The ground floor of the new building in Berlin-Mitte is by no means large and is not even completely filled by the co-working space “Easy Busy”. It’s no coincidence that the project name is reminiscent of the popular children’s word “easy peasy”, as this is a place specifically designed for the simultaneous presence of parents and children.
The family-friendliness becomes a real unique selling point, because until now there has probably not been a single really functioning symbiosis of a day-care centre with a serious workplace. The interior design work began with the conversion of the existing commercial space, which had specific advantages: a central location on Mauerpark, barrier-free access and a small southern front garden.
Since the business concept is primarily based on the low-threshold offer of easily usable, non-residential workplaces, the largest part of the available 215 square metres is occupied by two open-space rooms with a total of 22 seats at single or multi-person tables. The lively, uncomplicated concept and the direct connection to the familiar living environment of the target group creates a personal and stimulating atmosphere, which is supported by the bright and flexible interior style.
A screened meeting room was set up in an alcove. To ensure good speech intelligibility, both workspaces were soundproofed and laminated wooden absorbers were mounted on the ceiling or walls.
Next to the entrance is the child-friendly reception and bistro counter with organic products; the kitchen and sanitary rooms are accessible via a basement staircase.
In order to shield the secluded work in the large workspace or the concentrated networking in the café room from play noises, the facility, which is run by four employees, uses a double-wing soundproof door towards the supervised children’s room as well as a space in between.
This space functions as a cloakroom and retreat zone for nursing mothers and has sanitary facilities suitable for children. The children’s area also contains work facilities for mothers. Outside of childcare hours, it can be used for events and courses.
What are the supporting qualities of a good workplace?
Nataliya Sukhova: In addition to the satisfactory implementation of individual space concepts, the quality of open office structures in particular is shaped by the factors of architecture, light and acoustics. However, while architecture and light allow for a great deal of planning freedom with the goals of concentration, encounter and identification, acoustics cannot be designed arbitrarily. Studies show a strong dependence between background sound and human performance. For demanding activities in an open space concept, different and sometimes conflicting acoustic goals must therefore be integrated into a design.
Do you see any comparability in room design for living and for working?
Productive working for different individuals in small and large spaces needs a good floor plan, good acoustics and creative ideas – to activate the liveliness of today’s working practices. The demands on the workplace at home have recently increased for many people in the western world. The temporal and spatial differentiation between living and working has been steadily dissolving long before, giving way to flexible models. Consequently, people now work intensively in the small living spaces of large cities, and the coexistence must be organised architecturally and acoustically. Modern open-plan spatial structures have found design intersections with the typical open-plan office and are characteristic of a self-determined lifestyle.
Which functional aspects do you consider to be the most important for the future development of the Workspaces?
Functionally, care and work had to be combined in the project presented. For this purpose, a suitable floor plan was developed for different uses of space, where children play, work is done in peace and meetings are held, but also social needs can be pursued in an open café area. The functional aspects of Easy Busy thus almost represent the blueprint for individual working in the post-pandemic home office. Today, more than ever before, loosened office spaces offer the function of highly concentrated work, online meetings in a good acoustic environment, and can be used as a central, identity-creating place of a company.
|transtruktura, Studio Singer
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