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Office Solutions For Post Pandemic, Sella Open Innovation Center

Significant changes in our lives since the beginning of 2020 have reshaped the order of workplaces. To find a solution to these changes, CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati started a collaboration with finance firm Sella Group for new workplace designs addressing post-pandemic working conditions.

The pilot project at the Open Innovation Center in Turin focuses on pandemic resilience and promoting creativity. This experimental project, which supports interaction in the physical space through collaborative digital platforms, also offers new methods of sterilizing tables with UV-C light and managing clean air in a hot-desk environment.

The project is based on the assumption that most companies will continue their teleworking system, but it is also true that human interaction in the office is irreplaceable. Keeping the occupancy rate in the office to a minimum in order to protect the health of everyone during the pandemic brings along a common working system. The space saved through hot-desking is then used to create an environment for informal meetings and exchange of ideas.

The focus of the Open Innovation Center project, which includes many initiatives, is joint activities and the main connection area. The ascending row partitions serve as meeting spaces clustered around the main stairwell. Workstations are optimized within the framework of a collaborative working system. Seat distributions are arranged by analyzing occupancy data in order to encourage the interaction of team members. With the sterilizing UV-C lighting, the same table can be used by different people at different times of the day.

In this period when traditional heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems are seen as facilitating factors in the spread of viruses and bacteria, the project is experimenting with a new “heat recovery ventilation system”. A “smart window” directs changes in the airflow directly to each window: thus reducing variations between different areas increases the energy efficiency of the building, while promoting air circulation to prevent the spread of microorganisms between the interior and exterior.

This project, run by the CRA, is part of an ongoing series of experimental studies on innovative fields of study. Other projects include the 280-meter-high CapitaSpring skyscraper for Capitaland in Singapore, designed in partnership with Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and currently under construction in the city’s central business district.

Designer: CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati

Written by Editor

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