EXNOVO’s team welcomed 2019 in a new, spacious office located right behind Casaramona– Caixa Forum, on Rabí Rubén 14, a small street shrouded in mystery and full of history which dates back 1073.
The history of Isaac Ben Reuben Izchaq ha-Barkeloni- a Barcelona poet of Jewish descent and author of many poems who contributed to the liturgical literature. After his death, he was buried at the commentary in Montjuïc located in the same neighborhood which is why the street got his name. The interesting history of this place doesn’t end then…
There is also another interesting fact about this street not only for specialists interested in the nuances from the real estate world.
After the Spanish civil war in 1939, one of the building’s owners-Juan Bautista Pardo, received a permission from the City Hall in Barcelona to extend his building by one floor based on a hand-sketched plan. It wouldn’t be as surprising if it wasn’t for the fact that the building faces another block of flat situated only few meters away. It means that the neighbors from one building can basically cross the balcony and enter the neighboring flat from the opposite direction. The absurdity of this construction and the lack of its functionality surprises even laymen without any knowledge of the building law.
On this historic street, we found a perfect local for our team members where will be happy to welcome our regular and new clients. It’s not a typical place for an office. Despite its proximity to one of the most emblematic places in Barcelona and the most spectacular shopping mall, it still preserves its local character. In this barrio, you can still find shops where residents can buy local food: fresh fish and meat, carpenters, hardware as well as fruit stores. This is why, we feel especially connected to this place and to our small and quiet corner. This local which, similarly, to the street on which it is located, is filled with history, tradition and family stories.
In order to preserve the spirit of this local, we decided to keep its furniture, old typewriters and other antiques which give this space a sense of attachment to tradition and the passage of time. Our aim was to combine this traditional touch with modern elements which reflects our company’s view- a respect for history and tradition mixed with an innovative and creative approach.
To achieve this goal, we hired an experienced architect- Sander Cornelius Laudy (B01 architects), who followed our vision and revived this place with a stylish touch, creating an open working space which is functional and modern at the same. He achieved this effect by introducing elements such as a large working table, vertical garden and wall shelves – a solution which gives a sense of space and modernity. To us it means that we can work together at one table, communicate more effectively, integrate and learn from each other. A 6 x 4 meters natural green wall cleans the air and has relaxing properties, creating a perfect working environment.
Now, not only working is more pleasant but also commuting. It’s all due to a bicycle rack, installed in the middle of the office where we can park and charge our bikes. It turned out to be an extremely practical solution- which helps us stay in shape, avoid the morning traffic and also protect the environment.
In addition to provide a comfortable working space, our architect proposed sustainable strategies such as changing an energy certification from “D” to an “A”, replacing windows and insulation, replacing luminaires with LED lights and introducing an efficient climate control system to reduce consumption. Apart from it, we have installed an efficient heating and cooling system and replaced a large window by an aluminum carpentry with thermal bridge and double glass breakage. With this system, we have managed to reach an “A” energy certification.
By realizing this project, we abandoned a standard concept of a typical office design for a common, sustainable working zone, with no sense of hierarchy, where we are encouraged to exchange ideas freely and give vest to our creativity. We believe that working in a family like atmosphere is more effective, less stressful and has more positive benefits. So does the presence of animals which is why Quim, our little four-dog assistant, places a very important role in our team.