Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has reimagined the future of workplace for the leading technology platform, Farfetch. Located on the slopes of the Leça River in Porto, the new HQ is part of the bigger 178,000 square metres art-filled campus, dubbed as Fuse Valley.
BIG’s design for the HQ is organised around plazas, park and courtyards to extend the footprint of greenery and connect people with Nature. The new Farfetch campus features 12 interconnected buildings, which are designed to extend the outside to the inside, promoting heightened connection to Nature. Tailored to specific company’s need, the campus pushed the boundaries of biophilic design, similar to the larger Fuse Valley campus, which will include 24 buildings, home to various tech companies, start-ups and services.
“Rather than a corporate office complex, Farfetch’s future home in Fuse Valley will be a lively urban ensemble, bringing every curator, creator, customer and collaborator together in the most innovative new neighbourhood of the city. The urban fabric will allow Fuse Valley to grow and expand organically, like a natural village,” says Bjarke Ingels, Founder & Creative Director, BIG.
Referred to as a community village, the focus here is to create a sense of community and encourage collaboration by providing employees and visitors a clear structure, supported by openness and accessibility. The masterplan features staggered building plan, creating several courtyards, bringing light and sense of openness to all sides of the building. This design move also creates opportunities to create shortcuts at the ground level, connecting different courtyards. This helps create a continuous and accessible public realm from which all functions can be accessed.
José Neves, Founder, CEO and Chairman, Farfetch says: “We are very excited about this project and the vision that Bjarke Ingels has presented to us, not only because of what it will mean as a milestone for the company, for our people, but also for the community. This project will be a revolution on the current concepts of workspaces, marked by its futuristic nature, by the orientation towards sustainability and well-being. It will be a space not only for Farfetch, but for the entire community.”
Bjarke Ingels’s footprint is all over, as the building’s roof profile mimics the surrounding hills, swooping and climbing, offering views of the river. The design features buildings that gradually rise up to 11 floors towards the East and the North, giving visibility from the main road and creating a variable roof profile as the height of the building decreases to two floors towards the West and the river. Variable roof profile heights guarantee views for everybody and help bring natural light to every building in the development.
To heightened accessibility and biophilic quotient within the development, the slopes and terraces provide employees with generous spaces to enjoy breaks and host gatherings. Roof towards the river becomes natural extension of the landscape with pathways extending on the roofscape, creating flexible wayfinding for people to move around the complex.
On the ground floor, the facades are receded to create natural archways that expand the public realm, creating natural canopies to welcome visitors, collaborators and customers.
Inside, the space planning creates atelier-like spaces with high ceilings and open mezzanines that are created by sloping roofs of the buildings. The interior planning is particularly aimed at creating visual and physical connections and prioritising immersion in Nature. The biophilic design strategies are there to promote employees’ wellbeing with increased productivity.
“The individual buildings that constitute the various elements of the organisation are connected to form large contiguous work environments – physically consolidated, but spatially varied to create a human-scale experience,” says João Albuquerque, Partner in Charge, BIG.
The studio has created an exciting vision for Farfetch HQ, promoting Nature, accessibility and collaboration as its main pillars. The buildings are scheduled to break ground in 2023 and open its doors in 2025. A worthy addition to the Porto countryside, the 3ooo Farfetch employees have much to look forward to.
Name: Fuse Valley
Size: 178.000 m2
Location: Porto, Portugal
Client: Farfetch and Castro Group
Project type: Design Development
Partner-in-Charge: Bjarke Ingels, João Albuquerque
Project Leader: Hanna Johansson
Project Manager: Natacha Fernandes Da Ponte Viveiros
Project Architect: Mireia Sala Font
Team: Angel Barreno, Alberto Gonzalez-Garces, Geoffrey Eberly, Gonzalo Castro, Gonzalo Coronado, Jakub Fratczak, Javier Mora, Mathieu Michel, Matthew Reger, Paula Madrid, Stefani Fachini,Tristany Serra, Wei Lesley, Alvaro Villanueva, Ariadna Mejias, Elena Ceribelli, Gabriella Luppi, Gabriela Dal Seco, Giulia Orlando, Lena Mariella von Buren, Miquel Benedito, Raphaël Logan
Executive Architect: OODA , Ventura & Partners Arquitectos
Cost Management: Dimscale
Engineering and Sustainability Design: Quadrante
Landscape Design: PROAP Arquitectura Paisagista
Lighting Design: FILAMENTO
Signage & Wayfinding Design: PACIFICA
BIM Manager: LIMSEN
BIM Manager: FEUP/IC
Allotment Architect: VHM
Environmental Study: AMBISITUS
Traffic Consultant: ENGIMIND
Project Management: CORE
Project Management: CASTRO RED
Engineering Plot B: AFA
Bim Manager Plot B: NdBIM