In Viared, just outside Borås, is the head office of global IT company Centiro. In its use of solid woodwork and Scandinavian design, the company has created a workplace that feels like home.
Centiro is one of the biggest names within cloud-based services for e-commerce and logistics. Rapid growth in recent years has resulted in an expansion that has more than doubled the area of the office. With future prospects looking bright, space has been created for 300 employees (the company currently has a workforce of 180). Both the existing building and the new one are the work of Gert Wingårdh, who designed the office in close collaboration with Centiro.
“The watchwords were young, urban and Scandinavian. We chose to work with lots of wood in order to provide a link with the oak trees and the forest outside, while at the same time contrasting it with rougher materials such as concrete. The interior is also a glorious mix of classic design and features by younger designers,” says Madeleine Müller, interior designer at Wingårdhs.
The urban interior also reflects a company that, despite having international offices around the world, has strong roots in Borås.
“It’s great that Centiro is mindful of its Borås roots and has chosen products from local suppliers, including desks from Horreds and rugs from Kasthall,” says Pernilla Sackemark, Sales Representative and Project Manager at Input interior, who managed the project and supplied all the interior furnishings for the new office.
A busy hub
In order to create a dynamic building, Gert Wingårdh placed great emphasis on designing an inner core that connects both structures. This resulted in an atrium that reflects the essence of Centiro and forms the natural heart of the new building. The eye-catching staircase in the atrium provides a Scandinavian feel with its pine and Douglas fir woodwork, stained in a variety of shades to create a colourful impression.
“It may be the case that we have chosen somewhat tricky materials that require a lot of care, but the results are fantastic, it has to be said,” says Lisbeth Hedin, facility manager at Centiro. “We have focused heavily on these areas, since they serve as touchdown areas where you can enjoy a snack or meet up with colleagues. The staircase itself also has relaxation zones with comfy chairs. These spaces are where exchanges take place, ideas and laughter.”
Monologue and dialogue
The original building offered workstations in an open-plan office, a concept that was also introduced in the extended section. All employees have fixed stations and every sector also has access to small rooms within the office.
“In an open-plan office environment it is essential to offer spaces for secluded work and private discussions. So we have monologue rooms: small cubicles intended for telephone conversations. The slightly larger dialogue room meanwhile provides space for two people,” says Madeleine.
A new addition is the brainstorming zones, which are adjacent to the work areas and provide space for up to ten people to get together for a brainstorming session.
“It’s a setting with more relaxed seating, sofas and pouffes, where you can get creative. The intention is to get the ideas flowing,” says Lisbeth Hedin.
Something for all the senses
Centiro’s facility also includes a lunch restaurant on the ground floor with space for 200 diners, which is also open to the public.
“The restaurant injects both energy and a lively pulse and is a natural spot to enjoy lunch together with colleagues or visiting clients. To prevent the restaurant being perceived as too noisy or loud, we have furnished it with upholstered sofas and wall panels to create pleasant acoustics,” says Madeleine.
The dynamic restaurant provides a contrast to the Vinterträdgården glazed verandah, a meeting place featuring terracotta-coloured pouffes and cushions. Once a week the furniture is moved aside for a morning yoga session for employees.
“We have environments that engage all the senses; the building is intended to provide benefits for the whole body. You should feel that you want to be here,” explains Lisbeth.
Centiro as a business has repeatedly topped the ‘Great Places to Work’ list – an acknowledgement that the employees are happy and feel comfortable with their workplace.
“The best thing about the new office is the feel of the building. Many people say that it doesn’t feel like going to work but rather to a place that feels more like home,” concludes Lisbeth.