By Anuradha K R
Photography: Courtesy the architect
Architect Alberto Apostoli’s team churns out a stunning office space for insurance major Allianz-Ragno Agency in Trani, in Puglia region, Italy that radiates wellness, end-to-end.
In a move to change the perception of an insurance product from being just another ‘essential product’, Allianz entrusted the task of designing their office to Mr. Apostoli, an acclaimed spa designer. Factoring in the psychophysical state of employees and customers, the ‘wellness specialists’ have designed a work environment that oozes empathy, relaxation and well-being, besides communicating thorough professionalism.
The 220 sq. m. office is designed referencing typical spa materials like water, wood and fire. Coalescence of curves and straight lines at the outset lends a soothing aura to the office. Wisely harmonising the two in a workplace environment, the designers have used curved lines to instil a sense of ease, of comfort; while straight lines in operating offices convey focus and accuracy.
Use of glass, veneer and travertine marble harmonises the office with special effects strategically introduced to impact both, visual appeal and feel-good factor. All workstations are created with travertine and glass, while the libraries and other furnishings are in matt lacquered wood. A glass wall, characterized by a sheet of water flowing on its surface, stands between the executive office and operations rooms, segregating the space, yet retaining visual connectivity. A bio-ethanol fireplace, integrated into another wall of the main office counterbalances the water element.
Glass partitions elsewhere in the office are screen-printed with the design of olive leaves, the symbol of Puglia, a leading producer of Olive oil. Predominantly, neutral colour scheme of the office space comes alive with floods of blue light in pockets, blue, being the institutional colour of Allianz group. Wall to wall, life-size photographs of bountiful trees evoke a sense connectedness with nature amid the unlikeliest of places. Specially designed RGB lighting, combined with a DALI (Digital Addressable Lighting Interface) system lights up the office.