At Faro Barcelona we set ourselves challenges every day. The SeQura project was one such challenge. The SeQura startup chose an old textile factory in a modernist building in Barcelona to convert into its new offices.
The goal was to create a space designed by and for people that is innovative and invites creativity. Carrying out a complete transformation of the space into a three-storey building with 5-meter high ceilings was the goal that was sought from the beginning with the help of the professionals at Faro Barcelona.
How to make a dark space look cosy? By combining different types of lighting integrated into the architecture and into the decor to achieve a comfortable and modern space with an industrial style. Open spaces, natural light and respecting the building’s original aesthetic are complemented by vegetation and a very considered lighting design.
Do you want to know what the main challenges of this project were and how these results were achieved? This is where we tell you everything!
What is the SeQura project?
It is a project in which an old textile warehouse in central Barcelona was transformed into modern offices with an industrial and modernist style, covering 2,500 m2 and split into three different floors, previously laid out between the basement, a mezzanine and the main floor.
The project started with clear premises marked by some of SeQura’s values: respect for the history of the place that was going to be renovated and collaboration, since it involved the design of offices planned for its workers who took part in the creative process. The spirit of SeQura can be felt throughout the spaces created.
SeQura is a young and innovative company so its offices could not be anything else. The traditional office was at all times rejected, instead seeking to create a space that in addition to meeting the day-to-day needs of the office, such as work requiring concentration, teamwork or big meetings, it also had to have rest and leisure areas. The maximum aim was to achieve a functional and comfortable space where people feel comfortable working, with the necessary lighting comfort that encourages teamwork.
This project sought to achieve effective lighting for each office space, create ambiences with light without the need to have walls and complement the interior decoration with lights that were already sculptures in their own right and capable of dressing the space.
What challenges were faced when embarking upon the project?
The main challenge of the SeQura project was to convert a premises that for 30 years had been a warehouse that was dark, damp and in poor condition into a space that was pleasant and comfortable to work in, that met the technical needs during working hours and at the same time created a warm and cosy ambience for the quieter moments of the company’s activity.
But added to this main goal were other small challenges, such as lighting a space around 5 metres high, incorporating light fixtures into facilities with different ambiences or combining warm and cold light in the same place.
Furthermore, a space was sought that focused on people and their comfort in a way that made them want to work in it. Some areas such as the basement, where there was no light at all and that was previously used as a warehouse, had to completely change.
And while the intention was to project a fresh and innovative image, there was also a desire to respect the history and aesthetic of this 1925 building, so another challenge was integrating fintech culture into a building from the last century.
From the start, SeQura demonstrated its commitment to local art and decided to have local artists to contribute their work to the communal spaces. Therefore, another of the challenges was to incorporate different artistic pieces into the workspace and for them to fit in with each other and with the chosen lighting.
What makes the SeQura project special?
The success of this project lies in the fact that it has realised all the goals that were set at the beginning in several ways:
● By achieving tailor-made lighting for each space
● By combining the warmth and the technical lighting as needed. Warm lighting for the communal areas and cold lighting for the work areas.
● By projecting a state-of-the-art and different image with the variety of light fittings used
● By enhancing local art in a gallery with the right light fixtures
● By achieving an attractive and comfortable space for the workers
● By preserving the building’s inherent style through the restoration of original machinery and features, and by maintaining the stone walls of the old factory.
What is the role of Faro Barcelona in all these changes?
Our team was very clear about this being a special project and wanted each corner to have its own personality. From the beginning, we knew that these offices had to be special. We wanted each corner to have its own personality and that’s how we did it. The challenge was substantial, since the work area and the rest area are in the same space.
Lighting as a key element
Lighting played an essential role in this project and the space has been completely transformed thanks to the combination of different light fixture, lights with tonalities adapted to each specific point, etc. This was achieved thanks to the proper planning of the different types of lighting that were required by each space or area of the building according to the tasks that were going to be performed in each one. Below we explain how the lighting for each space was chosen:
● Communal areas
In the communal areas, warm lighting was selected to encourage a relaxed and chilled ambience. Furthermore, part of the lighting was used to be incorporated into the decoration as a sculptural element which dresses the space as well as lighting it.
● Work areas
In the work areas, direct lighting was used to achieve lighting comfort, utilising for this purpose light fixtures with sound absorbing panels. At the worktables, we find pendant lights that foster concentration and prevent eye fatigue or dazzle, such as MUTE which absorbs sound reverberation (thereby facilitating meetings) thanks to its recycled PET body and guarantees visual comfort due to its glass diffuser which softens the light.
As general lighting, pendant lights were also used throughout the office which in some way also act as aesthetic elements.
Warm light had to be complemented with cold light, such as LED strip lights, in the work areas, since they are comfortable for working and produce no reflections.
LED profiles were installed in this lighting project with two functions:
● In the ceiling for the general lighting of the space in a direct and homogeneous way
● In the upper part of the walls to achieve indirect lighting which highlights the brick walls, a symbol of the original building.
● Circulation areas
In some circulation areas, the lighting was upgraded by incorporating sensors instead of being controlled by switches, thereby switching on the light fixtures when people walk past. Likewise, the general lighting throughout the office is programmed to switch on when the first workers arrive and to switch off when they leave. This detail promotes energy saving, sustainability and fosters user comfort, since it is in synch with the duration of the working day.
The main agents of sensor lighting are the Faro Barcelona STAN wall lights, which light the brick walls and highlight their aesthetic thanks to their closed 10º angle. This very model with double light outlet has been located in the circulation areas, between the plants, to facilitate transit between the different areas of the building.
● In the basement
To achieve the warm ambience that was sought in the basement, warm and regulatable lights were used. In the basement’s indoor courtyard, the ANDY stakes create lighting effects between the plants and the NÁUTICA surface light fixtures provide pleasant general lighting in this relaxation area.
● Artistic space
The offices also have a specific space reserved for art, where local artists’ works of art are exhibited in gallery format with museum-like lighting.
Why did SeQura decide on FARO?
● For the overall project consultation
● For sharing the aesthetic sensibility and knowing how to interpret what was needed at all times
● For the service offered
● For resolving problems quickly and effectively
The SeQura project is undoubtedly an example of a successful lighting job carried out by Faro Barcelona. By combining the work of interior designers with our lighting knowledge, a functional, attractive and completely comfortable space was achieved. Do you want to achieve the same result in your project? Get in touch!