As one strolls along the central aisle of AstraZeneca’s new office in Sofia, Bulgaria, the spatial design becomes immediately coherent. Its C-shaped trajectory presents a panoramic journey, full with inviting collaboration zones, accentuated by small cozy phone rooms. The infusion of AstraZeneca’s distinctive warm color palette, complemented by the choice of oak veneer surfaces and ergonomic furnishings, has led to the creation of a hospitable and inspirational environment where the future of healthcare is being transformed.
When considering the layout for the office, the architects from studio sooda, worked closely with both the local and global team members. This collaboration was essential in harmonizing the workspace for the local team while adhering to the company’s global standards. The brief called for a contemporary workspace built upon the activity-based working philosophy, where spaces for collaboration, focused individual work, and team discussions converged seamlessly.
Given the office is in the brand-new OfficeX Building, the architects had the opportunity to be creative unburdened by pre-existing layouts. The triple aspect office influenced its layout. Group spaces were thoughtfully clustered around the central core, while short-stay workspaces and phone booths found their place in the middle separating the aisle from the workstations lined in the perimeter where most of the natural light comes from. Public spaces were strategically situated near the reception area, with the main meeting room nestled just behind it. A low-height transept marks the commencement of the central aisle, which seamlessly links all areas. The office’s vibrant heart is a semi-public zone—a town hall adorned with soft seating—providing connectivity to both the balcony and cafeteria, ideal for gatherings. An illuminated wall within the cafeteria serves both as a source of illumination and a projection screen for special occasions.
AstraZeneca is a company that pushes the boundaries of science to deliver life-changing medicine and that mission inspired the architects’ project philosophy. The team’s main objective was the well-being of the company’s employees. Sit-stand desks were thoughtfully incorporated as well as the gold standard for ergonomic office chairs – the iconic Aeron by Herman Miller. Notable features, such as double-sided work&relax pods, a linear lighting running through walls, an illuminated wall, and an abundance of biophilic elements, collectively create a dynamic working environment.
Photos by studio Blenda