Rooftop terrace '6021'

Ocado Techology Sofia / Outdoor recreation Space/ Sofia / Bulgaria / 2021

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Spending time outside is vital to good health and wellbeing. It lowers your blood pressure and reduces stress. Various studies show that the average person spends between 85-95 % of their life indoors. The stat that is even more frightening reveals that we spend approximately 8-10hours in front of screens per day.


We as architects are quite intrigued when we are able to reflect on those issues in our work. This was the case with our assignment to improve our client’s ‘Ocado Technology Sofia’ outdoor environment – a 150sq.m. rooftop terrace in the center of Sofia with a panoramic view.


Spending time outside is vital to good health and wellbeing. It lowers your blood pressure and reduces stress. Various studies show that the average person spends between 85-95 % of their life indoors. The stat that is even more frightening reveals that we spend approximately 8-10hours in front of screens per day.
 
We as architects are quite intrigued when we are able to reflect on those issues in our work. This was the case with our assignment to improve our client’s ‘Ocado Technology Sofia’ outdoor environment – a 150sq.m. rooftop terrace in the center of Sofia with a panoramic view.
 
As an IT company specified in innovations, Ocado’s work is focused on the technical field just as much as it is in the creative one. Creative thinking needs to be stimulated and provoked. That’s why our design aimed to be not only functional and comfortable but in a way bold and even abstract. Acknowledging what is distinctive is essential when interacting with space. The element that catches the eye right away on the terrace is the square grid formed by the flooring tiles. The grid system is as well crucially embedded with Ocado’s everyday work operations and product concept. Having all this in mind we ended up creating a design tightly connected to the square system and its behavior in the third dimension.
 
Sun shading was the primary need in order to provide comfort at all hours of the day. We arranged five shading elements that connect into clusters throughout their bases and columns. The clusters create zoning that doesn't interfere with the walking lines. There is a variety of sitting arrangements with different types of privacy, suitable for various occasions, depending on the type of meeting.
 
The bases of the shadings needed to be spread around a bigger area and to have a specific amount of weight attached to them to ensure the construction’s behavior in strong wind conditions. At the same time, the weight supports serve as planters. In addition to the foundation, all elements designed are connected, from the same material and in the same square grid system. The other elements as tables and benches are spread strategically in specific locations throughout the terrace.
 
 All 59 steel elements are assembled from folded and welded 3mm thick sheets. Later on, they are powder-coated which protects them in external conditions. The color of the steel units matches the grey tiles in order to blend with the surroundings and continue the grid system in the third dimension as extrusions. Keeping the elements neutral allows the greenery to overcome the landscape and stand out.
Plant selection includes a huge variety of ornamental grasses, evergreens, bushes, lavender, and other herbs. The other accent is the timber beams, again a natural material. They enrichen the scene with their diversity in height and function. The same size is used for table legs as well as for the shadings and hammocks columns.
 
 This is one of the rare cases where we as architects are not creating a building or an indoor habitat nor so creating an interior project. The new generation professions,  new health precautions, and lifestyle changes create new needs. Our attention is driven in other directions. We like to look at the project as a power nap, as an in-town/at-work getaway place where you can gather your thoughts and refresh from other activities in a different and healthy way.
As an IT company specified in innovations, Ocado’s work is focused on the technical field just as much as it is in the creative one. Creative thinking needs to be stimulated and provoked. That’s why our design aimed to be not only functional and comfortable but in a way bold and even abstract.


 
 Acknowledging what is distinctive is essential when interacting with space. The element that catches the eye right away on the terrace is the square grid formed by the flooring tiles. The grid system is as well crucially embedded with Ocado’s everyday work operations and product concept. Having all this in mind we ended up creating a design tightly connected to the square system and its behavior in the third dimension.


 
 Sun shading was the primary need in order to provide comfort at all hours of the day. We arranged five shading elements that connect into clusters throughout their bases and columns. The clusters create zoning that doesn't interfere with the walking lines. There is a variety of sitting arrangements with different types of privacy, suitable for various occasions, depending on the type of meeting.


 
 The bases of the shadings needed to be spread around a bigger area and to have a specific amount of weight attached to them to ensure the construction’s behavior in strong wind conditions. At the same time, the weight supports serve as planters. In addition to the foundation, all elements designed are connected, from the same material and in the same square grid system. The other elements as tables and benches are spread strategically in specific locations throughout the terrace.


 
 All 59 steel elements are assembled from folded and welded 3mm thick sheets. Later on, they are powder-coated which protects them in external conditions. The color of the steel units matches the grey tiles in order to blend with the surroundings and continue the grid system in the third dimension as extrusions. Keeping the elements neutral allows the greenery to overcome the landscape and stand out.


 
Plant selection includes a huge variety of ornamental grasses, evergreens, bushes, lavender, and other herbs. The other accent is the timber beams, again a natural material. They enrichen the scene with their diversity in height and function. The same size is used for table legs as well as for the shadings and hammocks columns.


 
 This is one of the rare cases where we as architects are not creating a building or an indoor habitat nor so creating an interior project. The new generation professions,  new health precautions, and lifestyle changes create new needs. Our attention is driven in other directions. We like to look at the project as a power nap, as an in-town/at-work getaway place where you can gather your thoughts and refresh from other activities in a different and healthy way.


 


 


 


Information about the project from Ocado Technology Sofia:


Ocado Technology is one of the top tech companies of our time. It could well be considered a “20 year old startup”. This mindset, culture of autonomy, collaboration, craftsmanship, trust and “no blame” is what makes it a company with innovation inbuilt in its DNA. As the Ocado Technology Sofia development center wanted to make the most out of their balcony in the summer of 2021, our task was to make sure the feel of it reflects the culture and overall spirit of the company and its people. The tech pioneers need a space, where their minds can rest during the day, as their task is to solve some of the toughest technological challenges of our time. The balcony is also a place to socialize and share knowledge and energy with co-workers.

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    Spending time outside is vital to good health and wellbeing. It lowers your blood pressure and reduces stress. Various studies show that the average person spends between 85-95 % of their life indoors. The stat that is even more frightening reveals that we spend approximately 8-10hours in front of screens per day. We as architects are quite intrigued when we are able to reflect on those issues in our work. This was the case with our assignment to improve our client’s ‘Ocado...

    Project details
    • Year 2021
    • Work started in 2019
    • Work finished in 2021
    • Client Ocado Technology Sofia
    • Status Completed works
    • Type Public Squares / Office Buildings / Business Centers / Offices/studios
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