DRRP Designs an Office Space for AlicorpKristin Crane
Using data to support decision making is a trend in nearly every industry. Big brands use data to decide where to open new stores, how to market to their customers and how to get everyone to keep scrolling, clicking and buying. DRRP Arquitectura, an architecture firm in Lima, Peru, is designing buildings with data.
DRRP describe its process of designing with data as an intelligent design approach that responds to the specific needs of the people who will be using a space. Workplace Strategist, Katiuska Gutierrez says, “We believe that the human being is a key element of the project. It is the variable that makes a design come to life.”
DRRP used this approach when designing the new headquarters for Alicorp, one of the biggest consumer goods companies in Latin America.
As part of its transformational journey, Alicorp spent 2-3 months working closely with world-renowned design consultancy group IDEO to conduct workshops, talks and interviews with its employees, who will be using this space every day. Alicorp also invited DRRP for the process of conceptualizing their new workplace experience. With this knowledge they were ready to design a workplace that reflects its flexible and collaborative culture and, at the same time, inspire innovation.
Alicorp believes firmly in its purpose of “feeding a better tomorrow” and they wanted their headquarters to reflect its commitment. They wanted a building that would suit its current business and workforce, but also one that was designed for its business to grow. It should be suitable not only for now, but also for the coming decades.
With this relocation, Alicorp wanted a building that would allow for more collaboration and sharing of ideas. The multilatina envisioned employees moving around and settling into a space because of an activity. Employees could interact more with each other and have opportunities for collaboration.
Ultimately, the trifecta team (Alicorp, IDEO and DRRP) were not just designing a building, they were designing a space that would facilitate certain behaviors. They wanted people walking around, bumping into each other and talking to people outside of their immediate departments. The space should foster this movement to motivate creativity and collaboration, and get people to feel as comfortable as possible. People spend many hours of their day in their workspace and with their co-workers. They are colleagues, but also a kind of family. Employees should feel at home and have a positive and healthy experience at work.
The final building guides people around in a very intentional way. The eight-floor building includes stairs as a major design feature, which has people walking, taking stairs and not spending the whole day sitting in one spot. It’s good not only for people’s well-being, but also for interacting with other employees.
Common areas were created in the middle of the space and c-suite offices were located centrally. Despite being an open floor plan, the design does not allow space for huge groups to gather and make a lot of noise. For those whose tasks require peace and quiet, quiet rooms were designed. Employees no longer just work at their private desks. Instead, spaces were designed for the employees’ diverse and flexible needs.
The entire building is LEED-certified, so it is healthier for the Earth too.
A project this huge and that takes this long can be daunting for the client and the employees who will eventually work there. The leadteam kept people excited by celebrating project milestones, and including Alicorp’s own people as much as possible, such as having them vote on office furniture options.
The end result has been a huge success and an inspiration to other companies.
What are some of DRRP’s design tips?
Katiuska Gutierrez, Workplace Strategist, “Understand what the client wants, but above all understand what you want to represent through your design.”
Daniella Larrabure, Workplace Strategist, “Designing is great, but it takes many hours. You need to prioritize what needs to be designed and decide what doesn’t.”
Andres Ureña, Head of Research and Development, “Design with intention. Don’t look for the right answers, look for the right questions.”
What TV show doesn’t exist but should? Everyone agreed on a design channel with different design challenges, a competition show, and Daniella would like to see “a show about how to deal with clients and co-workers.” And this channel would definitely bring back Art Attack!
Does anyone have a song totally memorized? Katiuska Gutierrez quickly answered, Last Nite by The Strokes!