The small office is a key battlefield when it comes to reshaping our collective perception of where a working day should take place. As a Goldilocks zone halfway between the transitory nature of the co-working space and the sense of self-knowledge that comes with successfully growing into a large facility, this is one of the most experimental breeding grounds for renewed office typologies. On top of that, a shorter list of people to please and usually limited budgets frequently produce some flexible and creative responses. But with designers around the globe exploring how technology can fix our working woes, Equipo de Arquitectura went strongly in the opposite direction: the team members wanted to make fundamental dignity a seductive tenet.
Instead of securing a spot in a business district for their first office, the founders decided to put down roots in a lush plot located in Mariscal López, a mostly residential neighbourhood. This would have the double purpose of cutting down commutes and enveloping them in green surroundings, even in the middle of Asunción.
It is, above all, a human space
But then the architects decided to return the favour to nature, by enveloping it back: Horacio Cherniavsky and Viviana Pozzoli built their 45-sq-m workspace around a guavirá tree, surrounding it with rammed-earth walls and wooden elements made with upcycled material from other projects. Earthbox, in other words, takes biophilic design to a different level.
Paraguay’s benign weather provides year-round natural light, while the shared table and the carpets on the floor eliminate the need for height-adjustable desks. ‘It is, above all, a human space,’ concluded Peach during the judging session.