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Portfolio : Offices

Designing office spaces is about reflecting on evolving working habits, adapting to present-day needs and anticipating those to come. Many elements have to be taken into account, among which the increasing importance of teleworking seems to be highly prevalent.
Data Center of the Agriculture Bank of China | (c) AREP - Didier Boy de la Tour

The rise of portable devices (cell phones, laptops, conference systems etc.) as well as data accessibility via internet and cloud-based storage and software make work possible from almost anywhere: home, public transports, hotel etc. This change brings a shift in perception of the office: it is no longer a place which keeps people apart but is now seen increasingly as a space for social and interactive engagement with colleagues, clients or suppliers. Workspaces become meeting places where intellectual, material, social and economic value is generated. Traditional office typologies, such as the individual office, the open plan office or the meeting room, are being challenged by new typologies which encourage serendipitous meetings and formal or informal interaction.

 

The office building on the former Panhard & Levassor site, designed by AREP for its own use, reflects the above-mentioned way of conceiving workplaces today. The redevelopment of a 10-year-old building in Saint-Denis into an office building for SNCF (the French national rail company) and the design of the new offices for the Agricultural Bank of China in Shanghai embody the same background ideas. The Panhard building gathers all circulations in the middle of the office floor plates, thus allowing for vertical and horizontal movement at all levels around the central atrium and encouraging visual contact and encounters between the various teams. Office design should first and foremost meet the challenge of creating flexible and open spaces accommodating various ways of being and meeting in order to encourage communication, interaction and creativity.

 

Yet, office spaces should also reflect the corporate way of working. Our clients expect us to meet this challenge aiming to support corporate identity within the company and to convey the corporate image to customers. Corporate buildings - both production facilities and service premises - contribute to forging corporate identity. The Vinacomin, Agribank and Shanghai Stock Exchange projects stand as examples thereof and act as city landmarks while displaying power, responsibility and creativity.