Wayra’s London Startup Accelerator Offices / Quanto Arquitectura

  • Client Wayra,
  • size 1,148 sqft
  • Year 2012
  • Location United Kingdom, London, England,
  • Industry Consulting / Business Services,
  • Quanto Architectura has designed a new office concept for Wayra, a startup accelerator owned by telecommunications company Telefónica.

    Concept: The work space model of the Wayra academies was managed concurrently with the creation of the Wayra global initiative itself. The QA studio took part along with Telefónica in the genesis of this project, believing it could help to define the bases for a new work space design for digital youth or “digital natives” worldwide.

    Since its very outset the Project has had an international vocation and construction systems have thus been chosen which could be better adapted to the different working countries. In this same regard, the development of the brand concept and the transmission of its values in different cultures and geographic latitudes have formed part of the “genetic code” of the project.

    The QA studio has developed this office model, furthermore, in keeping with the very philosophy and nature of the start ups, a work space conceived and designed to suit the needs of young teams of entrepreneurs with a unique opportunity to develop their innovative ideas. The Wayra spaces model, conceptually coordinated in line with values like creativity, connectivity, flexibility and personalisation, has not only been raised as an occasional response to the customer’s expectations, but rather as a reflection on the current corporate architecture and the future of the work spaces.

    Creativity, regarded as an essential element in innovation, and connectivity have been the central axes on which the architectural concept has been structured. Elements have been incorporated into the design which facilitate the personal spaces for focused, creative work within a global, collective space modelled with open elements. All the elements which go to make up the Wayra spaces are multipurpose and flexible, adapting to any of the activities which are carried out, be it public communications (see the Agora) or private (teamwork). What’s more, the space’s comfort is reinforced and the possibility is offered of personalising each workplace through the use of sales which serve not just as an information support, but also as an element which identifies each item of equipment.

    Project Features: Formally speaking, the Wayra spaces are based on a modular prototype made up of three architectonic elements: the Container, the Equipment and the Image.

    The Container was designed as an open work space, only limited by “customisable” modules with a slate finish which houses the whole basic infrastructure required for the proper operation of the work cells’ activities. It has been characterised by neutral colours, exposed installations and simple materials.

    The Equipment includes all the elements which fit into the Container and which go to make up the work cells – which are always taken to the façade line – and it includes the Wayra relationship spaces and meeting spaces. Continuity is established between the meeting areas (formal and informal) and the relaxation areas as a way of incentivizing work in a more relaxed atmosphere.

    The relaxation spaces are of a clearly playful nature by means of the installation of ping pong tables and swings. It is a space which is functional, multipurpose and interchangeable and, visually speaking, it allows basic neutral colours to be combined with the corporate colours of Wayra.

    Image: The graphic image created by the DADA NYC studio serves to identify, “weave in” and lend coherence to all Wayra spaces worldwide. Fine threads go to make up a graphic style which, conceptually, refers to an intricate fabric of united ideas, to work in a collaborative network.

    The graphic project of the London (also Dublin, Prague and Munich academies) was created ad hoc for this city –includes iconographic symbols representing of the country, making reference to literary works and authors, recognised events, significant products or sayings in the local language.

    The furnishings of the Wayra spaces are focused on chairs and operating stations with small vintage brushstrokes. With vintage furnishings in common areas, it is sought to recall the birth of this type of companies that are pioneering in technology in a US “garage” environment where everything is visible and functional, nothing is false.

    DesignQuanto Architectura, DADA NYC, Bespoke Office
    Photography: Wayra London