Habitat or office? This Italian co-working space distinguishes itself as the former
When Autostar Group – an Italian company specialized in car sales – made the decision to build a co-working and research space in Udine, they turned to local studio Visual Display for the its interior design and branding. Star Hub, the result of that brief, is a borderless workspace born from the group’s aim to have a place for experimentation and the open sharing of ideas. To express the unconventional ideals of the group, the designers treated the space as a habitat rather than an office.
Visual Display devised the 400-sq-m interiors with comfort, flexibility and privacy in mind. The space can accommodate up to 50 people and is developed to free those users from the restrictions of fixed workstations and standard timetables. Individual and shared workspaces are not assigned, which boosts each area’s functionality and allows employees to work from a different spot every time – even from the sofa, if they choose so. Modular furnishings – a combination of custom designs and pieces from Fantoni, Desalto, ICF, La Cividina, Tabula and Torre 1961 – can be arranged so that the venue can be utilized for events, meetings, workshops and photography.
A large volume encased in a three-dimensional, sound-absorbent felt cover is the centre of the space. It houses a meeting room and studio and conceals technical compartments, a wardrobe and printer area. Additionally, the element creates necessary division in the space and interrupts the propagation of distracting noise, while the clear, reflective materials used to build it enhance the natural light entering from the large windows. To even further enhance the acoustic privacy of the entire environment, the designers integrated a sound-masking system into the ceiling. And you won’t see any wiring in the habitat: parts are intentionally hidden underneath the floor, wireless technology enabling the access to audio and video data from any workstation.
‘Star Hub is a place for technological innovation,’ explains a spokesperson for Visual Display. ‘To encourage that, the space is designed so that light, sound, and technology become pure visual, acoustic and emotional comfort.’