The workplace at Biennale: R/GA HQ and Sottsass.

The office, absent from the Alejandro Aravena’s Biennale Architecture “Reporting from the Front”, plays a leading role in two events in Venice, to tell past, the present and future of the workplace: the documentary film about the new R/GA office designed by Foster and the exhibition S.O.S. Sottsass Olivetti Synthesis inside the wonderful Olivetti store designed by Scarpa and now part or FAI heritage.

The documentary Workplace.
The premiere of the documentary Workplace has been place on May 26th at Teatro dell’Arsenale; Biennale officially invited the screen player Gary Hustwit (Film First) and Bob Greenberg, founder of R/GA agency that recently moved in the new offices in New York designed by Foster and Partners.
It doesn’t just tell the project of R/GA offices, but thanks to the contribution of experts and the viewpoints of those who work in those places, it can describe exactly what Workplace means today: a space for the”connected age”.
The new huge open plan office is 18,000 sqm on two floors inside an austere, brutalist building of the ‘60s on the 33h street.

The renovation included the total demolition of walls, to accommodate a large staircase. The design take care to ergonomics and environmental comfort (flexible lighting system, acoustic ceiling). Every employee has their own sit/stand desk. The space also includes communal lounges, relax areas, meeting area equipped with round tables and production studios.
Spaces and furniture to make relations easier. In short, a perfect machine-building and a collaborative office manifesto.
Designing this office we want to be sure everything will improve collaboration, integration, and networking, things that will really move us forward. And we’re not investing in anything that would be part of the past.” Greenberg quotes.
Everything works to perfection and satisfies the requirements of the people working there, even if, in our opinion, the whole is rather nondescript and not too amazing.

Exhibition S.O.S. Sottsass Olivetti Synthesis:
Instead, still amazing today is Ettore Sottsass’ genius, displayed by FAI (Fondo Ambiente Italiano) at the alluring Olivetti store, designed by Carlo Scarpa, at Piazza San Marco.
This exhibition, curated by Marco Meneguzzo, Enrico Morteo and Alberto Saibene, is the first of the three exhibitions dedicated to the great Master of design to celebrate the centenary of his birth next 2017; the focus is on the legendary Olivetti Synthesis Serie 45, a revolutionary furniture system for the office designed at the beginning of the ‘70s, an answer to the new requirements of the way of working, that could combine the concepts of functionalism and rationalism with the pop art’s sparkle and joyfulness.
A unique opportunity to see the projects of two geniuses – a cult industrial design furniture and the attractive interior design of the store- and realize what the far-seeing Vision of a likewise ingenious entrepreneur as Olivetti was could achieve.


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