Ahrend is a global partner of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), an international healthcare company and medicine, vaccine and healthcare product manufacturer. With operations in more than 100 countries, GSK is one of the world's top five pharmaceutical companies. It was one of the first companies in Russia to implement the revolutionary “flexible office” concept at its Moscow office, which is characterised by the complete absence of fixed workstations.
Employees have autonomy and flexibility in choosing where, when and how to work. Instead of counting hours spent in the office, the focus has shifted to results and outcomes. The key feature of the new office is the absence of fixed workstations. The offices are conceived as a flexible space, where each person has a choice and an opportunity to change their scene. There are no separate rooms or strict hierarchy: everyone from the senior managers down work in the open-plan environment.
Although the new office is smaller than the old one, with the help of the “flexible office” 330 people were able to be accommodated with 280 workstations, and the number of meeting rooms, collaboration and recreation areas was increased. There are 18 focus rooms where employees can concentrate on work away from any distractions. In the open space, ornamental acoustic panels act as partitions between departments. They absorb sound and create a private and cosy atmosphere.
‘It seems to me that we have created a fabulous office, both regarding the space organisation and aesthetic beauty’
In addition to the Smart Working concept, you can find other innovative concepts and technology-based solutions at the office, which promote cooperation and productivity. This includes a Clean Desk Policy; a corporate directive that specifies how employees should leave their workspace, which involves the storing of personal belongings in personal lockers and, as a result, the absence of “clutter” on work surfaces. In addition, Tunable White technology has been implemented in the office, which enables automatic changing of the light intensity of the luminaires during the day.
The key design concept of the project became a laboratory model. The architects created a clean and elegant space reflecting the environment in which the research and development of new medicines take place. The interior is designed to incorporate the brand colours with an accent on the main colour orange. In the communication zone the moss wall attracts the attention of everyone. The innovative system allows for the creation of a seemingly natural wall with different colours in a relatively short time. Moreover, this is an indoor vertical garden that needs no maintenance.
GSK is a key account and for this project we acted as the general contractor for the interior. Projects such as these are always demanding when it comes to coordination and logistics. Both the production and purchasing of furnishings had to take place according to plan. In this case it was necessary to coordinate production at a total of 12 production facilities across 8 countries. The project was delivered on time and to the full satisfaction of the client.
Galina Palatova, Architect: ‘It seems to me that we have created a fabulous office, both regarding the space organisation, with the application of advanced “flexible office” technologies, and aesthetic beauty. When I was in the elevator it stopped opposite the new office, and others with me in the elevator got interested and asked whose office it was; they loved it. In such moments you realise that you have succeeded!’
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