SEB + Wingårdhs = Sveriges snyggaste kontor!

“It’s all about the canteen,” concluded a researcher after studying the success of the University of Cambridge. Spontaneous meetings is the cornerstone of the interior design of the new office building for SEB, one of the largest financial institutions in Scandinavia. Everything springs from four atriums distributed among three buildings. The first atrium encourages spontaneous meetings, the second flexible gatherings, the third offers a casual living-room feeling, and the fourth provides a workplace alternative to individual workstations. The flights of stairs are like sculptural features that inspire us to wander among the various levels.

The three buildings hold as many people as a small city, and at 72,200 square meters the building is the largest newly constructed office building in Sweden. Given the enormous size of the complex, ensuring proper identity and wayfinding required a generous amount of variation—within each building as well as from one building to another. You might say the design is made up of different layers: the inner core of the atriums is surrounded by an intermediate layer with meeting room areas, which in turn is wrapped in an outer layer with workstations. The largest of the buildings is urban in character, with reserved colors, limestone floors, and durable materials. Inside is an espresso bar with baristas that fill the building with life and the aroma of fresh-brewed coffee. The two other buildings provide a contrast to the first, one offering a relaxed domestic atmosphere and the other a more focused working environment. These buildings have wood floors, variegated patterns, and bold colors based on the established corporate identity. All three buildings are linked together on the seventh floor by a roof terrace with a glasshouse at its center.