Ironhide Games Studios
Martínez Rudolph Architects
The commission and the program
It was both an incredible opportunity and a challenge for our team of talented architects from Martinez/Rudolph to design a headquarters fit to host the revolutionary video game company, Ironhide. From conception to execution, the relationship that ensued between our firm and the client was characterized by immense collaboration and seamless dialogue, both of which allowed for a progressive final project.
We were tasked with creating a workspace on a single floor of an office building to house thirty-five workstations along with multiple conference rooms and dining areas conducive to a highly sociable start-up culture. Further, we included a reception, library, recreational room and a terrace equipped to be effortlessly modifiable in the event of imminent expansion.
The finished project represents the merger of four dissimilar units generating a typology that is deliberately disordered on its geometric edges. While at first, we encountered hurdles of optimizing the available cubic meters as well as interpreting the client’s prerequisites for color palette in a logical manner, the utilization of both compositional and spacial resources such as visual continuity was the secret to homogenizing the work station environments. Finally, the articulated caterpillar, an integrated spatial band, colonized the architectural concept and the space itself.
The program and its resolution
At the entrance, the visitor is welcomed into the reception with a powerful logo and isotype, meanwhile the centrifugal point of the plan separates the entertainment area from the workspace that is divided into the three, color-coded team sectors—yellow, green and blue—that coalesce into a violet primary meeting room.
The entrance of the aforementioned chamber is characterized by the Caterpillar, a multicolored sofa that writhes around the modulated and effervescent recreational lounge room. The Caterpillar evolves into shades of red and vermillion as it leads into the playground and dining area, equipped in anticipation of future expansion as the company continues to evolve. The color gradient appropriately codifies the space in a both a friendly and understandable manner and is reiterated in the carpeted floor, furniture and articulated band that runs along the program.
On the inner edge or center core of the plan are small capsules for use as impromptu meeting or videoconferencing rooms. The aesthetic of hardwood paneling provides both a refreshing and differential warmth to the spaces. The capsules are implanted into the walls creating a room within a room effect and the blackboard walls provide an annotative surface to bolster the core ethics of the brand as fun and innovative as well as publicize ideas and meetings pertaining to programming, design and creative initiatives.
In conjunction with the company’s values, the general distribution of the office is non-hierarchical with the co-founders sitting in the horizontal workstation with the balance of the team, a conception that enhances the collaboration. To further promote consistent team interaction, the living room, coffee station and relaxation areas are linked to the dining room, while on the other edge, a warm, wooden terrace provides the ideal environment for contemplation of the industrial port scenery.
The spatial band, that organizes the architectural parti, transmits an apparent anodyne space that accommodates its program and defines senses that could initially appear arbitrary. The space transforms from a “faber” into a “ludens”. It folds and recreates, playing its own game, hiding the dry rationality of a structural grid, giving meaning to an area that was previously the sum of generic spaces.
Workspaces, overcoming the logical cell office, merge into a landscape office or Bürolandschaft. The project’s primary challenge is to alter the office into an ideas factory, through which rationalization relies on operating from the multiplication of relational possibilities.*
Organizational versatility, becomes one of the primary objectives; reconfigurations throughout the life of the building must be virtually unlimited*. In the words of the Quickborner Team**–flexibility is also conceived from a time perspective. So the building is more closely linked to the artificial climatization and energy supply than to the subdivision of rooms.
This way, the organizational parameters take independence from the constructive problems and get closer to the furniture’s possibilities. Contemporary workspace, more attached to virtuality, requires a space that breaks the Taylorist relationship between the element and the physical totality in a production chain that no longer runs univocal developments. The result is a deep, diaphanous, well-equipped and strongly characterized space.