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Wednesday 08 Jan 2014

Spanish-German architectural design firm YLAB Arquitectos designed and project-managed the 475 sq m Inaugure Hospitality Group Headquarters in Barcelona

YLAB, set up by Tobias Laarmann and Yolanda Yuste, was asked to create an organic, functional and inspiring work space for the office space at Paseo de Gracia, one of the most important shopping and business addresses in Barcelona. Inaugure wanted the space to encourage good communication; in short, a place where people enjoy coming to work.

The starting point for the design came from an organic development of the distribution with its functional areas.

"We wanted the space tell a story, creating a tension between closed areas and voids, making the corridors and open spaces look as one continuous, zigzagging and soft curved element. In order to give strength to this idea, some functional areas were visually integrated within the open space, separated by a transparent glass partition," the architects said.

"From there we wanted to create the illusion of movement throughout the space, drawing individuals along the corridor and inviting them to look around the next corner," they added.

The extra-large white corian counter in the reception area which sits in front a wooden panelled back wall affords visitors a very positive first impression. Skilfully conceived partitions separate the individual areas, providing privacy but still allowing the maximum amount of natural light to enter the area.

Most walls are covered by an elegant wall panelling in ivory white lacquered wood, adding a glossy, high-quality finish to the whole space.

By the meeting room, this cladding is perforated, forming a strong illuminated graphic which, at first glance, appears like a random array of freeform cut-outs shaped by scripted parametric textures. But viewed from a distance, the graphic reveals itself to display the map of important West African investment area Dakar, the capital city of Senegal, both referencing Inaugure's origins as part of the Teylium International Group, a West African holding company based in Senegal, and pointing to the company's future.

Slated warm Lenke wood (Afzelia Africana) was added to the design scheme to add warmth and a calming influence. Some West African cultures believe it also has spiritual properties.

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