Lemon Works | Living Offices | S05E03

André Henriques | Ah!PHOTO

WYgroup is a business ecosystem with a collaborative structure of independent companies, dedicated to communication, operating through creativity, design, media, data, innovation and technology. These companies combine synergies and expertise, which enable the group to offer a wide range of communication services. The focus is always on the consumer having the best experience.

Office File

Company: WYgroup
Location: Oeiras
Total Area:
 2000m2
Capacity: 400 people
Year: 
2001. Renewed 2018–2020
Industry: Communication Marketing & Technology
Office Design: The project was conceptualized and developed by an interdisciplinary team from By, a group’s agency, which combined skills in creativity and content, art direction, photography, 3D modeling and illustration, in full partnership with MOA Arquitectos and Andringa Studio.

The office is located in front of the beach, in the middle of Avenida Marginal in Santo Amaro de Oeiras. When we enter the office, we are welcomed by a cozy environment, with lots of light and a view of the beach that makes us feel we are on the sand and almost with our feet in the ocean. That is why it is called the Beach House, and why it reflects the inspiration of the sea and the beach in all its details.

The space is divided into three main open-space areas. A large reception area, which receives and welcomes all those who enter the office and that also transforms into an amphitheater when necessary, an area with several meeting rooms, and a working space with many tables with hot-desk policy.

The office areas were created by involving all the people in the group in the process. Moments were created for everyone to share what they would like to see in the new office. We found spaces thought in response to what everyone who works here shared. Every space has a story and a feeling that unites them.

https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fembed%2FyL5mMQAphFc%3Ffeature%3Doembed&display_name=YouTube&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DyL5mMQAphFc&image=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2FyL5mMQAphFc%2Fhqdefault.jpg&key=a19fcc184b9711e1b4764040d3dc5c07&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=youtubeRúben Ferreira | U.DREAM

The reception area is the space that welcomes everyone who enters the office. The wide and bright space welcomes us with a smile and a piece of decorative art that catches our eye. A wine cellar inspired by the ocean, made by one of WYgroup’s collaborators — Carlos Castelo Branco — who was invited to design a piece for this place.

This area expands into an auditorium. It is used throughout the day for different moments, either one-on-one conversations or meetings between larger groups that happen frequently. Sunset gatherings are also held here, combining with presentations of some of the works and socializing.

On the right side of the reception we are led to another decorative macramé piece created by Oficina 166. The inspiration was the beach, of course, revealed by elements such as the buoys of the boats, which were covered by embroidery done by A Avó Veio Trabalhar. This piece has several functionalities: decorates, evokes beach and ocean elements, divides the space while maintaining transparency and connection. The materials used in this piece are also found throughout the office: such as fabric and thread, buoys and surfboards.

From basketwork to woven straws, from macramé to fabrics and hardwood, these materials are a constant throughout the office space, in the furniture and decoration. The sustainability of the materials was a main concern of the team. They chose to work with wood from sustainable forests in Bali, and fabrics with environmentally and human friendly dyeing. The macramé lamps in the amphitheater were made with recycled fishing gear, by Beatriz Rosales through Malha.

Work Area

The flow through the open space work area is guided by the central area, where the tables are located, and that are used by the teams from the different groups at WYgroup.

In parallel to the central workspace area, we find an area that extends along the glazed facade of the building, with comfortable sofas and tables, counters, or a surfboard that serves as a swing. This area is used in the various moments of the day when people want to relax or work with a view of the beachfront.

On the opposite side, we find an area with phonebooths and meeting rooms, for when it is necessary to make more private calls, have more focused moments or quick meetings to make decisions. The glass doors and compartments allow you to stay connected to the rest of the work area.

Meeting Rooms

The third area of the office is entirely dedicated to more formal and extended meetings, ensuring spaces for meetings with more people.

Each of the 18 meeting rooms has a different theme, but always maintaining the unifying and common narrative of the Beach House: Sunga Room, Thong Room, Minikini Room, Beach Bar, are some of the names of the rooms where the collaborators meet. Every detail matters. The different waves that symbolize the sea and decorate the glass walls, are a good example. The decoration pieces by Graça Paz give warmth to the main meeting room. The ceilings and the doors were also designed by the WYgroup team, and maintain the materials of choice such as straw and wood.

The concern with the functionality of each room is evidenced by the furniture, with large tables and comfortable chairs for longer moments, or standing desks for shorter and more dynamic meetings where standing is possible. The furniture in these rooms was designed to provide a positive, comfortable work environment that provides comfort and well-being to the employees.

Since WYgroup is a business ecosystem dedicated to communication, the broadcasting room with quality equipment and sound proof, was not forgotten. The fabrics that cover this room and others, have warm or cool colors that remind us of sand, or the sea.

Some art pieces in areas near the meeting rooms are result of a careful choice. They are near to areas with sofas, colorful cushions, plants, areas for contemplation and a reminder that it is good to take a break and relax.

Here we find once again, a piece of decorative art. The illustration of the three women was made by Sara Brito, who won a challenge that was launched to the whole group — to make an art piece related with the beach, ocean and vacations. This piece answered to that challenge — to have a piece that would make everyone feel at a beach house.

Another art piece shows a woman and a blue fish, a world of dream and struggle in honor of the women in the group, which was commissioned to the artist André Belem.

Walking through all of the spaces in this office, we were told the stories behind the choice of materials, colors, intentions, emotions, and many more stories of the strong connections that made it come about. In the middle of the pandemic period, the new office was being set up and this process was followed by all the collaborators, at home, through the almost daily photographs that the group’s CEO, Pedro Janela, was sending by email to everyone.

Sounds of The Office

“I was asked to design a wine case for the Beach House. One of the fishing activities in Sto Amaro de Oeiras is octopus fishing. From there I looked for a shape that is inspired by the sea. The design has to do with the movement of algae in the tides. The chosen material, iron, has to do with the shipwrecks. The shape of the octopus is quite morphic, and somehow tries to synthesize all these elements, finally and because it would have to support bottles, the suction cups of the tentacles are the rings that have this function. A wound to the reality that is out there and that every day we end up benefiting from, and contemplating from the Beach House.” Carlos Castelo Branco

“This office is like a house, it’s us having the feeling of being at home. The whole space invites one to be well and to enjoy the view and to enjoy the best of what it is really like to be working in front of the beach.” Sara Brito

“I come here because of the sharing with various people. I think that in the midst of a little chaos that is the creative process, this space transmits calmness. I often see myself looking at the ocean (…) and it always ends up being something a little more flowy, like the concept of the space.” André Filipe

Author: Marta Pinto Published in Lemon Works Dec 2, 2021
Photography: André Henriques | Ah!PHOTO

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