How can we work better? It’s a question the whole world seems to be asking now that we’re emerging from lockdown – including architect Daniel Zamarbide and his Geneva- and Lisbon-based practice Bureau. The team has completed their own office, a 208-m2 space in the Portuguese capital. Its design was completed just prior to the pandemic’s widespread outbreak, and now, Bureau looks at it in a whole new way.

The work challenges that came with the shared quarantine time have been cause for much reflection for Bureau. ‘In the past years, we have learned about mobility,’ a spokesperson says. ‘The past months, we have learned about immobility.’ Citing the challenging ‘domestic adaptations’ people around the world had to make in order to function mid-lockdown, the team celebrates their return to the shared office – ‘one that allows us to move our bodies comfortably, to be around again, to “travel” within a diversity of spaces’.

Bureau’s space is fully decked in white materials and finishes, with exception of pink pillars that stand within the main area and table legs painted green. A loft is built into the open office, fitted with furniture for meeting and lounging – the latter can be done in beach chairs found on the ground floor and above. Lush plants are found throughout, hanging from beams and arranged generously. An atelier, living room, settlement, disco, research lab…these are among the various uses Bureau finds in the space.

Above all, it is a place to ‘find out how to work better’. Experiencing the contrast between work and living spaces during the COVID-19 crisis will leave a lasting impact on Zamarbide’s practice. ‘We have learned from one and the other and we will keep the lessons of both, helping us to re-think typologies of everyday spaces – those so important to mould and condition our experience…rooms where we experience our lives, with our colleagues and families and above all, where we share moments that do not need “Zoom” – the new outside.’

Read about more workspaces here.