“A technological factory of the entertainment in a historical setting”. With these words, Alessandro Adamo, DEGW director, has presented the Fox Network Group’s headquarters in Rome. Four patterns of space (Core, Open Space, Utilities and Ancillary Space) have been designed to follow the working habits of the employees, alluding to concepts inspired by the notion of “Urbe” (the Latin word for “city”): Monument, Neighbourhood, Gallery, and Lighthouse. The HQ is the first example of a low environmental impact smart office realized in the historical setting of Rome.
“We were looking for a space in which a creative company like ours can recognize itself, where ideas can freely circulate without any architectonical barrier”. Donatella Colantoni, Fox Network Group’s head of HR, has presented the headquarters of the company inside Palazzo Marignoli in San Silvestro square. The 3500 sqm designed by DEGW after a workplace analysis of the almost 200 people hosted in the building, is the first example of a smart office in the historical core of Rome, based on agile and flexible ways of working.
If the industrial mood of the 19th-century building was kept in the structure of the walls, the ceilings, and the stairways to embody the concept of “monumental”, alongside the technological innovation concept find its expression in the “galley” environment, such as the welcome area.
The dialogue between history and modernity has inspired two different models: the “Domus” of the ancient Romans and the contemporary domotics of the home design. Already at the entrance the central reception, with LED wall and rear wall made of MDF, along with the waiting area recalls the atrium of the ancient Romans’ houses, that used to give access to the “taberna”, today turns into a wide coffee bar, with a kitchenette, a library and the board room, an oval-shaped room with the natural wooden floor and a ceiling covered with acoustic panels to integrate the lighting with soundproof technology.
“Our colleagues were involved throughout the process, from the initial research to the design and, using workshops, the choice of the facilities”, Donatella Colantoni says. “Even though the smart working in our company is not formalized, we have a culture of trust in the people. The presence of several common spaces, the outcome of the initial workplace analysis, reflects our ways of working. An example is the coffee bar that was designed to create an informal and beautiful environment to foster communication”.
The main open space, design as a “porticus”, to connect the 28 meeting rooms with different capacities and technological systems to run presentations or videoconferences, takes also inspiration form the concept of an efficient and comfortable “neighborhood”. Moreover, to improve informal and flexible team working “lighthouse” spaces were designed, with touchdown and coworking areas, a social platform divided by transparent glass partitions and chat sofas, one-to-one environment for small meetings.
“The new spaces have had an impact on people’s behavior”, Colantoni concludes. “First of all, people are happier to come to work in a beautiful, well-equipped and practical working environment that embodies our values: modernity, respect for the environment, aesthetics”.
Furniture was provided by the dealer Evospace, following the motto “Make your office a Happy place” that means creating a comfortable and inspiring workplace. Among the furniture, along with Naughtone products the Herman Miller’s collections stand out, with 197 workstations (Layout Studio series), the management and meeting environment (Abak Environment series) and the 346 chairs of the Sayl series.
Furthermore, another feature of the Fox Network Group’s headquarters is the attention given to the soundproofing, with the presence, throughout the space, of acoustic panels and the moquette, and especially of the 200 sqm post-production facilities, designed by Dolby with an Atmos Home Entertainment certificate.
Eventually, Fox Network Group wanted to create an environmental-friendly office. Applying the environmental impact reduction policy of the Fox Network Group CSR, the Co2 emissions due to working related mobility have been cut off from 251 to 0,5 tons/year, while, following the National Geographic campaign Planet or Plastic, single-use plastics have been eliminated along with a rigorous separate collection for recycling.
Text by Gabriele Masi.
Pictures by Delfino Sisto Legnani, Marco Cappelletti.