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A people’s place: how Ergo Store office came to be

‘The vision was clear from the start: Ergo Store was supposed to be work-friendly and comfortable space. We’ve set up relaxation areas and an obligatory waste recycling spot,’ explains an architect, Agnieszka Naumczyk. The outcome of her work is a neutrally-coloured office of Ergo Store in Krakow.

Adaptation is often a challenge for an architect. From the beginning,  the idea behind the space at Przemysłowa 13 Street was that it should be one in which you feel free and ready to work.

Izabella Węgrzyn – Ergo Store’s vice-president – knew exactly what she wanted the project to deliver. ‘Creating a place which would foster work is a challenge if most people working at office make a lot of phone calls every day. The space around them had to be arranged in a way that would ensure maximum possible comfort for handling their duties,’ the architect explains.

The workspace is complete with a few relaxation spots, where you can meet with others or have a phone call. They are visually very soothing and pleasing for the eye, for it was assumed that the right selection of neutral colours should be one way a work environment could positively affect its employees.

‘On a daily basis, Ergo Store employees are engaged in projects loaded with colours. They work with various samples and materials. The “baseline” for work was supposed to be neutral in colours so as to avoid distraction and eye strain,’ adds Agnieszka Naumczyk. ‘This is why white and graphite dominate in the interior and are complemented with orange – the colours of Ego Store.’

‘The office retained its “concrete accents”, which help preserve the loft-like nature of the place, but the most distinguishing elements  are those made from pine plywood. They kept their natural colour, which sometimes slightly changes when in sunlight. There are also bricked surfaces reminiscent of the industrial era of the old, neighbouring  Zabłocie district,’ says Agnieszka Naumczyk.

Only places such as conference rooms are now closed spaces. However, one of the aims was to make it easy to maintain order in the rest of the building. ‘We went for closing cabinets and a small number of open shelves. What’s important, a requirement set by Ergo Store was to design a special spot for recycling waste. It is a requirement still relatively seldom observed in Poland. We made a decision to create an aesthetic and colourful space, which proved beneficial and is now delivering the desired effects,’ says the architect.

The office’s location is its inherent asset: Ergo Store enjoys sunlight coming in from two sides of the building, hence there isn’t a place in the office that would use only artificial light. Places which did need to have lamps installed were approached as an chance to add aesthetics to the office. When visiting the Ergo Store office, it is definitely worth taking note of the lighting.

‘Working with Ergo Store I really felt an atmosphere of mutual respect and open communication. They were considering every little suggestion trying to match it to the overall concept. Being part of this project gave me genuine satisfaction,’ sums up Agnieszka Naumczyk.

Photos: Szymon Susz/Fotografia Wnętrz, Ergo Store

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