Architect Viktor Banarev, CEO, and his team create interiors that challenge the notion of workspace
Office spaces are here to stay, the Covid-19 pandemic failed to bring their much anticipated death. Instead, it redefined the whole concept about them. A studio of ambitious professionals eager to show that there is no limitation to ideas and professionalism, MoVe Architects is bravely exploring this new landscape. The studio has already worked on some of the most prestigious sites in Bulgaria and has collected an enviable portfolio of big and small companies as satisfied clients. Some of the latest projects of MoVe Architects that made us pay bigger attention to their work were the office space they created for Coca-Cola Europacific Partners and Entract, the amazing coworking space in central Sofia located in an old theatre building.
We talked to Viktor Banarev, CEO of MoVe Architects, to learn more.
What does the modern office look like after the Covid-19 pandemic according to MoVe Architects?
In general, in the past three years office spaces experienced significant changes connected mainly to their function and usability.
To sum it up, currently we can define three types of offices that also draw general conclusion about the actual situation on the market and why people return to the offices:
• The office as a place for team work;
• The office as a place for networking;
• The office as an event space.
Along with this, the office was redefined from the standard place where one goes to fulfil their work duties into a place of attraction and a destination. The standard open space offices were already undergoing a conceptual transformation even before the pandemic, but Covid-19 definitely became the trigger that sped up the process.
It was proven that people are more effective in smaller teams of 16 to 24 people and when they also have the opportunity to sit alone for a bit, if they need to. Alternative workspaces of the bar type, with furniture like soft chairs and puffs, became even more popular after the period of remote work and home office. The wholesome feeling that you are at home became a must for every successful and creative office environment.
How are you able to create a team capable of meeting the requirements of a wide spectrum of corporate clients?
The answer, rather expectedly, is one. Here it is: it is a hard task. We have rather high requirements to each member of the team and their adaptation to our workstyle.
For us it is crucial to give real added value to the projects that we realise and that our clients are satisfied with our services.
What is the most important thing that you have achieved with MoVe Architects since the company's creation?
First and foremost: the team! Second is the international recognition, the repeating business and our knowledge that our clients can rely on us.
What was the biggest challenge in working for Coca-Cola Europacific Partners?
Each project is truly challenging and unique in its own right. Of course, the opportunity to work for arguably the most famous brand in the world had its own charm, but was also a huge burden as we had to demonstrate the best of ourselves. I believe that we did great. A site with an area of 10,000 sq m was finished in 13 months; we spent 6 months in design and 7 months in execution.
The limited time and the incredible rise of the prices of all materials were just a few of the challenges that we experienced. As for the design – I am happy that a company such as Coca-Cola Europacific Partners trusted us and gave us the opportunity to implement our design ideas through their requirements.
Your project for shared business space Entract was nominated for the Dibla Awards 2021. How did the project deserve this recognition?
This was just one of many recognitions that this project received. It was also nominated for Building of the Year, which rarely happens for a project that concerns reconstruction of a monument of culture. Along with this, the project was awarded by BIGSEE as the best interior design of 2022.
As for what made it deserve this recognition – the different approach towards the office space itself. To a significant extent, we tried to mix standard office, theatre space, new technologies and a different concept for co-working office space. The reconstruction of a building from the 1940s that is a monument of culture and its transformation into an Class A office building and the shaping of the space as an attractive centre for startups was definitely something that inspired our whole team.
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