In central Helsinki, surrounded by magnificent buildings and the green avenues of Esplanadparken, stands SEB’s Finnish head office. The interior of the premises reflects a service-oriented business with a strong sense of cohesion.
SEB’s modern premises have been flexibly designed to support the business today and into the future. Cross-functional collaboration between the various units is encouraged, which helps to create favourable conditions for interaction between people. Interaction both with bank customers and between the 350 employees.
Theme of belonging
The concept has been inspired by the idea of a Scandinavian village, conveying a flexible, close-knit community with a strong sense of belonging. This cosy image is based on SEB’s values of openness, quality and service-oriented work, with employees striving towards common objectives.
“The theme can be perceived in both functional and visual solutions throughout the building,” says Leea Åberg from architect firm Gullstén-Inkinen, which created the interior environment on behalf of SEB and in collaboration with Input interior. Leea continues:
“For example, there are small work and telephone booths, so-called pods, that provide quiet spaces in the midst of the open working area. The pods also divide up the large office areas into smaller zones, which can then be clearly distinguished by means of different sound absorbers and colour codes. The subdivided work areas can be likened to the chequerboard of corn fields that come into existence around the core of a community.”
The single most important element in SEB’s new premises is its impressive staircase. It can be compared to a vertical thoroughfare that links the floors of the building and enables smooth and easy use of the premises.
From the staircase you get an overview of the facilities and functions of the building. Customers and visitors are welcomed on the first floor, with an easily-accessible reception and comfortable lounge. You will also find spacious meeting rooms and a multifunctional conference room with space for over 100 people. On the second floor is a cosy café offering a spot for relaxation, while floor three houses the restaurant that serves as workroom, meeting room and lunch room. The top of the building, between the fourth and sixth floors, houses a range of workplaces with a variety of colour themes.
“We feel that the office reflects SEB’s employees, who work together with customers and towards common goals, in both good and challenging times, in a positive way,” concludes Leea.