meeting rooms and a room for resting to ensuring proper relaxation at times.

“The traditional office and 9-5 workday is long gone. Today’s worker deserves the right environment and right tools to be successful,” said Philip Vanhoutte, Senior Vice-President and Managing Director E&A, Plantronics. “At Plantronics, we are proud to stay on the forefront of this movement and drive home our Smarter Working motto – to allow employees to work where and when they are most productive, cost-effective and environmentally respectful.”

“Today’s office worker is not confined by four walls and a punch-clock. -said Philippe Tessier, Marketing & Inside Sales Manager France, Plantronics– While our new office provides a large variety of spaces to Collaborate, Communicate, Concentrate and Contemplate, workers only need to come into the environment when necessary. The aim is to stimulate creativity, wellbeing and mutual respect when workers are here, not keep them at work longer.”
On the occasion of the office opening, Philip Vanhoutte’s “The Smarter Working Manifesto” co-written with Guy Clapperton, was presented in French (also currently in English, Italian, German and Spanish) and a new entry-level product of Blackwire Family was launched, too.5-smart working-Paris-wow-webmagazine
The Plantronics Blackwire family.
The Plantronics Blackwire family delivers outstanding UC audio quality and reliability, with price points to meet any budget and features sets that increase as you go up the line. Announced today is the new entry-level Blackwire 315/325 corded USB headsets which are easy to use, simple to deploy, and offer the choice of USB or 3.5mm connectivity. Also included in the family is the recently announced top-of-the-line Blackwire 725, a premium USB headset that features Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) technology, which combined with an immersive design helps block out distractive background noise in work environments. 

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Here is an example of agile work at the Swimming Pool. Definitely, a WOW! Workplace.

The success of the WOW! Island (Isola WOW! Lavoro Agile) exceeded all expectations. Curiosity and  interest have attracted many people to the temporary workplaces set up at Cozzi swimming pool in Milan, who seized the opportunities offered by Giornata Lavoro Agile 2015 (Agile Working Day organized by Comune di Milano) to enjoy new Places and Ways Of Working.

The media coverage was also very high, newspapers to television, portals to online magazines. The idea to arrange agile offices in a place used to get an agile body proved to be innovatory, challenging and fun. The work environment needs project to make people cry out WOW!
Agile Work requires a cultural change more than anything else:
an agile mind rather then agile work and rooms promoting creativity: each WOW! Island si therefore a joyful and lively space, a “workplace” to generate wellbeing, where you can but cry WOW!

Event organized by WOW! Webmagazine in collaboration with Milanosport.
Patronage by ADI, Assufficio, Great Place to Work Italia, IFMA Italia, Osservatorio Smart Working Politecnico di Milano.
Thanks to:
AkzoNobel, BTicino, Caimi Brevetti, Dieffebi, Diwar, Emme Italia, HW Style, Linak, Interface, Kinnarps, Kundalini, Plantronics, Sedus, USM  for supplying furniture, chairs, lighting, floor covering, plants and accessories.5-bis-isola-WOW-lavoro-agile-cozzi-wow-webmagazine

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The Buckley Building, a factory in the ‘30th renovated.

The Buckley Building in London, was a factory in the Thirties and has recently been renovated by architects Buckley GrayYeoman and converted into prestigious offices for some of the main English multinational companies, among these also Derwent London, developer of this Real Estate project.

The historic district of Islington is the part of London most coveted by creative artists, stylists and designers, full of fashion stores and trendy establishments, so it is no surprise that some of the main English multinationals have chosen to locate their communication units there.
Clerkenwell Green lies right at the centre of this lively community, unique of its kind, dominated by the austere profile of The Buckley Building, which was a factory in the Thirties and has recently been renovated and converted for the prestigious offices of leading  international brands.
The 7,910 sqm of perfectly restored spaces are distributed inside a sophisticated building that is completely environmentally sustainable, culminating in a spectacular terrace from which the breathtaking panorama of the London rooftops can be admired.
Developer Derwent London pre-let part of the building and the rest of the building was let after completion: the two lower floors are occupied by the renowned restaurant Granger & Co., while the offices located on the four floors above are let to Unilever, Hill+Knowlton, Tipp24 and Deloitte Digital.

The architectural design by architects Buckley GrayYeoman emphasized the original features of this jewel of industrial archeology. The facade details display alternating white bands of plaster and exposed brick walls, punctuated by classic Crittal windows with accentuated vertical dimensions.
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The interior architecture plays a decisive role, due to the quality of the technological equipment – absolutely at the cutting edge – and especially the very high aesthetic content of the spaces, the selection of which was based on a limited palette of ‘raw” materials, deployed with great refinement.
From the polished concrete floors, pillars and walls rise up made of rust-coloured bricks, typical of English industrial construction, while simple steel columns painted black break up the wide open spaces, bathed in the clear light that streams through the large windows.
In this little paradise of contemporary Brit-style, a well-known Italian company has also been at work. All the interior partitions in steel were made and installed by Marzorati Ronchetti, the world leader in customized metal processing.


Caption upper image:
The most characteristic area of this delightful construction is, without doubt, the reception. The wax-finished, black iron wall panels create a background in various shades of mottled grey that softly diffuses the national light without resorting to reflective surfaces. A rare example of Italian style in the heart of the City (installed by Marzorati Ronchetti).

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De Rotterdam: turning a wait into a meeting.

“What if waiting becomes less tedious, because it is turned into meeting?” Based on this thought, Studio Makkink & Bey, in collaboration with Group A and Roukens + Van Gils, designed the interior of 33 storeys of De Rotterdam at the Wilhelmina Pier in Rotterdam: 44,000 sqm of communal space such as meeting areas, reception spaces, in-between areas and treatment facilities and mail rooms.

The new house of Rotterdam municipal offices, De Rotterdam, was developed by OMA and had originally been designed as a “vertical city”. That is why the collaboration of design studios also approached this building from an urban development point of view. The workplaces, indicated as “districts” within a city, are interconnected by means of “urban junctions”. The public rooms are the “parks” and the “squares”, informal meeting places where people can relax, meet and catch up.
In the areas designed by Studio Makkink & Bey, the emphasis lies on the idea of “always being busy going somewhere” while working.
A striking example of this idea can be found expecially in the lift lobbies, covering a total floor area of 3,500 sqm, which were transformed from waiting areas into meeting areas, by adding standing-sitting furniture and colourful floors. As a result, the lift lobby is no longer a tedious waiting area, but an ideal place to meet people and briefly chill out.
Text by Gabriele Masi.
Pictures by ScagliolaBrakkee
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Captions:
1, An example of De Rotterdam’s offices.
2, 3, Lift lobbies.
4, City centre: The “city centre”, the welcome area for the municipal offices, is located in the middle of the building: moving the reception area from the ground floor to the middle of the building creates connections to the city deep into the structure. The city centre is composed of the double-height 22nd floor where the reception and the information centre are and the 21st floor with the restaurant. The 22nd floor has also a public function for municipal employees and visitors. The larger of the two multi-functional spaces was designed to resemble a “living room”, where you receive guests with a cup of coffee from the Italian Coffee Bar. Here, people can organise informal meetings, give small workshops, or have breakfast, lunch or coffee during the afternoon. The smaller space next to the ‘living room’ functions as an information centre for Rotterdam. A stairway leads to the library, with its collection of books about Rotterdam.

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5, 6, 7 The Neighbourhoods: the low-rise and high-rise floors form the ‘neighbourhoods’ of the vertical city, and were laid out to facilitate the ‘New Ways of Work 010’ concept. Each floor has a large central ‘living room’, with a reading/conference table and a pantry/coffee corner; the ideal meeting place for each ‘neighbourhood’. Facilities, such as lockers and a coat room, are located on each floor near the living room, which makes them easy to find. Each floor is also furnished with a variety of work spaces, informal and formal meeting rooms and quiet zones. 

 

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Need workplaces more walls? Open space comes up for discussion now more than ever.

No doubt open space is perfect to optimize an office surface and cut down costs; more interaction was another advantage now brought forward. However problems are plain-to-see, let’s face it. The lack of privacy is a very real problem, but not the only one. In no uncertain terms, the article Google got it wrong. The open-office trend is destroying the workplace” posted on The Washington Post reopens the discussion on this subject. “Workplaces need more walls, not fewer”: Manufacturers of partition walls should rejoice…

The ironic story by Lindsey Kaufman (New York based, she works in advertising; her personal essays have appeared in The Washington Post, Our Town Downtown and xoJane) offers an irresistibile picture of the rowdy behavior of a group of adult co-workers in an open space.
With a few amusing commonplace remarks (need of noise-cancelling headphones, embarrassment for frequent bathroom trips, control of clandestine porn-watching and unlimited personal calls) and some inaccuracy (about 70 percent of U.S. offices have no or low partitions, but I don’t think we can blame Google for it) the author gives some interesting data..
Nothing was private” was the heaviest denunciation.

According to the 2013 study Kaufman quotes Workspace satisfaction: The privacy-communication trade-off in open-plan offices”, many workers in open offices are frustrated by distractions that lead to poorer work performance and by the less of acoustic comfort. “50% of the surveyed workers in open offices said the lack of sound, privacy was a significant problem and more than 30% complained about the lack of visual privacy”.
About need of interaction “it was cited as a problem by fewer than 10% of workers in any type of office setting. And the conclusion is disturbing: “the loss of productivity due to noise distraction … was doubled in open-plan offices compared to private offices.”
Also, something we shouldn’t undervalue, especially in winter, is the easiest contagion of influenza virus (also Corriere della Sera in Italy talked about this problem).
So was Google wrong? Maybe not. Probably, benefits may justify some undeniable drawbacks, when the “open” model (open space and open mind, too) is part of the attitude of companies like Google in terms of philosophy and employees’ real age. Are there any studies on digital natives?
The mistake they make is to copy this model uncritically in more traditional companies, without involving the staff and, most of all, without a previous change in the corporate culture.
Editorial by Renata Sias, editor WOW! Webmagazine.

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Scuolazoo: PacMan and customization for the digital natives.

How do you furnish a workplace for 50 digital natives, 25 years old on average? If you immediately think of drawing inspiration from Google offices, with the financial resources of a start up and the determination of a brilliant entrepreneur –Paolo De Nadai, born in 1988– you could achieve a really original result!

Obtained from an old warehouse in Viale Cassala, Milan, Scuolazoo offices develop on two floors, linked by stairs and a lift decorated with the graphics of an old PacMan videogame or… by a fireman’s pole for the most athletic ones.
The connection between work spaces and play spaces is organized so as to give privacy to the latter. The work space features an open layout, the play areas are purpose-designed.
Low budget furniture are enriched by customized pieces designed by Paolo’s parents, Studio De Nadai based in Padua.
Just “ordinary” desks, nothing sophisticated or high-tech; simplicity is rather dominant in design, almost disarming, just big white wooden tables with central holes for the computer cables.
A site specific installation with a brutal message: digitali natives like craftwork and don’t like standardization,  and they look for spaces where they can express their inventiveness.
Text by Silvia Fattore.4-scuolazoo-uffici-wow-webmagazine

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Aren’t the “coolest” offices indeed unsightly!

Maybe I’m a snob or attached to a bourgeois and outdated view of interior design, but I honestly find most of the “coolest” or “trendy” or “best” offices going about the social media definitely tasteless.

It often happens to receive lists from everywhere in the world, especially drawn up by Anglo-Saxons, for instance one I got lately reports the coolest workplaces in Singapore.
I dare not criticize Google’s view, that has really changed the way of conceiving working environments and styles, but I ask myself: is it really necessary to use a tuk-tuk as meeting room or a hammock as chair or a crate for vegetables as bookcase to create an original and innovatory office?
We have always promoted concepts of informality as a possible way to avoid standardized offices, or of domesticity to make them more pleasant, of play to make them livelier… but it risks to be a narrow view, besides being kitschy, to think that the life quality of a working environment can be ensured just with a table soccer or an improbable workstation shaped like a floral hut inspired by the game Monopoly (believe me: that happens in Dubai!).
I’m beginning to find this excess, this irritating formal noise of the coolest offices at all costs quite uninteresting.
These stylistic features, at a crossroads between outrageousness and  entertainment, were the breaking point of the workplace 2.0 introduced by the new aesthetic vision of startup companies (and a clear reaction to minimalism and extreme practicality). But we expect the workplace 3.0 to be something more balanced, less garish.
An innovatory design, of course, but in more realistic and structural ways, putting the organizing change and the identity of the deftest companies into a physical environment, to meet smart- working methods with suitable products, even some vintage piece to give a personal touch to the room is okay (but not the gong, please, that’s inadmissible!).
Probably I’m conditioned by my proudly Italian and Mediterranean cultural roots, but I expect more harmony from the workplace 3.0. Less cool yet smarter and beauty.
Editorial by Renata Sias, editor WOW! Webmagazine.


Photo: ST File (Google);
officesnapshots.com (Flintstone Office)