Location: Centro Empresarial Zona Pradera
Architects/Interior Designers: Studio Domus
General contractor: Studio Domus
Project area: 7,679 sq ft / 715 m2
Project year: Design/Completion: 2013
Photography: Alejandro de Leon
The decision of DEN CMI (División Energía, Corporación Multi Inversiones) to move into a new office space was mainly for two reasons: firstly, their office was outdated and its capacity was not sufficient to accommodate the company's expansion. Secondly, another division of the corporation (Multi Inversiones DIP) was also moving into a new office, and thus the possibility arose for Multi Inversiones DEN to move into the space previously occupied by DIP.
The initial plan was to keep half of the office untouched (the area for directors and managers) and do a complete interior fit-out of the rest of the floor. Multi Inversiones DEN contacted Studio Domus for the design and construction of the new area, giving us the chance to incorporate the design trends that bring efficiency to any large company.
Therefore, we introduced an open office design that would integrate all the operative areas with a series of different sized meeting and concentration rooms: this would allow the workflow a more versatile rythm, so the team would be able to have small reunions when needed, but also have larger meetings with clients or else. Regarding design, we decided to reflect the company's corporate identity colors (green and gray) into the whole visual concept, this way as colleagues walked through their offices, each work area giving them the opportunity to relate more directly to the company's personality.
We incorporated a special carpet that not only would meet the LEED requirements but also, gives the feeling of being a sustainable attribute, as it gives the visual effect of grass spreading through the floor. Also, natural vegetation was implemented so the colleagues would have a direct contact with nature while working. As for the workstations, the sitting was chosen in white and green from Herman Miller, also meeting the ergonomic/comfort requirements that are so important for people to feel comfortable in an office space.
Regarding the architectural design, we understood the clients' need to change into an open office plan, thus we eliminated cubicles and managed to integrate the whole team into one open plan space. A few lounge areas were left for informal meetings, also as we mentioned before, the small meeting/private rooms were crucial to the function of the offices. Since the whole project reflected the company's identity, it was important for us to integrate the area left untouched to the new area: we suggested to use the same carpet in the whole project and use the color green as a focal design tool, that would visually integrate the old area to the new area, using the same design language.
As the project was being designed and executed under the most sustainable parameters (LEED guided), we sugested a LEED certification, which Multi Inversiones DEN quickly embraced and agreed certifying the portion of their office that would undergo a complete interior fit-out. Being in the business of renewable energy and sustainability, they felt identified with the goals and intent of LEED, as this certification aligns perfectly with the company's values and standards.
In matters of sustainability, water efficency is one of the priorities of the project so it was decided to use HET dual flush toilets, waterless urinals, and pressure compensating aerators in this project. In addition, regarding energy saving, occupational sensors were used to control the vast majority of the lighting in the new offices of Multi Inversiones DEN. This is truly remarkable for a project in Guatemala, since it is not common practice in the country. Studio Domus worked closely with Multi Inversiones DEN to make sure that 100% of the new appliances and equipment purchased as part of the scope of work for the project, were Energy Star rated. Multi Inversiones DEN re used a large amount of their appliances and equipment from their previous office.
Finally, the architectural design was such that it facilitated the access to views and daylight to the occupants of the office space.
To conclude, this is a project that can serve as an example for other members of Corporacion Multi Inversiones, in matters of design and sustainability.