For the companies My Equa and Goat story, known for seeking start-up funds on Kickstarter, BAAM architects designed a very special office, which is at the same time a coffee roaster, an assembly room, a showroom, a photo studio and a space for parties with a DJ.
“Fine, they are a young team, receptive to slightly different solutions,” answers the question of how different it is to approach a client who has innovative and sustainable products with extremely modern methods of financing and advertising, Matej Peneš from BAAM architects.
Slovenian companies My Equa, which develops reusable smart bottles, and Goat Story – which sparked a heated debate in the public years ago with the Goat Mug in the shape of a goat’s horn, and gained international recognition in this segment with the device for preparing filter coffee Gina. they sought and obtained start-up funds for production on Kickstarter.
Both companies, whose director is Anže Miklavec, advocate sustainable products with a strong emphasis on design.
“In a way, the new offices are a reflection of themselves. The jobs are designed in such a way that the company can expand or shrink, and if necessary, external employees can also work in them.”
When renovating the office in the industrial building of the former printing house on Vič in Ljubljana, the architects adhered to the principle of less is more, keeping modularity in mind throughout.
The industrial aesthetics were softened with greenery, free-standing lamps and acoustic screens, which, in addition to the already mentioned flexibility, also offer employees privacy.
At the same time, the only wish of the client was that the office would also allow for the photography of products that are advertised on Instagram and Facebook. “Therefore, in the design of the space, we used many different materials, such as brick, metal, marble and wood, which are laid out in sequence,” continues Peneš.
The renovation includes the ground floor with storage, the first floor with offices and the attic with common areas and a terrace. At the same time, the business building was completely renovated and an open space was created inside.
“When you entered the building, it was very destroyed, it was also shaking,” adds the interlocutor, adding that the very decision to restore the building is much more sustainable than if the building were to be demolished and built anew.
During the renovation, the facade was renewed and the building was thermally insulated, and solar panels were placed on the roof. “The space thus gained new content“.
The workplaces themselves are located next to elongated window surfaces, where there is enough light. “In the middle, there are rooms that need a bit more intimacy, such as toilets, auditoriums, staircases, the director’s office, a printing corner and a closed assembly room“.
The focal point of this large space is the central large communal table next to the kitchen, “where employees meet over coffee or exchange ideas“.
The volumes in the central zone are dressed in raw materials: stone, concrete brick, wood molding and curved perforated sheet metal, which was named amoeba due to its organic shape. Shelves for displaying products are inserted on it, “in the sense of the show room“.
The special feature of the office of two companies is that it also has a roastery,which also creates a sensory aroma of coffee in the room“.
Right next to this amoeba is a glassed-in room that, according to the original plan, should have been a meeting room. “But during construction, a roastery was created in it, in which 50-kilogram bags of coffee are stacked. This changed the design itself a bit, but today coffee is roasted here.“
Although the premises are used by a very dynamic collective, “we set aside a special space for the director and for the needs of meetings“. But still, they didn’t want the office to be conventional, so they designed a table with cement legs.
Spaces in the mansard part of the building are designed for informal meetings and gatherings. In addition to the black metal construction with storage surfaces and greenery, all the elements are movable. From the taller cube counter to the tables and chairs, “with which different environments can be created. They just had a DJ party here last time“.