The COVID-19 pandemic has made us rethink the role of workplace, while the need to improve employee wellbeing and productivity is taking centre stage. Research shows that psychological wellbeing is directly linked to having an access to outdoors, encouragement of communication, interaction, knowledge exchange and creativity.
UNStudio's design of the new building for JetBrains in St Petersburg is an immersive campus promoting employee wellbeing and productivity. The new campus is designed to attract unique talent by expressing the company’s distinct identity to the workforce.
The campus is intended as a place of openness and connectivity. It has been envisaged as a place to meet, discuss, meditate and propose creative ideas while taking in spectacular views across the bay.
Ben van Berkel explains, "JetBrains is a highly innovative company. They are ambitious, possess a deep understanding of their workforce and have a very contemporary approach to the future of work. This meant that we were able to bring everything that we have learned from designing contemporary workspaces to this design and could create a warm, green, transparent, open and inviting office that stimulates total interaction."
Central to the scheme is the vertically stepped indoor atrium, which is the heart of the whole campus. Central meeting rooms, breakout spaces, auditoriums and restaurants are all organised around this stepped atrium. This open space is also connected to the outdoor courtyard and outdoor terraces, which provide a clear view of the Gulf of Finland. Bridges span the large open areas while improving visual connectivity throughout the campus.
The design of the new building incorporates elements of biophilia throughout the building, to improve wellbeing. The office floors are based on team and individual focus rather than an open-plan approach. The campus has been designed in full detail, including custom-made healthy workstations for all 1000 newly-housed employees.
Berkel continues, "We pay a great deal of attention to how people move through buildings. Office spaces are designed in such a way that they do not create simple linear corridors leading to dead ends, instead each corridor has a route that introduces a kind of landscape into the building. The possibility is created to take endless walks through the building, where there is a great deal of transparency, also towards the surrounding landscape."
The courtyard on the podium level provides an intimate outdoor overflow space that is embraced by an active gallery designed to be used as an orangery/winter garden for outdoor plants.
The façade of the building is designed to block heat gain while providing optimal daylight throughout the building. The highly transparent zigzag glazed façade was chosen with a series of soft acoustic shading device on the inside of the glazed skin. Protruding glazing ceramic elements provide shading, reflect light and lower the energy footprint of the building.
UNStudio won an international competition back in 2019, to design the new campus of JetBrains in St. Petersburg. The construction of the project is scheduled to start later this year.
Project title: Jetbrains campus Architecture: UNstudio Location: St. Petersburg, Russia Design team: Ben Van Berkel, Frans Van Vuure with Alexandr Kalachev and Melinda Matuz, Natalya Kuznetsova, Caterina Micucci, Leon Hansmann, Alexandra Lukianova, Michele De Simone, Raul Forsoni, Saba Nabavi Tafreshi, Derrick Diporedjo, Eva Poulopoulou, Jose Sanmartin, Jahan Tahamtan, Rachel Picot, Alina Tueran Façade engineering: Ramboll Dubai Structure: MTM Landscape design: Loosvanvliet Lighting Design: Atelier Ten Signage and Wayfinding: Optimist Creative Acoustics:DGMR Client’s Project Management:DBC Consultants Client’s Local Engineer/Architect: Spectrum Group Visualizations:ZOA, AAND3
UNStudio, founded in 1988 by Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos, is an international architectural design network with four full-service international offices in Amsterdam, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Frankfurt and Dubai. We specialise in architecture, interior architecture, product design, urban development and infrastructural projects.
Over 200 staff from 27 countries are spread throughout the network in a streamlined structure that enables us to spend less time organising and more time designing and collaborating with our clients.
UNStudio’s current management team consists of Ben van Berkel, Caroline Bos, Gerard Loozekoot, Astrid Piber and Hannes Pfau, closely supported by a strong group of long-term directors and associate directors.