Office that takes inspiration from client's vision and values
Evolution Design has been working with consultancy firm PwC for the last 4 years, designing workspaces in Basel, Zurich and Zug. Its most recent project is the company’s new office in Lucerne.
«Long-term collaborations like this are very interesting,» says Evolution Design executive director Stefan Camenzind. «The aim is never to simply repeat the design, instead there’s a continuous learning process: with each new project, we are able to test and improve solutions so every new office is more effective.»
In Lucerne, PwC was previously spread across two building blocks before acquiring a new space, a former Swiss Railways office above the main train station with a view across the lake and the city’s pretty old town.
«When we were looking for our new offices we had the opportunity to ask ourselves where and how we would like to work in the future,» says Norbert Kühnis, head of PwC Lucerne office. «It was very important for us to find a very central, easily accessible location for both our employees and clients alike.»
The client was clear that the new workspace needed to reflect PwC values of supporting individual needs, working together and encouraging employees to think innovatively, question the status quo, test and learn. After extensive research and consultation with PwC stakeholders, Evolution Design established that achieving these goals required delivering a diversity of workspaces that were able to meet different working needs, from individual, quiet tasks to group based collaborations, so that people are enabled to work more creatively, and efficiently.
«The Lucerne office is designed according to a very simple principle – moving from loud to quiet,» says Camenzind. «Workspaces are made up of three different typologies – team, standard and focus – surrounded by a number of think tanks and phone booths for smaller meetings, individual work and phone calls that require privacy.»
At the front of the office is a bustling employee hub with a large co-working space and a coffee point. The space is used for internal events and lunch breaks and also for larger meetings and presentations with external guests.
The first workspace, the team area, is designed for group tasks and features large shared desks. The noise level here can be relatively high – people are free to talk to each other, make phone calls and work together on various tasks.
The standard workspace is a desk area where people are working alone rather than in groups. Desks are demarcated with privacy panels and storage units to provide more privacy and reduce noise levels, though short conversations and phone calls are allowed. This area is designed for focused, concentrated work, but team members are still easily reachable.
In the focus area, a space for concentrated work, phone calls are not permitted. There are several desks and soft lounge style seats designed for individual work on a laptop. Here, it is possible to concentrate without interruption or noise.
The visual elements of the design take inspiration from the PwC corporate identity, making use of corporate colours – tones of orange, pink and red mixed with black – in combination with natural floor finishes and various patterned carpets. Bespoke wall graphics, with themes such as inspire, add value, grow and work together, further re-enforce company culture.
Along with choosing ergonomic chairs and height adjustable desks, each area also makes use of a variety of chair and table types, ranging from low sofas and coffee tables to taller stools against bar height desks.