The headquarters of the insurance company are located on the 5th floor of an office building designed in the 90’s, in Chalandri, a suburb in the north part of Athens, Greece.
All private offices for the executives were arranged in the perimeter, alongside the glass facades of the building, leaving a significant common area in the middle. This central space is substantial to the office operation because it functions as the reception area for visitors and hosts all open-plan secretarial desks. The layout worked well for the private offices, as it presented them with views of the main avenue at the street level and the surrounding hills, as well as with direct sun light, but with the use of wooden panels as separators it deprived these conditions from the central space and rendered it dull. The open plan space was visually disconnected from the surrounding closed private offices and the secretarial desks were arranged in an awkward way concerning the structural columns, obstructing movement. Also the strict distinction between private and open offices reduced colleague interaction and hindered productivity.
Our concept was focused on making the space brighter, full of light, to provide visibility to the surrounding environment from almost anywhere inside and to create more communication between coworkers. We used frameless double glass separators, to replace the wooden panels between the private offices and the common central space, in order to separate spaces and synchronously provide acoustical privacy. At the same time roller blinds that are hidden in the ceiling close remotely in each office to provide an extra visual privacy when necessary. The secretarial desks were arranged in the open-plan space as free standing islands. The axes of movement toward the private offices shaped these islands while integrating the existing structural columns to the design. The arrangement of lights in the ceiling reinforced the aforementioned idea. The wooden louvres became another visual separator between the islands to give a sense of privacy while creating a warmer environment.