When SBAB moved into an over 100-year-old bank palace, natural meeting places, open floors and a new function for the house’s vault were created.
From Stora torget In Karlstad, it is possible to step right into the third floor at the bank SBAB. By designing a welcoming interior, the staff, co-located from the city’s various offices, have been integrated under one roof.
– At the entrance, employees and visitors are met by muted colours, nature-inspired materials and long sightlines. Elements that recur throughout the house. We have worked with a theme to create a sense of collectiveness, says interior designer Johan Alvfors from Codesign.
The design concept is based on SBAB’s core business – better housing and housing economy. Trendy solutions have been overlooked in favour of focusing on the company’s values and ambitions.
– The idea is that the office should reflect the feeling of coming home, through a warm and familiar interior. The furnishings are also a tool that will help the company achieve its goals, where every zone and space contribute to that, Johan Alvfors continues.
Open areas, both horizontal and vertical, extend throughout the building. To enable smooth movements between different floors, a central staircase is used, which forms the backbone of the house.
– The premises are designed so that employees can circulate between different surfaces. The stairs play a key role in opening up and uniting the floors. Employees, who are not bound by technical equipment can choose between standing and sitting meeting rooms, open office landscapes, social areas and lounges to relax. There are spaces that suit everyone, Johan Alvfors explains.
In the activity-based office, parts of the staff work with customer service. Many telephone calls and open work landscapes often generate higher noise levels. Codesign and Input interior, which was the supplier of furnishings in the project, ensured a solution to the acoustic challenge with the help of furniture.
– The desks are equipped with sound-absorbing screens, and together with textiles and curtains, they have contributed to a calmer noise level in the office. Shortly after moving in, a need for isolated spaces emerged. We presented a rental solution with portable pods that the customer was familiar with from their office in Stockholm. They became a solid complement that enabled more space for undisturbed work, says Peter Ågren, Site Manager at Input interior in Karlstad.
One floor for everyone
If the stairs are the backbone of the house, the canteen, which consists of a series of seating areas and meeting places, is the heart of the building.
– When all employees are dispersed in the morning to different floors, they come back to meet, socialize and exchange experiences in the canteen during the day. There is a coffee bar with a barista, sofa groups, café tables and a terrace facing the square, says Susanne Wyser, Project Manager from SBAB.
Adjacent to the canteen, employees can gather on the arched seating that surrounds a number of tables and an AV screen intended for digital presentations and meetings.
– We are happy that there is a wide variety of meeting places in the house and that the interior reflects our business in an accurate way. Shapes, colours and furniture choices are connected, and it generates a harmonious atmosphere in the office, concludes Susanne Wyser.
When the working day on SBAB’s premises ends, many employees go down to Wermlandsbanken’s old vault, which has been transformed into secure bicycle storage. The cycle stands, which can hold several hundreds of bicycles, were delivered and assembled by Input interior.