Toi Toi Toi Creative Studio have created a finely balanced fit-out that preserves the creative start-up energy Contentful was built on while setting it up as a progressive workplace for the future.
Making the move from start-up to large-scale corporate is never going to be straightforward – not only do you have to contend with rapid growth and changing systems, but most young companies want to preserve the start-up energy that fueled their success in the first place.
So, when Berlin-based software company Contentful moved from an old factory setting to a new building to cater to rapid growth, it was essential that interior design agency Toi Toi Toi Creative Studio (T3) create a thoughtful and considered fit-out that would balance the company’s origins with its plans for the future.
“Contentful has always had a welcoming energy,” says Melissa Amarelo, who co-founded T3 with Stephanie Lund. “We wanted to preserve and foster this in their new environment and we did so by enabling people to have easy interactions throughout the space.”
This is realised through communal spaces, such as the Ritter Cafe with its large terrace, tea kitchens on every other level, and comfy lounges and break-out areas throughout the workplace.
The previous factory location is also referenced through the use of vintage and industrial furnishings, purposefully exposed concrete walls and columns, and grey carpets that evoke the edginess of concrete but have the visual softness and acoustic properties needed for a productive and comfortable workplace.
This focus on wellness is found throughout the fit-out – from a conference table that converts to a table tennis setting for socialising, a light-filled yoga studio with a moss wall, and even custom-designed nap pods with chromatherapy to help employees who commute between Contentful hubs in Berlin, San Francisco and Denver to deal with jetlag.
“Wellness shouldn’t be a luxury but rather a mandatory design consideration in all workplaces,” says Lund. “As humans, we don’t feel the same every day, and we are all made differently. The interior can be adjusted to how people want or ‘need’ to work – this is the future of work.”
Likewise, there is a meaningful focus on inclusivity in the workplace, with a private ablution room that can be used before prayer, prayer and meditation pods, and a kid-friendly zone for employees with children. “Inclusivity is essential to our studio, and Contentful was no exception,” explains Amarelo. “This was a critical element in the design of the workspace.”
This idea of inclusivity extended beyond the fit-out itself to encompass the design process itself, with employees from various departments invited to participate in online workshops and site visits. During these meetings, employees could share the different ways they worked and concepts were presented for feedback.
“Contentful is an inclusive and accessible space that gives employees total flexibility,” says Lund. “By creating a work environment where people can connect and feel safe, as well as enable a full setup for remote work, we set a new standard for the future of the workplace.”
Images by Koy+Winkel
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