Activity-based ideas have taken on a new dimension at the new Swedish head office of Orkla Foods in Malmö. They have been used to create four connected zones which are characterised by different degrees of concentration and creativity. However, the overall the theme for the offi ce as a whole is: food!
The decision was taken to move to Malmö’s new port area, more precisely to Dockan, and the Future Workplace project was initiated. From the outset, the idea was that the employees would sit in open landscapes. However, a large survey was conducted which revealed that an activity-based working
method would be highly suitable for the company.
The crucial idea, which now characterises Orkla Foods’ head office, concerns how the building as a whole
has been structured. On which activities should the furnishings in this sort of office be based? The office building’s different environments could be structured not just according to types of activities, but also according to the employees’ personalities and different levels of concentration. The four elements – earth,
fire, air and water – would be the theme for the interior design. Which would then have the interpretation that “earth” represented creative, lively environments, “fire”, even more intensive, characterised by constant phone calls, voices and motion. While the environments in ”water” would be kept more subdued and calm, and ”air” would be reserved for total silence, i.e. the opportunity for deep concentration.
There are different types of meeting areas and workplaces in all four zones. Small, individual rooms and larger, more open work tables and lounges – but the different levels of calm are consistent within each zone.
The staff – about 250 people work in the new head office – were able to view the premises at an early stage
and give their points of view on different proposals. The outcome was a carefully prepared overall concept for rooms, walls and floors, though with the final pieces of the puzzle, the furniture, left out.
After an initial procurement, that part of the design was entrusted to Senab’s Jessica Leonardsson and
Ola Göransson in Malmö. They made proposals for furnishings for the entire five thousand square metres. The idea of the four elements represented a solid inspiration and guidance for Jessica and Ola when it came to choice of furniture models, styles and material.
One of the unusual aspects of Orkla Foods’ head office in Malmö is how the theme of food permeates the interior design. The entrance is through a deli- type eatery called “Our Kitchen”, which is planned to function as a public meeting place, restaurant and shop. There might also be tastings and tests.
Inside the building, for employees and visitors who have passed through the reception, there is also a kitchen-like environment which is the building’s distinct heart. In this case, a spacious dining room which provides the opportunity to both prepare and display food. This is where the staff meet, eat lunch or have
coffee, and larger meetings can also be held here. There’s room for everyone!
The four elements – earth, fire, air and
water – were to be the theme for the interior design.