An abandoned mustard laboratory in Dijon, France is getting a makeover, thanks to MVRDV design associates. The future home of Teletech International, the giant factory will house an innovative call center, education center, incubator and social program. The project is part of a European program to transform and recycle disused buildings, rather than wasting materials and labor by demolishing and building new.
Built in 2004 and closed in only 2009, the factory only requires a face lift, since it is relatively new. The interior is very open and cavernous, so traditional cubicle style work spaces aren’t exactly possible within the low budget of the project. The budgetary constraints will also leave the façade and structure mostly in tact, with a focus on building a creative and fun working environment in the interior.
The theme of the workspace is informal. Teletech employs roughly 600 call center operators – who are mostly young adults. With youthful computer habits in mind, MVRDV created a plan for a fluid workspace. Operators can log in anywhere within the building. Different areas will be created- secluded, shared and silent spaces. Workers can choose their desired work environment each day- informal, structured, social or isolated-even couches and beanbags, where they can use a laptop on their laps. They will have the freedom to move about, and choose a workspace dependent upon their mood of the day.
Giant windows and skylights will save energy costs, as daylight will be favored. The façade will remain the same, receiving only a simple flash code print on its face. During off time, employees are encouraged to hang out in the education center, gallery or projects incubator.
The trend to re-use closed buildings in Europe is both economical and conserves materials and man power. Transformation projects generally preserve historically architectural buildings, but are also just as beneficial to the re-use of contemporary buildings as well- something MVRDV strongly believes in.