Versatile design and engineering company Reaktor is constantly evolving and their platform in Helsinki has been designed to do likewise.
Since being established in 2000, Reaktor has gone from being a local company in Helsinki to an international player with offices in cities such as Tokyo, New York, Amsterdam and Dubai. When it came to moving the office in Helsinki, the aim was to find premises that both reflected Reaktor and could be adapted to suit their working methods. Finding a suitable building took several years, but resulted in an office in the heart of Helsinki, close to the university and the cathedral.
The office has been designed in close collaboration with dSign Vertti Kivi & Co, under the guidance of Head of Design Vertti Kivi, who has previously worked with Reaktor in New York. The starting point for the project was the intention to make the working environment as inspiring as possible. The interior of the building was totally refurbished to suit Reaktor, but the solid concrete floor was retained and cleaned up to fit the requirements of a modern office.
A changing office
Initially the aim was to create an office that reflected the operation – a kind of Reaktor House. At the same time it was important, with the aid of layout and spacious solutions, to create a versatile working environment that can be adapted and modified. All fixtures have been specially produced according to Reaktor’s needs. Meeting rooms that can be converted into work spaces, and room partitions that can be used to transform work areas, make it possible to vary both the office space and the working method. The workstations are equipped with special walls for writing and drawing on when creative inspiration strikes. Smart digital solutions have been integrated into the interior design; for example, the employees can control the lighting by means of an app.
With the exception of the entrance, Reaktor’s logo and their red brand colour are not visible anywhere. The office is intended to feel more like a home than a traditional workplace. The premises are furnished in Scandinavian style, meaning no unnecessary details. Despite the fact that technology plays a central role in Reaktor’s work, this was not an element that the company wanted to emphasise. Materials, design and accessories are inspired by Nordic nature, which is reflected in the use of wood, wool, felt and plants.
“Reaktor has been heavily involved in shaping the interior design, with the function and look of the furniture being hugely important. Products from eighty or so different furniture manufacturers have been used to reflect the style and working method of the office,” says Patrik Holmén from Input interior, which handled delivery and installation of all furniture for the office.
Spaces for work and downtime
The floors are all based on the same layout. They feature a central piazza where employees can eat breakfast and lunch together. A spiral staircase adorned with greenery links together the piazzas on the various levels. The nearer you get to the outer walls of the building, the quieter it is. For Reaktor, it was essential that all floors provided scope for focused work in a tranquil area, with quiet rooms offered. The sixth, and top, floor exudes a calm and quiet atmosphere. It provides space to chill out, including a sauna lined with burnt oiled wood. This floor is encircled by a large terrace, offering unbeatable panoramic views across the rooftops of Helsinki.