Construtora Barbosa Mello’s new headquarters is an open office whose main element is a skylight that provides plenty of natural light, which allowed a highlight to the landscaping. Palm trees, cyclanthus, and philodendrons constrict and demarcate continuous workspaces, artificial light is balanced with daylight, and living areas are defined by green areas.
At the same time sober and cozy, the office is in Savassi, a bustling neighborhood in Belo Horizonte (Brazil) that combines daytime activity with the nightlife of bars and restaurants.
Originally, a “BHZ Mall” operated on site: a shopping gallery whose stores were all facing a double-height mall crowned by this large illuminating skylight. Therefore, it was a typical hermetic gallery designed for retail and not for offices. The proposal bets on the valorization of this only source of natural light, hence the choice for large plants (like the Ptychosperma macarthurii palms) and for a layout that enhances the space of the original mall, now transformed into a gardened common area.
The program is divided into two floors that make up 2,300 m2. In the first, the visual permeability of the open space contrasts with the privacy of the meeting rooms, which are concentrated along the perimeter of the building. In the second, where there are no common areas, the workspaces are disposed around the mezzanine and enjoy the precious natural light available.
A key item of the project, the leisure area has its own time, decelerated by a wall of plants that live well in low light, and marked by a modular wooden bleacher. Taking advantage of a functional design, the apparent pipe irrigation system guarantees the correct watering of the cachepots and highlights an “infrastructural” vertical plane.
The landscaping project is complemented by the graphic signage project. In addition to demarcating the glass partitions with a pattern that determines a balance between transparency and privacy, there are also pictograms designed after a re-reading of the company logo, designating all the rooms.