|Spectris Innovation Centre
|Workspace, Design, Interior Design
|Sérgio Miguel Magalhães
Located next to Porto’s airport in Portugal, the HBK Spectris Innovation Centre occupies a former warehouse that local creative studio STUDIUM has transformed into contemporary office spaces whose human-centric design is matched with a playful aesthetic of industrial references. Channelling the latest trends in office design, the designers have employed modular solutions and lightweight elements to ensure that the space can easily adapt to changing business needs, while establishing a sense of community and comfort befitting an inspiring, modern workplace.
The designers took advantage of the industrial building’s expansive space to come up with a flexible, open plan configuration of workspaces, meeting areas and breakout spaces, which encourages collaboration and teamwork between the 60 or so employees of HBK, a technology company that provides precision measurement, processing and control solutions. Conceived as an indoor landscape, the workstations surround two repurposed containers that house several meeting rooms. Connecting the two containers, one of which sits upright with the other lying horizontally, a series of stepped platforms made from metal grating provide access to the vertical container’s upper floor, as well as function as an auditorium, while underneath there’s an informal lounge area where employees can socialize or unwind.
Swathed in light grey tones, the designers have strategically used yellow, blue and green hues to accentuate and demarcate areas and services. Office areas are marked in yellow, courtesy of the desks and modular partitions cum shelving units made from engineered coloured wood, the central containers are externally painted in blue and brown, while the enclosed meeting rooms pop with their yellow wall panelling. Air ducts sport an emerald shade while a feature tree in the central communal zone provides additional green accents.
The graphical use of colour testifies to STUDIUM’s multidisciplinary team of graphic and product designers working alongside the studio’s architects, as does the graphical timeline that unfolds on the exterior of the vertical container. Highlighting both the company and site’s history, a series of wooden plaques connected by an illuminated fibre optic cable transform the container’s cubic volume into an information beacon that encapsulates the project’s functional and aesthetic redesign.
At the backyard patio, employees can take advantage of the facility’s dining hall and playroom, the former housed in a newly built space and the latter in another repurposed container. Clad in timber slats, the cubic volume of the dining hall stands out against the industrial background, as does the amoeba-shaped canopy that connects it with the workspaces.