14 Jul 2021 • Work
Red Bull shows its take on agile working with its Warsaw headquarters
Lighting and Electric
ES System, Lival, LG Electronics, Jung
Wood and Steelwork
Dato Meble, Art Montage
Forma 5, Vitra, Noti, Nobonobo, 366 Concept, Fogia, Normann Copenhagen, Hay, Jung, Muuto, Vescom, Louis De Poortere, Framery, PIU Design, Zucchetti, STO, Ecophon, Witkowski, Wektor posadzki
The beverage brand’s Polish arm calls a renovated postwar industrial building enclosed in a 19th-century fort rampart its headquarters.
MXCF Architekci saw potential in the tall, naturally well-lit building, which had formerly served as a radio and TV production hall, a workshop and office space. Briefed to develop an ‘inspiring, authentic and sustainable’ workspace by Red Bull, the architects envisaged an informal and domestic environment. Open-space layouts and quiet work areas (like private pods for 1-2 people) punctuate the 1,700-sq-m floor plan, giving employees the option to cross-work depending on their changing needs and activities. Spots with soft seating to enjoy coffee or tea are interspersed throughout and encourage casual interactions and collaboration.
The design mimics Red Bull’s energetic brand image while remaining subdued enough for everyday use. An art installation built from red battens defines the entrance, swooping toward the back polished-aluminium wall (a nod to the company’s iconic cans). Team meetings and office events are held in the front, which is set up around a plywood-clad seating area and curved video wall. Flexible lighting and sophisticated dressings, including white marble terrazzo flooring, natural oak and black shou sugi ban burnt wood walls and birch plywood and black metal finishes, infuse the space with a refined ambience.
It’s not only the variety of different workspace options, but the brightness and cleanliness of this office, that makes it so obviously user-friendly. MXCF Architekci’s clever spatial interventions in the existing interior are undoubtedly modern, but they present as quite organic to the space. ‘The future will be architecture (aided by digital systems) that allows the user to negotiate the use of space,’ said Torben Østergaard, partner at architecture practice 3XN, during a Frame x Orgatec panel about agile working last autumn. ‘Maybe architecture’s role is now more one of proposing, suggesting, hinting, but not really determining what people should do.’ And that’s the sort of agility we pick up on in this project.