Samsen Atelier Offices – Stockholm

  • Client Samsen,
  • Year 2021
  • Location Stockholm, Sweden,
  • Industry Consulting / Business Services,
  • Note Design Studio designed a fun space as an extension of the brand when they completed the Samsen Atelier offices in Stockholm, Sweden.

    With working cultures and practices in a state of transition and flux, as businesses around the world adjust to a post-pandemic landscape, one company has taken a particularly inventive approach. In need of a workspace and meeting venue in central Stockholm, Swedish digital tech consultancy Samsen is opening – not an office – but a wine bar, and Note Design Studio have been charged with creating the perfect interior.

    Designed for work and play
    As a specialist tech consultancy working with the likes of Klarna, Spotify and Nespresso, Samsen normally despatches employees to work in its clients’ offices – something that Covid-19 made impossible. They had been planning a home of their own long before the pandemic struck, with a vision of an office shaped by long standing workplace trends that embrace flexibility and employee satisfaction. It became clear that, although the company didn’t need anything like a conventional corporate office, it did need a shared space that the team could come to whenever they needed, to use however they liked – whether as a space to work, hang out, or spend time with family and friends. Not just a practical resource, but an employee perk. With the founders of Samsen sharing a passion for wine and a determination that their space should look nothing like the traditional office, a wine bar seemed the perfect option.

    The wine-bar workspace – dubbed the Samsen Atelier – is in keeping with the young company’s fundamental philosophy: the belief that work should be built on the personal life of the individual, not the other way around. The Samsen team are free to design their work around their needs and passions, able to choose how, when and where they work, and with which clients. In their they have access to a flexible space that they are empowered to use as their own, whether for personal or professional reasons.

    Adaptable seating
    Samsen’s new HQ occupies what used to be a jewellery boutique in Odenplan, Stockholm. In their design, Note set out to create a warm, welcoming contemporary space that was pleasant and practical to work, dine, drink and socialise in; which was equally suited to use in both day and night; and which could accommodate a large number of people in a relatively small space, with a wide variety of possible seating set-ups depending on what was needed from it.

    The need to balance function and atmosphere was the driving force behind Note’s design process. The team took inspiration from the small bars and cafés found in Japan – spaces that often seem tiny, but have a surprising capacity to hold a large number of people thanks to clever seating arrangements.

    The space is made up of two connected rooms – one houses a large communal table that can be used for dining or collaborative work; the other holds a bar lined with stools, a trio of café tables, and bespoke upholstered benches beneath two large windows. This set-up allows for multiple seating arrangements to be employed simultaneously – from group gatherings, to one-to-one chats and working in isolation – and ensures the atmosphere is vibrant and bustling even when relatively few people are on site.

    Building the brand
    As Samsen is a young company, they were happy to let Note’s design of the space shape their developing brand identity rather than vice versa. This gave Note a degree of creative freedom unusual in most workspace-design projects, and ensured the focus remained on the principal aim of the project: to create the kind of atmosphere you’d want in a wine bar and hangout space, rather than an office. A place you’d want to be.

    That aim has been fulfilled. Under no obligation to use the building, Samsen staff have been in the space almost every day since it opened, sometimes working, sometimes holding meetings, and sometimes, just hanging out drinking wine – exactly as Samsen and Note intended.

    Design: Note Design Studio
    Photography: Joakim Johansson