After several minor alterations Makro decided on a fundamental change to the workplace environment at its headquarters in Prague Stodůlky. We were to remove the individual closed offices and create a workplace that suits the requirements their employees – this was the project brief that preceded the complete reconstruction of two floors with a total area of 3 700 m2.
The art of listening to future users
We had already delivered new furniture, carpets and other furnishings to the original offices, but a complete reconstruction gave us the opportunity to do what we do best – to take care of an order from the very start and at all levels carry it through to a successful conclusion. It was not just a matter of applying our know-how in project management, the coordination of individual building professions and the installation of furnishings. Above all we had to listen to all the wishes and requirements of the future users and incorporate them into the overall solution so that they will feel as comfortable as possible in the new offices.
The project involved a fundamental change of concept for the office space – a space originally conceived as standard closed offices. Together with the client we had to take into account the many individual needs of employees.
Completion in four months
The original intention of performing the work whilst the offices remained in operation turned out to be completely unrealistic. It was therefore necessary to move the workers out to temporary premises and then make sure they could move back into the completely new space in precisely four months.
In order to meet the agreed plan our main task was to coordinate all the subcontractors and quickly deal with the often demanding requirements of technical supervision. The client had a clear idea about the interior it wanted, and we engaged with them and architects from the firm YUAR at the stage when they were deciding about suitable furniture. We prepared extensive mock-ups, so the client could gain a realistic impression of the compatibility of individual items. In the end 40% of the furniture came directly from our product portfolio and the remainder comprised bespoke furnishings – in particular storage furniture. To liven up the interior several types and colours of carpets were used, and these also indicated organic transitions within the space, and in certain places they provided an accent in the form of geometric patterns. A playfulness was also added to the individual workstations where a wood décor alternates with white and blue on the desktops.
The greatest challenge came shortly before completion
In the case of complex projects there is never a shortage of unexpected pressing situations. What is important is the way one handles these problems. A month before the handover defects were found in the building‘s technology that had not been uncovered during an initial survey. There are two ways in which you can respond to this – delay the completion date or work 24/7 to complete on time. We took the second option because extension of the rental of the temporary offices was not possible and moving the employees to another premises would have resulted in unacceptable complication for the client. We are happy that today we can say the employees moved into their new offices on time, and the new offices met with their satisfaction.
What did we learn?
In delivering the Makro office project we convinced ourselves that we are able to handle any challenges and provide a solution that meets the often complex requirements of a client. In doing this we demonstrate to ourselves and the client that we are a reliable partner for such projects.