NEWS SMART OFFICES ‘Office 3.0’ premieres at Foundation’s renovated Turin HQ

International design and innovation office Carlo Ratti Associati has completed the transformation of the Agnelli Foundation’s landmark 20th century building in Turin into an ‘Office 3.0’ – an app-controlled environment that offers a glimpse of the workplace of the future. By leveraging Internet of Things (IoT)

technologies, the renovated headquarters of the foundation (named after Fiat founder Giovanni Agnelli) has become a building that is able to adapt in real time to its users’ needs. The century-old edifice is equipped with hundreds of sensors that monitor different sets of data, including the location of the build-

ing’s occupants, temperature, CO2 concentration, and the availability of meeting rooms. By interacting with the building management system (BMS) via a smartphone app, each person can customise his or her workspace experi- ence in a streamlined fashion. Among its multiple features, the app

PERSONALISATION Gensler “redefines corporate workplace”

Gensler has designed a “highly flexible and authentic” environment spanning 869 m2 for Hyundai Capital’s UK headquarters in Reigate, Surrey. The office has not only been created to match Hyundai Capital’s (HC) progressive office design around the globe, but one that will meet the evolving needs of HC as it transitions from financial services to the latest ‘fintech’ model. The architects were asked to create an

environment that would attract talent while delivering an office that meets the needs of existing clients and employees.

For HC to achieve a successful transition to a digital and innovation-led company, Gensler “understood the importance of accommodating the diverse working styles of its current and future employee base with a lean and agile environment.” In response to this brief, the architecture firm has designed a “highly practical, flexible and collaborative office that strongly


encourages employees to personalise their working environment and to create a workplace that truly feels their own.” The office plan is split into six key areas, several of which are directly inspired by features of the traditional ‘home’: the living room, the kitchen, the game room, the meeting rooms, the open workspace and the office lockers. With social integration a key priority, the new office eliminates the tradi- tional reception area in favour of an open plan social hub said to “enable visitors to mix with employees as soon as they arrive, and gain immediate insight into the philos- ophy of HC.”

The design features a “functional, yet sophisticated industrial aesthetic.” In addition to the kitchen, lounge and games rooms, other features such as optimised views, plenty of natural light and biophilic finishes, give the space a “calming and restorative atmosphere” to which employ-

ees are encouraged to bring in plants, vinyl records and books, enabling them to “co- opt and hack the space to truly make it their own.”

The individual table system allows staff to adjust the height of their desk for stand- ing, sitting and lounge options. Folding walls, pull down power cords and writable walls within different spaces allow for employees to further adapt their space. Philippe Paré, design director and princi- pal at Gensler, commented: “Designing Hyundai Capital’s new headquarters challenged our team to think critically about employee habits, instincts, and most importantly, the environment which harnesses those behaviours to the best of each employee’s ability.” Paré went on to say that “this new environment is about empowerment, expression, authenticity and the flexibility for employees to adapt their working styles to the task at hand.”


might put an end to the so-called ‘thermo- stat wars’ in the workplace. Once an occupant sets his or her preferred temper- ature and illumination settings, the BMS responds accordingly, adjusting the

levels of lighting, heating, and air- conditioning. The system can follow occupants as they move around the building, creating a personalised “environmental bubble.”


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