SPORTISIMO is a leading Czech retailer of sporting goods and sport is the key element throughout the company's entire new HQ, which CAPEXUS both designed and built. The company's work environment was designed to be as flexible as possible. Employees can work in offices from anywhere.
"It's important that offices adapt to the needs of upcoming generations," said Daniel Matula, the co-founder of CAPEXUS, which designed and built the office for SPORTISIMO. "One third of employees today are millennials, and employees under 30 definitely prefer workplaces that can be changed easily, rather than strictly divided offices and meeting rooms."
CAPEXUS architects therefore emphasized the variability of the workplace. The new headquarters of the sporting goods chain in Prague's Zličín district has a large number of closed and open meeting rooms of different sizes. Meeting rooms occupy approximately 20% of the whole area – much more than in similar projects.
Space for meetings and for independent work
Thanks to this, employees can choose where they want to work. Some places are better suited for individual work requiring a great deal of concentration, others for work in teams or for short meetings. The architects took into account the fact that offices need to create a space where people can meet and naturally exchange information.
Sport clearly was going to be the main source of inspiration for the SPORTISIMO offices. The dominant element is a blue running track that circles the skylight around the perimeter and helps guide new employees and visitors. In addition to looking like an authentic tartan track, the material also has surprising sound absorbing qualities, helping to reduce the reverberation time of sound in the open space.
The office is full of clever and amusing ideas that refer to sport. "Each of the ten meeting rooms was inspired by a different sport," explains Jakub Seči, an architect with CAPEXUS. "There's one that looks like a squash court with lines and real rackets, another with a real bicycle racing out of the wall, and one with skateboards on the walls and a U ramp. There is always something new to discover." Visitors are also surprised by the reception desk, which is installed in a real size football goal.
Another key element of the design is the open ceiling with exposed mechanical, electrical and plumbing features. The anthracite colour of the ceiling lends it a hip industrial look.
A new approach: focus on acoustics
"The company moved into the new open space from a classical cubicle office, which was a huge change for the employees," said architect Erika Bohatá. "The transition therefore had to be as smooth as possible. We focused on the optical and functional separation of the open space offices and paid a lot of attention to acoustic comfort."
The workspace is lined with cabinets serving four functions: absorbing sounds, dividing the corridor from the workspace, providing storage for items, and a place for flowers. Each team is also divided by furniture walls that help keep out noise while also serving as additional storage space.
In addition, the designers focused even more than usual on special acoustic solutions. Acoustic plasterboard was used in the meeting rooms, and hanging acoustic panels were placed directly above the employees' desks. Panels separating individual workplaces then contribute not only to acoustic comfort but also to the feeling of privacy.