After more than a year of working from home, most people are ready to get back to the office to re-connect with colleagues, socialize, and, if we’re being honest, have some fun. Of course, workspaces haven’t traditionally been designed with fun in mind, quite the opposite, but this is slowly changing spearheaded by Silicon Valley companies, tech start-ups and forward-looking players of the digital economy. Take for instance the new Barcelona headquarters of Xcelirate, a digital entertainment content provider: located on the top floor on Passeig de Gràcia, a majestic boulevard in the heart of the city’s business and entertainment district, the office was designed by multidisciplinary design studio Lagranja Design as a fun-packed, pop culture-infused space, complete a verdant lounge, quirky playroom, thematic meeting rooms, and a terrace with gorgeous views of Barcelona’s skyline.
While many of its staff works remotely from far-flung locations, Xcelirate decided to open a hub in Barcelona as an opportunity to attract talented young programmers, via offices that would bring out their professional best, and foster innovation through collaboration. Which is why, although the space was already fitted out as a functioning office, the company brought in Lagranja Design to create a unique, fun environment. “Rather than focusing on interior design in the classic sense”, studio co-founder Gerard Sanmartí explains, “we thought about communication and the user experience”. The result of such a concept-driven approach is a series of playful spaces, each one with its own character, echoing the kaleidoscopic multifariousness of the digital universe.
Exemplifying the designers’ thinking-outside-the-box approach, the meeting rooms were inspired by Narcos and La Casa del Papel (‘Money Heist’), two hugely popular Netflix series that have become global talking points. Jungle motifs coupled with historic photos of Pablo Escobar and his entourage convey the former, while for the latter the room takes the aura of a bank vault. As immersive, albeit in a more laid-back manner, is the office lounge which takes the form of an outdoor patio, complete with a lawn-like floor, lush vegetation and outdoor furniture designed by Lagranja Design in softly rounded forms and warm textiles.
More energetic in sensibility and vibrant in aesthetic is the recreation room which features neon installations inspired by vintage video games such as Pacman, multi-coloured lighting tubes suspended from the ceiling, and cardboard tubes lining the walls. Pacman figures can also be found graffitied on the office’s large windows, courtesy of Barcelona-based illustrator Javier Royo, beyond which a spacious outdoor terrace offers employees the chance to unwind while admiring the beautiful Barcelona skyline, offering contemplation and inspiration during coffee breaks outside.