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K3 OFFICE
Interior Design
K3 OFFICE
Architects: balbek bureau \ Slava Balbek, Maria Povstyana, Mariia Kozachuk, Lilly Bondar, Yevhenii Zavitaev
3D Artist: Sasha Kovpak 
Project Manager: Boris Dorogov
Graphic Designer: Svetlana Pochatun 
Procurement Manager: Daryna
Ihnatieva
Project Area: 6130 sq. m
Project Year: 2020
Location: Kyiv, Ukraine
Photo credits: Andrey Bezuglov, Maryan Beresh
ABOUT
The office, located in a business center in Kyiv, belongs to an international digital development company. The corporate space occupies four floors and spans 6130 m2.
DESIGN TASK
Our team’s task was to provide equally comfortable workplaces for more than 600 employees. 
We received a detailed list of areas for each floor, including open-plan offices, meeting rooms of various sizes, recreation areas, and spaces for coffee breaks. The executive offices were to be located on the third floor, so it was necessary to design more secluded rooms. Another task was to motivate employees to support the company's environmental initiatives.
DESIGN CHALLENGE
Work on the project took place at an incredibly intensive pace. The design of the main floors and the development of the technical documentation happened over a mere nine months. Initially, the office was to occupy three floors of the business center; however, given the growth rate of the team, the company decided to rent one more floor. The design of the additional floor began when construction was already underway on the other floors.
The floor’s ceiling, which was rented last, was half a meter lower than the others. We wanted to compensate for the low height of the ceiling through design techniques such as light portals, lightboxes and platforms of different levels. It was also essential to take into account that there was less natural light on the ground floor.
Since the design began before the pandemic, we needed to review certain decisions to comply with quarantine restrictions. At the client’s request, we designed an alternative seating plan that meets the requirements for social distance in the workplace.
The process was complicated by the fact that the electrical installations have already been mounted and the floor was laid. Part of the work had to be adjusted, in particular, to swiftly add in outlets to connect sensor faucets and contactless sanitizers.
CONCEPT
At the heart of the concept lies the idea that inside each of us lives a curious child, open to anything new. With that in mind, we decided to saturate the space with bright colors and convey the big idea with the help of colored furniture, multiple lighting scenarios, and unique designs of individual rooms.
This helped to create an interactive space that inspires employees to come up with non-standard solutions. At the same time, it was important to maintain a balance between playfulness and a more serious work atmosphere. Areas, where people can be distracted from work, were purposefully designed like playgrounds, and workspaces were decorated in a more restrained style.
The main requirement was for the design to contain color accents in the interior. It was important for the client to move away from the image of a traditional office and instead design a space that would nourish creative thinking.
INTERIOR
The three floors of the office have an almost identical structure with slight differences in the number of offices and meeting rooms. The ground floor has a slightly different layout since a part of its area is occupied by the main lobby of the business center.
A mixed floor plan was chosen to organize the workspace. Most employees work in open spaces, but there are also isolated rooms for group work.
To provide people with natural light, we tried to place the workplaces closer to the windows. In turn, enclosed spaces and lounge areas were designed in the central areas of the space. 
Work areas for teams of 12-24 people are divided into rows of six tables. We designed special acoustic partitions to enhance the feeling of personal space.
Each team had to be provided with screens located as closely as possible to their workplace in order to work effectively. The screens are mounted on black glass, which is also used as a drawing board during discussions and brainstorming sessions.
Workplaces are separated from the transit zone by partitions with an iridescent rainbow gradient effect on a metal surface. Potted plants are built into the partitions.
For individual working, we designed meeting pods for up to two people, and for group work – rooms for four. Meetings can be held in meeting rooms for 10-12 people, and larger meetings –  in rooms for up to 25 people, located on the second and third floors.
Employees can take a break from work in lounge areas and fan rooms, where informal events can be held.
Each floor has a cafeteria that fits 35 people. Employees can choose to sit at the communal table, tables for 2-4 people, on large sofas or at bar counters.
The walls of the cafeteria are tiled, the furniture is made of chipboard with the effect of brushed aluminum. In the kitchen, we equipped stations for sorting garbage, and next to each cafeteria made a small pantry for storing snacks.
In order to distribute the flow of people and avoid crowds in cafeterias, the office has provided areas for coffee breaks. They had to be placed evenly on each floor. This dictated certain difficulties in terms of engineering and communications because to these points had to bring water.
Color Solutions
We deliberately chose not to use active color schemes in the work areas, so as not to deter employees from concentrating. Cafeterias and recreation areas, on the contrary, were designed to be bright, decorated with colorful furniture. The main colors in the interior are blue, light blue, orange and green.
The playful mood is accentuated by the blue vinyl flooring with darker details. The print was custom-designed, so the PVC was made to order.
Lighting
We tried to avoid dark spaces and create a daylight effect using solid lighting panels. 
For example, large flat lightboxes were installed in lounge areas located in the center of the office. The lightboxes can be controlled from a tablet. It is possible to adjust the intensity and warmth of the light or change its color. Lighting company Expolight was commissioned to manufacture the lightboxes and develop the software.
Two types of lighting were designed to hang above the workplaces: built-in suspended ceiling LED lamps, the brightness of which can be adjusted if needed, and hanging lamps, which are connected to a number of workspaces at once.
Track lighting systems were installed above the transit zones and spotlights in the offices. The lighting in the meeting rooms can be adjusted using the Crestron intelligent home system and adjusted to different needs.
Sound Insulation
Metal insulation panels were placed on the ceilings of the open spaces. Workplaces are fenced off with sound-absorbing partitions, which carry a noise-suppressing function and at the same time zone the desks of employees. Carpeting was selected for these areas to also minimize noise. 
The ceilings of all enclosed spaces are equipped with Heradesign acoustic panels. Meeting rooms for 10-12 pee are lined with sound-absorbing fabric-lined panels, and larger meeting rooms were also fitted with curtains made of acoustic fabric, which reduces noise and limits visual access to the room.
This project has become the largest corporate space for an international company that our team has worked on in Ukraine. Since the work was subject to a period of strict quarantine, the design process and communication took place remotely. During the construction phase, adjustments had to be made in accordance with new safety measures.
We are proud to have created a design that reflects the company's philosophy and its caring attitude towards its employees. This is a comfortable and cozy office, to which you will definitely want to return after the weekend.
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K3 OFFICE
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