Working in the Greenery: Workspace Second Home Lisboa
Client: Second Home
Architect: Selgas Cano
Location: Mercado Da Ribeira, Avenida 24 de Julho, Lissabon (PT)
Only one street separates the busy Mercado da Ribeira from the banks of the Tagus. A recent addition to the bustling market activity and gourmandise is the office space over the sales area. Second Home is an enterprise that has taken the potential of blurring the lines between living and working and made it part of their program. After London, Second Home Lisboa is the second location for their flexible working-space concept. The 250 work spaces, distributed over 12,000 square metres, can be rented by companies in various packages. Any need can be met here, whether a firm is interested in permanent membership or a limited term of use. As desired, tenants benefit from either a private or communal working environment. The concept is based on interaction and the exchanges that promote creative processes.
The large, open working area forms the heart of the space. This has been done in white, yellow and above all green. Filled with around 1,000 plants, the space calls to mind more the local branch of a botanical garden than an office. The plants enhance the working space in more than just a visual way: they improve the air quality, muffle sounds and add a touch of hominess. Along with a system of panels that can heat as well as cool, targeted cross-ventilation ensures a consistently pleasant working atmosphere.
Unclad yet colour coordinated, the constructive framework of the gently sloping gable roof is visible from the inside. The ceiling continues directly into the load-bearing supports, giving the space a certain structure. The longitudinal walls are extensively glazed. Both facing sides, on the other hand, form a massive completion to the building. Here, only a circle-top window allows a view into the space under the innovative roof.
The design of the working spaces is clearly different from that of ordinary offices. Rather than quadrilateral tables, there are large elements that zone the room. Their shapes differ and wind through the space like an organic landscape. This creates smaller niches or larger projections that offer more privacy. The chairs and lamps are a mixture of various designs and styles. Instead of the usual monotonous set of office fittings, diversity reigns, serving to link the different spaces and lend them a homey character.
Apart from the bright, open working area, there are communal, multipurpose spaces such as a library, café and bar. There are zones devoted to relaxation and events, as well as closed conference rooms. Here, the yellow floor of the office is continued, while the roof has been steeped in a striking shade of blue.