Reaktor HQ of 3500 m2, in the heart of Helsinki, was completed in 2018.
The Design and technology company Reaktor is known for its nonhierarchical corporate culture that is based on engaging its employees. The company’s working methods are constantly developing, and it seemed appropriate to design the new offices to follow suit.
The primary goal of the project was to create an office that would convey the spirit of Reaktor – the Reaktor house. Another objective was to use spatial solutions to create more diverse work culture for the company.
The goal was to make the premises as comfortable as a home. The design follows the style of Scandinavian minimalism, and all unnecessary decorations have been left out. Technology is an important part of Reaktor’s work, but it was not an aspect the company wanted to highlight in the office design.
The design is based on the idea that, above all, the office must provide an inspiring environment for work, which is why it must be easy to adapt and modify it to meet various needs. The sixth floor can be entirely separated from the work spaces, thereby offering a venue for events and a more informal environment for the employees to enjoy, including two atmospheric saunas. The meeting rooms can be converted into a work space when not otherwise needed, and dividers can be used to transform the space according to what is needed. All the work spaces contain walls that are reserved for drawing, as they can be very useful during, for example, brainstorming meetings. All fixtures on the premises are fully customised for Reaktor’s needs.
The basic structure is the same for each floor. A lively piazza is located at the centre of the floor, providing employees with a space where they can get together for breakfast, some coffee, lunch and a good chat. A spiral staircase decorated with house plants connects the piazzas on different floors. The closer you get to the outer walls of the building, the quieter it is.
Agile development and lean principles were employed in the design of the premises from the beginning, as they are the methods Reaktor uses in all client projects. Several new practical tools were introduced to support the design. The most important of these turned out to be the weekly meetings, the project’s own in-house team composed of dSign by Vertti Kivi & co and Reaktor teams, as well as the big room method, which allows the constructor, designer and user to develop the plan together even during the construction phase. A virtual model was constructed of the premises during the design phase, allowing the user to move around in the building and get an idea of the flow of the different spaces.
The move to the new office was a big change for Reaktor. It also reflected the company’s growth from a feisty local anarchist to strategic, international player with plenty of credibility.