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Ageas Headquarters
Porto, Portugal

Occupying a number of buildings across Lisbon, Belgian insurance company Ageas has consolidated its operations into a new headquarters building and commissioned Broadway Malyan to create a space that responded to current and future work trends while also reflecting the company’s strong culture, mission and purpose.

Underpinning the design approach for the new Ageas headquarters building is the principle that employees should be able to work anywhere.

No space has a single function and few of the spaces are fixed and rigid – the fluidity of evolving working practices and expectations is fully embraced in layouts and atmosphere.

The main lobby has evolved beyond the traditional welcome space for colleagues and visitors to become something more experiential, challenging its preconceived function and providing users with a range of experiences.

Taking its lead from an approach more recognisable in the hospitality sector, the double-height lobby in the Ageas headquarters building becomes a space in its own right rather than part of the journey to somewhere else.

The contemporary design, lighting fixtures and furniture such as armchairs, low tables and sofas convey a different atmosphere and provide users the opportunity to linger, engage and work with an informality more akin to a hotel.

This informality and a recognition that important work moments can happen anywhere in a workspace means issues like acoustics and maintaining a comfortable environment throughout is critical – function and style must work together at all times, an approach manifested across the project.

The other main common area is a restaurant with coffee shop and buffet area on the second floor that links to a 470sqm outdoor terrace. The restaurant has a range of different seating areas – from traditional square and round tables to high tables, sofa areas and a large communal table that acts as a centrepoint to the space, encouraging colleagues to share their time and ideas.

These areas are demarked by different ceiling elements and lighting fixtures, creating a range of experiences for users. That important feeling of familiarity and authenticity is accentuated in this space and throughout the building through its natural and proudly Portuguese materiality. This includes traditional Portuguese tiles, cork and burel, the traditional Portuguese fabric used by shepherds for their capes.

Throughout the building are a range of different private and semi-private areas, each adaptable to the changing needs of the space, each workspace a piece that can me moved to meet the circumstance.

The design of the more focused work areas includes a range of solutions including traditional benches with task seating, high tables, meeting pods and lounge areas for informal working and meeting.

There are also no enclosed offices on the executive floor with a uniformity of approach throughout the building, amplifying the ethos of collaboration.

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