“The study concerns the design and transformation of an abandoned urban shell into the workspace of an extrovert, curious, and very active group of new engineers. A place that, besides covering the relevant working needs, will stimulate the sensory appetite and will contribute to the triggering of exceptional experiences among the group members and their familiars. The idea was simple: “Let’s put a little jungle inside the building”.
A circular surface with tropical plants (Strelitzia Nicolai, Howea forsteriana, Beaucarnea, Asparagus setaceus) and natural stones are placed at the entrance of the office. A fully automated irrigation system with drippers and artificial lighting devices of appropriate wavelength ensures the optimal conditions for the maintenance and growth of the plants. A sense of cooling, due to the phenomenon of evapotranspiration, as well as the petrichor – the scent emerging from the moist soil – acts and makes the users feel “as if” they were somewhere in nature.
The main workspace, elevated in a prominent wooden “box”, gives shape and separates the axes of movement and the additional/ancillary places for work – meetings, while at the same time, it incorporates the individual secondary uses into the underlying storage space. A yellow stroke (folie Jaune) creates a cinematic scenery of a micro-residence (kitchen, bathroom, bed). The interaction between the user and the lighting suggests the size and tension of shadows, constantly transforming the images received by the observer, who discovers every time a different connecting link between the perpetual symmetry of shapes and light, through the changing points of view.
A modern workspace has to turn work from a painful necessity into a creative and pleasing activity, both in terms of work, as well as in terms of social interaction and communication, such as a basketball game, a party with friends, or a movie screening. In this configured architectural sequence, an ingenious and inventive turtle (Testudo graeca Linnaeus) under the name “Odysseus” has a leading role.”