The challenge of creating versatile premises in few square meters

The 25 employee Kuopio office of Senate Properties moved from an old, 17th century wooden building by the shore of Kallavesi to a modern state office building across the street. The move to a new office was greatly needed, because the old premises no longer supported modern ways of working. They were lacking some of the needed supporting spaces as well as modern supporting facilities. On top of the modernization, security concerns were highlighted in the design process. Despite its small size, the Kuopio office wanted to follow the model set by Helsinki, so simultaneously the state’s second coworking space, Sesam, was established.

The exquisite architecture of the new premises took a notable role in the designing process. The appearance of the modern building is nearly a polar opposite of that of Sesam Lintulahti, since instead of concrete structures, in Kuopio the dominant architectural features are glassy, light surfaces and an airy layout. In the interior design, inspiration was drawn from the building’s wave-resembling atrium ceiling, and to liven up the otherwise neutral color scheme, accent colors were brought in from Senate Properties’ own palette, meaning shades such as warm orange, fuchsia and burgundy.

Because of the novelty of the building, it was both financially and temporally smart to attempt to stick to the original floor plan as much as possible. This posed challenges especially regarding the division of space, because lots of glass walls and surfaces were used in the original structures. Another reason why the original floor plan was not easy to work was because of its size. Various different spaces had to be included in a small number of square meters, all the way from conference rooms to meeting spots as well as silent work spaces. Eventually, everything was brilliantly executed despite the challenges at the start. In that regard the glassiness and brightness of building worked in favor of the new premises: they make even the most tightly built spaces feel fresh and spacious.

After its move, the Kuopio office of Senate Properties has enabled activity based working for not only Senate employees, but for other state employees, too. On top of the modern supporting spaces, security has also been addressed better in the new facilities, and mobility has increased. Thanks to the Sesam coworking space, now it is possible to enjoy synergies in Kuopio, too, which occur when the state’s professionals from different fields sit down to discuss over a shared table.

More information regarding Sesam Kuopio can be found from here.

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