New headquarters of ab medica in Cerro Maggiore
Headquarters in the name of speed and comfort
Offices are not usually designed inside a speedboat, but that is the metaphor chosen for the new headquarters of AB Medica in Cerro Maggiore. Specialists in developing and marketing sophisticated robots for medical purposes and DNA analyses, AB Medica opened its new headquarters in 2015 inside an “iconic” building in a suburban setting close to the high-speed Milan-Varese motorway, which is inspired by the distinctive shapes and forms of super-fast speedboats.
Starting with a dynamically streamlined work of architecture that is also intended to embody the owner’s corporate philosophy based around innovation, AB Medica commissioned DEGW to design a new Space Planning and Interior Design project suitable for an unusual layout (partly due to constraints associated with an elongated triangular building lot) and capable of optimising all the spaces: a project, whose various operating levels encompass approximately 2000 m² of offices over an overall area of 9000 m² serving about 130 people, mainly focusing on the reception areas, ground-floor canteen and waiting area, first-floor client/meeting area and second-floor executive area and offices.
The Space Planning for the offices area was aimed at making the most of all the surface areas and different depths of each floor, setting out the workstations (enclosed and open space) around the perimeter of the space, which, in turn, is focused around an elaborate central support hub: a so-called diffused Hub consisting of a photocopying area, break area, lockers, niche informal areas and meeting rooms, which wind around a long and sinuous customised bench designed for touchdown stations and create a mixed-use environment where formal work comes together with more spontaneous and informal operations, exploiting the comfort provided by natural wells of light shining through skylights and triangular internal patios.
The Interior Design, which, at the time the commission was made, already included plenty of finishing features chosen by the Client (such as the floors and false ceilings), focused on new finishes to be incorporated in the relevant spaces (even including custom-designed floors), the concept for a company canteen, the position and ideal layout of the reception desk and the general mood of the colour schemes and materials for all the building’s new spaces. A mood and feel which, in tune with the character of the architectural design and corporate values (and directly geared to the Owner), was based on a palette of two main colour: fluid watery colours and cool technological shades, enhanced by qualities like transparency, care, reliability and comfort coming from the materials used.
Special features were studied for the executive offices with its designer furniture and, above all, the reception, whose main desk also evokes the smoothly flowing forms of a boat, and also the ground-floor reception/canteen area: here the company canteen (featuring a combination of a “set” of niche chairs and more conventional tables) and an area accommodating meeting rooms, open-space stations and informal areas come together to provide multiple potential uses beyond any kind of binary logic of productivity and leisure, work and rest. Immediately upon entering the building, attention is focused on psychophysical well-being in the work environment, which runs right through the entire project.