Green Furniture Concept’s New Office has a Striking Biophilic Environment

Green Furniture Concept‘s new office building in Glasvasen, features a striking biophilic environment.

Exterior of Green Place, in the building Glasvasen, central Malmö

Green Furniture Concept, a Swedish furniture maker, moved from their offices at MINC (Malmö Incubator) to the newly built office building Glasvasen, neighboring Malmö Central Station.

The central location, as well as the biophilic nature and striking architecture of the building, were key elements when choosing the new location.

Boasting a five-meter high ceiling, the space was designed by Green’s Head of Design Jonas Ekholst together with Chief Operating Officer Johan Wahlström.

The space is located on the ground floor with an entrance from the sidewalk. The office consists of one large room with an open plan, dotted with desks and, most remarkably, Green Furniture’s own place-making products. In the center of the room, a glassed cube as well as two meeting rooms and two telephone rooms. The mezzanine atop the cube offers desks and a lounging area.

When was the project completed?
2017

How much space (SF)?
2,530 SF

Work desks surrounding Leaf Lamp Tree, Leaf Lamp Pendants along the outer wall

Was this new or renovated space?
New

SF per person?
126.5 SF per person

How many employees?
16 + 10 hang-arounds

Watering plants in the Radius Planters

What is the average daily population?
20

Is there a mobile work or work from home policy? If so, what percent of employees are remote workers?
Yes, employees can work from home. Some employees are stationed in other countries and occasionally work at the Malmö office.

Leaf Lamp Pendants and Radius Planters

Describe workspace types.
Open plan, on the ground floor and mezzanine.

What kind of meeting spaces are provided?
1 large and 1 small meeting room

What other kinds of support or amenity spaces are provided?
2 telephone rooms

Has the project achieved any special certifications?
The building has received the BREEAM certification.

The Green furniture has Greenguard Gold, the Nordic Ecolabel, SundaHus, and Möbelfakta certifications.

Custom-built coffee table with monitor and ceiling covered with Leaf Lamp Pendants, housed in the cube

What are the project’s location and proximity to public transportation and/or other amenities?
The office is located in downtown Malmö, Sweden’s third-biggest city. We’re a 30-second walk from its Central Station, a 25-minute train ride from Copenhagen airport. Downtown Copenhagen is another 15 minutes away. Malmö’s historic center and main shopping district and restaurant are mere minutes away on foot, and a large underground bike garage serves the Central Station. Employees are able to commute from surrounding cities and villages with remarkable ease.

Glasvasen is the first of many new office buildings and condos in the Södra Nyhamnen project, which converts a historic dockyard area into a new downtown core.

Were any pre-planning surveys conducted to get employee input?
Yes. For instance, employees voiced their wish to use an open plan solution.

Employee working surrounded by Leaf Lamp Pendants and Radius Planters

Were there any other kind of employee engagement activities?
The entire team was included in the decisions made for the space.

Was there any emphasis or requirements on programming for health and wellbeing initiatives for employees?
Definitely! Plants, moss and leaf lamps are a part of the biophilic design to create a calm atmosphere. This is furthered by relaxing background music and a soundtrack consisting of birdsongs, developed by Radja Sound Design Agency.

The entire façade consists of large windows that let in a generous amount of daylight.

Were there any special or unusual construction materials or techniques employed in the project?
The raw material is an important part of the design. The floor on the entry-level is bare concrete.

Untreated wood is used as flooring on the mezzanine, on top of the box in the center.

Meeting room housed in the cube

For specific examples, please describe the product, how it was used, and if it solved any specific problem.
The office is open to the public and serves as a combined office and showroom, something that made the designers land on a raw concrete floor that needs minimal service.

What products or service solutions are making the biggest impact in your space?
Pendants, dividers, planters and lounge furniture are all made by Green Furniture. Storage, desks and the coffee table were designed in-house and built by our own carpenters. Task chairs and desk frames were brought in second-hand. Around one of our Leaf Lamp Trees, we’ve fitted four desks with felt dividers, showcasing an excellent example of the new shapes of Green Furniture in harmony with standard office furniture.

What kind of branding elements were incorporated into the design?
Green’s own striking furniture was used, and the company carpenters built specially designed pieces that interact with the standard offering. This gives the space a very coherent branding, which goes beyond mere signs and logotypes. The walls of the meeting rooms are decorated with ribs in the colors of the Nova C seating. A large, green version of the company logotype is featured halfway up a wall. Even the building’s exterior echoes our brand values – sculptural and green.

Mezzanine lounge area with Leaf Lamp Pendant
Telephone Booth, Nova C Bench and Leaf Lamp Metal Tree

What is the most unique feature of the new space?
The organic undulations of the outer walls together with the pendants and rich greens make this a biophilic place.

Are there any furnishings or spaces specifically included to promote wellness/wellbeing?
The design of Green Furniture Concept is all about wellbeing. For instance, the Leaf Lamp Pendants are sound-absorbent and the Nova C Recliners are designed for relaxation.

Work desks surrounding Leaf Lamp Tree, with Leaf Lamp Pendants in the background

What kinds of technology products were used?
Since the space is one large room and houses 20 employees, no specific focus was put on wayfinding or space utilization.

The space has full visibility due to the glassed cube in the center.

The meeting rooms have monitors for video conferences.

If the company relocated to a new space, what was the most difficult aspect of the change for the employees?
When looking for a spot for the new Green Place, it was important to find a building and a space that was memorable and extraordinary.

Seeing that the previous office consisted of two rooms in an incubator in more traditional office settings, the move was an upgrade for the employees.

Radius Recycling Bins and Radius Divider with custom cutouts
Nova C Double Back at entrance 

How did the company communicate the changes and moves?
The change was a team effort. We created a Green Place, with our own identity, and everyone was involved.

If there were post-occupancy surveys? What were the most surprising or illuminating or hoped-for results?
We did a survey shortly after moving in, hoping the team would enjoy the new space. The results turned out to show they did. Everyone is very proud to have a combined office and showroom of sorts.

 

Photography by Johan Kalén

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