How to create a working space responding to future needs?

Fyra designed L’Oréal Finland new facilities that promote the wellbeing of the employees – and exude beauty.

First you see the landscape: the glistening sea, the green coastlines of the nearby islands and the sky, even though grey, is still amazing. The landscape, in fact, becomes the main focus of attention in the new premises of L’Oréal Finland situated by the sea in Espoo, Finland. The spacious Scandinavian-style building beckons the eye to wonder and take in the elegant interior. This is exactly what L’Oréal hoped for.

Interior Architects Fyra designed the two-storey premises consisting of 1490 m2. The open office space is a far cry from the previous narrow and crammed facilities located in an 1980s building. It did not fit the informal working culture where people work across teams, spread out and socialise with everyone. It did not fit the modern work requirements.

“Fyra was quick to recognise our methods and work culture. We think on our feet when it comes to products and decisions, and we have many millennials working here. We needed to consider the services that generation is looking for in a working environment. The requirements digitalisation poses for the premises, how teleworking has been promoted and it has increased, as well as corporate responsibility – these were all matters that needed to be take into account” says Tarja Kuusela, Head of Corporate Communications and PR at L’Oréal Finland.

Fyra’s Niina Sihto says that their aim was to create a work environment that is functional and forward-looking.

“Offices with a visual aspect that reflects the company values as well as the aesthetics of the business”, Sihto says.

It starts with functionality

The L’Oréal premises promote so-called activity-based working where people choose their work spaces according to their needs at that moment. The downstairs wing offers a sea view and sofa groups for team work. The other wing has more traditional office spaces. And, between the two, there are small meeting rooms and phone booths ideal for video conferences.

“We wanted to focus on providing an environment suitable for a variety of working methods and approaches”, says Niina Sihto from Fyra. “We identified also potential risks and came up with solutions. One example is how to guarantee a quiet office space for everyone. You have to be able to speak at a normal conversational level at work but you also have to be able access a quiet space when necessary”, Tarja Kuusela says.

Working for a large cosmetics company means that part of the job is always having products and items around. Separate facilities for posting and storage were created to preserve the tranquillity of the working space.

Recycling and responsibility are matters that have been taken into consideration, too. The company became a paperless office after moving into the new facilities.

“In order for the office to maintain its comfortable, beautiful ambience, it is of utmost importance to dedicate places for storing items. This makes for an effortless working environment”, Niina Sihto says.

These changes have been taken on surprisingly well due to the fact that the facilities have been designed to accommodate the new working culture. The company values like integrity, courage and transparency needed to be implemented in the new offices.

Large spaces were allocated upstairs. The spacious facilities are suitable for entertaining clients and stakeholders. There is a kitchen and a lounge for meeting clients in a more relaxed atmosphere.

“It’s great to have colleagues getting to know each other better as the new space brings people together naturally and spontaneously.”

Beauty is in the details

Young women and men are chatting away in the large kitchen: one of the teams is having breakfast together and celebrating the fact that it is Friday.

Even though functionality was essential in the interior design, aesthetics has played a part alongside it throughout the project. After all, this is a leading company in the world of beauty. The light tones of the wooden and stone surfaces in the kitchen, the slender lines of the black furniture, the delicate brass details – everything reflects the visual imagery of the L’Oréal brand.

Tarja Kuusela is very pleased with the result.

“Everyone says they are happy to come to work every morning. You could not hope for more.”

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