Architects: balbek bureau Slava Balbek, Andrii Berezynskyi, Anastasiia Marchenko
Project manager: Borys Dorogov
Project Area: 1750 м2
Project Year: 2016-2018
Location: Kyiv, Ukraine
Photo credits: Andrey Bezuglov, Yevhenii Avramenko
ABOUT | CONCEPT | CONSTRUCTION | ENTRANCE | WORKSPACES | BRIDGE | TEAM
Grammarly is a global IT-company with offices in San Francisco, New York, and Kyiv. The Company offers an AI-powered product that helps people make their English communication clear and effective, wherever they type. Grammarly operates 24/7, with the extensive use of IT devices and a high volume of communication and data exchange, both within individual and group settings.
The design of the office began with the selection of the location for lease. We carried out approximately five sketches of different buildings and after that offered four variants of the already selected premise.
1st FLOOR 2nd FLOOR
In 2016, the Grammarly Kyiv team grew and decided to move to a bigger space. Due to the nature of operations, the Company required a variety of spaces for different activity types, including a large meet-up zone with 150 seating capacity, for lectures and presentations; a number of small meeting rooms equipped with IT devices for quality audio and video conferences between offices across the globe; a soundproof recreation room; canteen for employees; several lounge zones; nap room; reception zone and facilities areas.
To contribute to the highest level of the Grammarly Kyiv team comfort and efficiency, other requirements included eco-friendly materials, warm color palette and homey feel of the interior. A positive work-life balance for the employees was created by the extensive use of natural wood, including creative reuse of oak throughout the office space, multiple references to the outdoors in the lounge areas, and the abundance of natural light.
Grammarly’s office occupies two-level floor of the 14-storey business center in Kyiv, with 1300 sqm of the floor space on the lower level, approximately 450 sqm – on the mezzanine level, and the ceiling heights of 3 – 8.8 m respectively. Mezzanine-level configuration corresponds to the radial line that separates working areas from the conference hall. The two levels are connected with the open staircases. On top of the lower-level ceiling are lounge zones that are connected to the working zones by a catwalk ring bridge.
Relying on the demands of the business center to not change the walls finishes, the architects designed the propped structure of the entrance group resembling a fragment of the cliff. The design process began with the need for a ramp that would leading to the office and grew into a whole design composition. Meeting at the entrance, it immediately hints at the dynamics of the office space. Attached to the one of the walls, a large motion-activated mirror welcomes and farewells you with the words “write the future” that appear and disappear.
The reception desk is made of solid oak timber and includes a large flower pot holder with a 4-meter tree. To make the reception area more functional, we designed a floor-to-ceiling storage rack with a rolling ladder to reach the top shelves.
Our layout idea was to split the office area into six open-plan working spaces, each with soundproof qualities and finished in different colors. Within each workplace, there are two meeting rooms with capacities of 8 to 15 people.
Workspace with the blue meeting rooms
Designed specifically for the client, a custom-made Skype booth is an autonomous, soundproof room for two people, with a wall mounted folding table and a lighting for private conversations. Compositionally, it is a box with a light-transparent angle and precise geometry. Sound absorbing fabric panels are placed around the perimeter of the room. It has CO2 based ventilation system and air conditioning, fire systems, which all connect through the raised access floor. Skype-booth boxes are located in every workspace.
G-table is a custom table designed together with the clients to satisfy the needs of the employees. Being a minimalist transformable table, it has It has built-in valves for chargers, cables, and stationary boxes. The valves can be installed in the random order, replaced or removed.
Workspace with the dark green meeting rooms
Workspace with the yellow meeting rooms
Each of the yellow meeting rooms accommodates the transforming tables which can unite separate meeting spaces into a single common area.
Carpet tile patterns and PVC
Woodcraft meeting room
Woodcraft meeting room is executed in the form of a prefabricated timber frame, with the engineering communications hidden behind the ceiling.
Workspace with the lime meeting rooms
Lounge areas created above the rooms of the ground floor are connected to the working zones by one of the key elements of the entire office – the suspension bridge. The length of the bridge is 90m, it loops around the office in a gentle curve, overlooking the entire office and expanding slightly to accommodate lounge zones in its path. It unites various functional zones of the office into a single life cycle or rhythm; it has also become a powerful symbol of the inseparable connection between Grammarly offices in Kyiv, New York, and San Francisco.
Fifty tons of metal was used in the construction of the office, out of which 25 tons went to making the suspension bridge. It has no ground support and is merely suspended from the ceiling. In order to keep the thickness of the bridge to a minimum, we passed the sprinkler system pipes under the main floor, and incorporated their fragments into the body of the bridge, blending them with the bridge’s structural elements.
Lounge with stones
The nap room is designed for three sleeping places. Conceptually, these are three blocks closed by the curtains for optical isolation. The blocks have mattresses under which weighing sensors are located. If someone occupies a sleeping place – the sensor responds and sends a signal to the light indication – the zZZ letters, which means the block is busy.
They are placed around the meet-up zone on the ground floor, making it a core element and a heart of the office.
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Source: https://www.behance.net/gallery/75871149/GRAMMARLY by https://www.behance.net/balbek is licensed under cc by-nc-nd (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/deed.en_US)
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