Country

SFB Agency and DQ Communications

Helsinki 2015

Design: Reetta Lukka, Martela Corporation and Panu Härmävaara, Lahdelma & Mahlamäki

Image copyright Verna Kovanen/DQ Communications Oy

Flexible space for creative people

The shared Helsinki office of Satumaa Family Business, an advertising agency, and Drama Queen Communications, a communications agency, used to be divided into three areas and was dominated by large desks. It had a beautiful and inspiring view – a sea view all the way to the horizon from some windows  – which was available to only a few of the twenty or so people working there.

Changing the working environment was inspired by the need for more space. New offices were sought around central Helsinki but nothing really fit the bill. In the end, it was decided that the existing premises would be modernized and converted into a flexible activity-based office which would allow for future growth.

Reetta Lukka, a designer from Martela, and Panu Härmävaara, who is an architect, designed and planned the modernization. “The sculptural forms of the space were inspired by the building itself, an old industrial property at the end of Tehtaankatu in Helsinki. It was wonderful to be given free rein to design an office that would be perfect for creative people,” Lukka says.

 

Spaces for many needs

The office was opened up to form a single space and its old furniture was recycled. Fixed workstations were reserved for Art Directors, who have to use powerful computers and a screen calibrated for them personally.

The other users are mobile laptop users, and a range of workstations was created for them. PodWork has proven to be the most popular kind of workstation because it offers just the right amounts of peace and community. All desks are electrically adjustable, which is a great improvement.

The space is divided by two Visia meeting spaces from Framery, used for meetings and work that requires concentration. The O phone booth from Framery is also in active use. It was placed near the front door, which was a great idea as it allows you to seamlessly continue phone calls when you arrive at the office.

Experiences after the modernization

According to the employees, the biggest difference is improved communication. There are several different and comfortable working spaces and they are all in active use.

The flexibility of an activity-based office is exactly what SFB Agency needs. When the office is filled with colleagues from the Stockholm office, the quiet spaces are in great demand. The next day, there is ample space for everyone, as some are visiting customers and others have gone to the head office in Turku.