With careful preparation and a clear vision, fantastic interior solutions are possible. This was in evidence when Airbus was developing 18 000m2 of new working space in a total of four buildings outside Madrid. With a desire to operate more efficiently while enjoying improved workplace ergonomics and comfort, the project highlighted the value of collecting data and using it to optimal effect.
Airbus is a pioneer in the aerospace sector, with a long-established and respected history in the design, manufacture and supply of industry-leading commercial aircraft of all types. With a major European hub already established in Spain, the company were looking to develop another of their sites at Getafe, just outside Madrid - a project that involved constructing four new buildings.
Aside from the actual building element of the new site, Airbus were also committed to implementing a new way of working that would improve efficiency and allow for a reorganisation of staff and departments. As a consequence, a fundamental rethink in terms of layout and design was planned.
A workplace analysis helps to map and analyse needs and work patterns before designing a new office. With specific tools and workshops, the staff is involved throughout the change journey to create engagement and participation. Based on the results, recommendations are given regarding the layout, space allocation and working methods. Read more about our workplace analysis Next Office® here.
To kick-start the project internally, in 2019, Airbus launched an initiative called ‘Workplace of the Future’. The purpose of this was to establish a common vision for the project and align all parties internally. As part of this work, several companies were invited to a supplier conference where the brief was to challenge Airbus and present new ways of thinking that could support the company’s wider ambitions for the project. Kinnarps participated with thoughts of the workplace of the future and how it can be designed, also presenting their workplace analysis Next Office® which helps collect knowledge and data to create successful workplaces.
With its clear process and smart tools, Kinnarps analytical approach was perfectly in sync with Airbus ambitions, and the analysis was implemented.
"We started this journey before Covid came into our lives. We talked about new ways of working, digitalization and remote work almost like science fiction when the pandemic put this way of working on the table on a daily basis. This has undoubtedly helped us a lot in the new concept of offices, in the change of mindset and in the adaptation of the teams to the design based on the activity that we carry out with all the employees who work in our new buildings. We had anticipated a future we didn't know was just around the corner. The new furniture, the new spaces to develop activities, the collaborative rooms, the concentration spaces have been very well received and our employees have adapted very quickly to their use. Without a doubt, the workspace based on the activity of the teams is a methodology that is here to stay, and we have more and more requests for information and people who wants to embark on it." - says Lourdes Perez Duran, Space Manager at Getafe.
High seating collaboration area furnished with Neo stools and Series [E]one table. The flexible and multifuntional Vibe soundabsorber on wheels promotes a good sound environment and offers a writing board.
Adjustments are made to the layout due to the new situation caused by the global pandemic.
The tender for the interior goes out and Kinnarps continues being the partner for Airbus.
Delivery and implementation of furniture and overall interior.
The Next Office® workplace analysis process started in early 2020 and involved close cooperation with Airbus management and project team. Through this cooperation an involvement process, with several different workshops, for employees was also started with the purpose of mapping needs and work patterns. Using presentations detailing ideas on the office of the future, staff was opened up to new ways of thinking and encouraging them to consider related issues such as where they carry out specific working activities most efficiently and which level of focus they requier. Through an online survey, valuable insight was gathered on topics as collaboration, creativity, productivity and well-being. This process was complimented by several interviews with key members of staff at Airbus. Kinnarps representative in Spain stresses the value of the workplace analysis -
“The workplace analysis is a powerful tool. It helps our clients to fully understand what their needs are for creating an efficient and thriving workplace. It gave us a thorough overview of how Airbus’ different departments operate and co-operate, allowed us to understand the project’s challenges and develop ideas that supported the customer’s vision.”
When the analysis phase was completed, the data gathered in the workplace analysis was compiled and presented in a report together with detailed recommendations on the physical environment in the new office space. Having received the report, Airbus went out with a tender, inviting offers from parties who could supply furniture for the project. It was with great pleasure that Kinnarps were chosen for this role. But fate intervened and at this point, the global pandemic caused the project to halt for a period. However, in late 2020 the tender was signed off and Kinnarps could start translating the results from the workplace analysis into actual drawings and interior design solutions of the new environments. In February 2021 the first furniture started to arrive at the new premises at over 18 000 m2 and providing work space to over 1 600 Airbus staff.
We look back on this project with great pride. The scope was challenging, but by applying a proven strategy, developing great teamwork and utilising all our expertise in design and workplace ergonomics, we were able to devise and deliver an interior solution that fulfilled every expectation.