«In the Spanish offices you do not need foosballs like in Silicon Valley» - My Blog

«In the Spanish offices you do not need foosballs like in Silicon Valley»

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«In the Spanish offices you do not need foosballs like in Silicon Valley»

The director of Aecom Spain, Javier Muñiz, says that in order to design the offices of Microsoft and Google, they first had to scan the client: «Tell me who you are and who you want to be and I’ll transform it into matter»

There are companies that just to name them come to mind open offices, brightness, good atmosphere and even table football and pool tables, especially if we imagine their headquarters in Silicon Valley (California, USA). “The design of each office depends a lot on how the company is”, as well as on the culture and country where it is installed, explains Javier Muñiz, general director of Aecom España, an international company responsible for the design of the Sony Music offices. Accenture, Microsoft and Google Spain.

Why are companies such as Microsoft and Google choosing them to design their work centers?

The main differential fact in our interior design is that it is preceded by a deep scan of the client. We try to understand it and even do consulting work regarding its future objectives. This is how we define what the client wants to be, and that is where the magic of our interior team comes in, which transforms those objectives into materials and spaces. The workplace is vital because it tells how you are and defines the communication that exists in the company. Design becomes a way of working. That’s why that first part of psychology is so important.

“Tell me who you are and what you want to be and I transform it into matter”, continues Muñiz, with a clear commitment that the design of each company is totally personal and depends on the client, although he assures that they put the “personal touch” of Aecom in your projects “In the end we all have an editorial line,” he jokes. Among the designs of the Microsoft offices and Sony Music, for example, there are many differences: “Sony is a party when you go in. Each room pays tribute to an artist, but Microsoft is very different, speaks more of freshness and technology. a suit of tailor, “says Muñiz.

Not all of his designs have been commissioned by modern companies and with a digital philosophy. The head of the company based between the Parque del Retiro and the Atocha station also says that one of its major challenges was the redesign of Garrigues, one of the largest law firms in Spain. “He was one of the first greats of that sector who went from wood offices to modern offices, and to which everyone else followed, now all have more transparent offices because spaces also define how people behave,” says Muñiz .

Everything is heading towards a Silicon Valley mentality of offices with foosball?

It depends a lot on the company. I recently read that Google put less vending machines than were needed in their offices in Silicon Valley for people to line up and talk, because if not only did their work and did not interact as necessary. In Spain we do not have that problem. So in Silicon Valley you may need ping pong and pool tables because the afterwork is more limited and everyone goes home, as it happens in London. They put baits so that people stay and make equipment, because in the end the intangibles in the direction of a company are vital, it is how you have the social layer. In Spain that is totally surpassed: at noon a padel match, after working some canes with the companions Claro that you can put a pool table or a table football,

So there is no company or country as a model to follow?

Nothing concrete. Personally I have always loved Nordic design because architects have lived a lot of them, but nowadays we are drinking from many sources. You are looking at the European and North American designs and you are incorporating them into the solutions catalog.

The headquarters of Aecom in Madrid is one of the global design centers of the company in architecture and engineering. “This means that the projects that are being captured here have an important design component and that Madrid has been identified as an office that has the level of experience and quality that a company like Aecom needs to face these projects.” One of its strengths is “innovation”, as they use the most advanced design and architecture software.

One of these innovative programs is the so-called ‘Building Information Modeling’ (BIM), in which everything the architect draws has information, from the materials with which they work, specifications, measurements and critical roads, to safety, light, the environment and even future maintenance. As we climb the list, we climb from 2D to 7D. “Depending on the detail of that information, it is called ‘LOD-200’ or ‘LOD-400’ (‘Level of Detail’)”. According to Muñiz, this system “is the future”, especially for a client who will own the building, “such as an airport”, since it saves a lot of money in the future, “although the initial investment is important”. “We have to change the mentality of the team”,

In Spain is it costing companies to bet on this model?

They bet all. The only problem is that the client is still not very clear about what he asks for when he asks for ‘BIM’ because it is still necessary to go the way. If you do not have ‘BIM’ right now, you’re dead. This is like when the ‘AutoCAD’ came out. The difference is that before you could do the design and then pass it to ‘AutoCAD’ because it was a delineation program. With ‘BIM’ you can not function like this because it is a methodology in itself. If all the components of the design are not aligned with the ‘BIM’ methodology, it will not work. He who does not get on this train will not arrive, but I think there is nobody who is not getting on.

Another of the outstanding features in the Aecom designs is the care of the environment, something that for them is an “unstoppable, as well as essential” trend. “If a design is not functional, it’s not a good design,” defends Muñiz. The Madrid building where they work has LEED certification (‘Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design’), a sustainable building confirmation system developed by the Green Building Council of the United States.

Despite the steps that are taking place in this regard in Spain, the director of the company does not agree with the Spanish regulation of production and consumption of renewable energy that, in his opinion, “neither understands nor promotes this issue”.

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