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  • Modernity behind old walls – the unique Clariant office

Modernity behind old walls – the unique Clariant office

The office organised by Clariant in Łódź has recently been widely discussed by specialists in office design. Monopolis – a jewel of revitalisation in the heart of the city. In this special complex of office buildings you will find the unique office of our client, Clariant.  Join us on a tour of the post-industrial space, where a hundred-year-old bricks mingle with modern technology and innovative furniture solutions.

The office organised by the Swiss chemical company is located in a facility that is one of the most interesting investments in Łódź. Monopolis is literally a city within a city – a unique project combining office facilities, services, culture and restaurants. It is a new concept based on the revitalisation of historic parts of the industrial quarter of the city, which now gains a new function, bringing together the world of business and the realm of culture. There are opinions that Monopolis changes the face of Łódź and becomes its flag object. This unique investment was also noticed abroad. On 15th September Monopolis was awarded the MIPIM Awards in the category of multifunctional buildings in Paris what is considered an Oscar in the real estate industry.

Teamwork

Arranging office spaces in old buildings has been a growing trend for some time. These projects are much more complicated and demanding that raising a new office building from scratch. On the other hand, the result is stunning, and definitely worth all the effort. The key to success is close collaboration between the companies participating in the project.

Cushman & Wakefield managed the establishment of the Clariant office in Łódź, The Design Group studio was responsible for interior design, while Nowy Styl provided the furniture.

 

Clariant office

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4 thousand square metres of originality

The Clariant office occupies two storeys – one of them was revitalised, while the other one is a recent addition to the investment. The whole space covers a total of 4 thousand square metres and includes a large open space, managerial offices, various meeting rooms, chill-out zones, coffee points and silent rooms.

The office space designed for the Clariant teams is delimited by brick walls - an original fragment of the hundred-year-old building - together with a vaulted ceiling and diverse lighting. The architects from The Design Group did not try to avoid references to the factory aesthetics, which has become one of the trademarks of the newly designed office.

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With such pronounced interior it was advisable to use subdued colours in the furniture solutions. Clariant opted for light grey Easy Space desks with upholstered panels separating workstations from one another (keeping employees apart is one of the key concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic). Each workspace is complete with a Sail chair with a patented Glide-Tec mechanism, which makes it easy to adjust the parameters to individual needs. Grey colour makes the furniture subtle enough to highlight the beauty and post-industrial character of the interior.

An interesting element in the office space are glass cubicles used as phone booths. It is a unique solution, which impacts the quality of work in an open space – you can find a separate place when you need to talk on the phone, without disturbing your colleagues.

Good to meet you

In the Clariant office you will also find many different meeting places. From informal zones with comfy armchairs and a coffee bar to formal conference rooms. Each room has a unique interior design, and was arranged for a different number of users and for various types of meetings.

The project room

requires special accessories – inspiring graphics, dry wipe whiteboards and tables with adjustable height are there to boost the creativity and freedom of the team members.

The formal meeting room

has a TV set and a video conference system, as well as a large table and comfortable chairs.

Venerable veneer

In the Clariant office there are a few rooms you would refer to as a study. The main feature they have in common is a series of exclusive eRange desks made of veneer with glass and leather embellishments. They fit in with the post-industrial character of the office and help create a comfortable workspace for the managerial staff.

Clariant
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The project as seen by Clariant

“The project of office change can be both complicated and demanding process. In this case it took nearly 3 years. We treated it holistically and seriously from the onset - we decided to analyse the needs of the whole organisation, but also of individual departments and employees. We looked at the specific nature of our work and processes in all our departments, considering the relationships between them. Afterwards, we used the results of this analysis to distribute specific teams in the office space and to plan the number of meeting rooms or telephone booths. We met with the teams and asked them about their expectations. We managed to implement many of their ideas in the new office. Lots of greenery, chill-out zones and a spacious kitchen - these elements were reported most often, so we responded to these needs by offering a new workspace, completely different from what they were used to.

We have collaborated with Nowy Styl for quite a few years now. Together we arranged our previous offices in Łódź, but this major project including the consolidation of 3 locations proved that our collaboration was indeed highly professional and based on mutual understanding. All the time we were grateful for the support offered by Agnieszka, the project manager appointed by Nowy Styl. I particularly appreciated the fact that she was open to our needs and ideas. I’ve never heard her say “no”. I always knew she would say: “I’ll see how we can do it for you.” Such flexibility when faced with the client’s expectations is the key to success. Another important aspect was using the existing furniture whenever it was possible. In Clariant we try to promote environmental awareness, that’s why we wanted to move some of the desks we used in our previous office.  Although we’ve had some of them for quite a few years, they still look good and are suitable for use. When we talked to Nowy Styl about it, we concluded that it’s enough to replace the upholstered panels, so that the desks fit in with the style and vibe of the new office space. This solution means we avoided producing excessive waste, which in turn supports the company goals as regards sustainability. Other furniture, which did not go with the new interior, were donated to various institutions or offered to our employees on sale.”

Karolina Balcerzak –  Project Manager for Clariant

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Nowy Styl - our impressions of the project

“The project focused on the reference to the Swiss style to highlight the origins of the brand, but at the same time there was an attempt to fit in with the local history of the building, which used to be a vodka manufacturing plant. Our task - which was a considerable challenge - was to offer solutions that combine the architect’s vision with functionality, top quality and ergonomics. For safety reasons, it was necessary to make sure certain materials are “fire-resistant”, in addition to being attractive and appealing, of course. Thanks to multiple consultations and close collaboration between the Client, Nowy Styl and the architect, we managed to include state-of-the-art solutions in the design, such as eRange desks with adjustable height or Sail chairs with a patented GlideTec system. Clariant is the only company in Łódź with such solutions in the office. This office just makes you want to work.

Another challenge was to coordinate the transfer of some of the existing office furniture and planning how to use it in the new space, so as to make it fit in with the office style and new interior arrangement: although we’ve been working with Clariant on interior design for more than 4 years, this project was special. We started with detailed stock-taking of all the previous locations. To do this, we had to specify which of the existing furniture we could use in the new office space, so as to avoid excess. Recycling and zero waste - this is the path we chose to follow. On each project stage our Space Planning Department had to collaborate closely with the designer from The Design Group. In this project we had to combine top functionality, ergonomics and class, but also employ the unique “non-office” style. The challenges were numerous. The project took a few months and proceeded in stages, but the effort was worth it” 

Agnieszka Mehouachi – Regional Manager for Nowy Styl

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