Engineers, designers, tech experts and innovators – this is the profile that comprises Globant’s young workforce. So when they needed to translate 9,240 sq-m of two floors into a cabin-less, vibrant workspace, they looked in-house to make it happen.
The first challenge the team faced was balancing a clean layout with high density –accommodating the requirement for 120 degree workstations. By arranging the passages into X-shape, they divided the office into four quadrants, each with their own meeting rooms, interaction and collaborative spaces. This divide made the fire exits and the cafeteria more accessible and has been highlighted with colourful carpets and hanging lights. The MS-bars around the passage serves two purposes – they define the passage and can also be used to hang art and decorations by the employees themselves.
Globant’s nature of work involves a lot of interaction and collaboration among their employees and they facilitated those free flowing conversations with structural columns and meeting rooms that doubled up as writing surfaces. There was a compelling requirement for meeting rooms, where employees could have their discussions. The cabin-free layout, gave them the freedom to play around with space more efficiently. Instead of creating permanent meeting rooms, for what they realised was not utilised by more than two individuals at a time, the team created mobile, modular meeting boxes. These provided the flexibility to be used and stored as per requirement. Interactive spaces and break out areas were also carved out along these pathways.
The choice of using open ceilings meant that controlling and muting sound could be an issue. So the team added circular acoustical handing pods around every workstation cluster to absorb sound waves. Each pod had a different colour, size based on where and how it would be used. However, the biggest challenge the team faced was creating a shadowless workstation. The lighting design needed to achieve uniformity and the desired lux. So they developed a circular shaped light fixture as a part of the acoustical ceiling pods. These were able to light up a cluster of three workstations at the desired lux and created a shadow-free work area. This solution also helped them achieve a low Lighting Power Density (LPD) that drastically helped in cutting down the costs.
The design concept introduced a sense of wide spaces with the open ceilings, vibrant colours and the feel of the outdoors within the office landscape. A bright palette of colours and a combination of tree cut-outs and open skies, tyre swings, all created a relaxed atmosphere. Large clusters of origami birds dangled down, creating a sense of movement and direction. The HR seating area, one of the nodal points of the office, was offset with a backlit sky and a cobbled stone flooring. The cafeteria passage was punctuated with more tree cut-outs and a carpet print of dry leaves to evoke an experience of walking into the woods. To give the cafeteria, the feel of a quaint café, the team used brick cladding, wooden bench furniture and metal sheet cladding. A slide was also placed near the cafeteria as a fun element.
For a prospective employee entering into the workplace, the architects wanted to make it a welcoming experience. So they created a circular reception area styled like a welcome lobby sans the reception table. Handwritten lettering and the company logo reflective of the office culture and brightly coloured soft seating was used along with wood panelling and natural moss to create a warm yet effortless ambience. The next stop – the HR area, was placed at the centre of the office space, at elevated level and encased in glass - offering a perfect glimpse of the entire office space at a glance. The interview rooms were also created with a different set of furniture to facilitate stress-free interactions.
An impressive management of space, light and sound, a refreshing approach towards a cabin-less work space, executing such an ambitious project end-to-end in a matter of three months -it’s just a another day at work, at Globant.
Project: Globant India Pvt. Ltd., Pune
In-house design head: Eduardo Oppenheimer, Expansion Head, Globant
Project area: 99,456 sq.ft.