When designing (or redesigning) their corporate offices, some companies focus on the kinds of outlandish bells and whistles that go viral on the internet. 10 years ago, that might have included giant slides, on-site pubs, or even an indoor lazy river. In more recent years, a pandemic-induced shift towards working from home has caused many companies to weigh their options between scaling down their physical headquarters or going even bigger to seduce employees back to campus. Of course, there’s also a quieter, more practical middle option, exemplified by the new Poetizer offices by architect Tomáš Císař and designer Johana Sedláčková Vamberská.
Located on the fourth floor of a First Republic building on Narodni Street in Prague, the Poetizer offices are minimalist yet romantic, much like the company itself. Poetizer is the world’s largest social network for poets and poetry lovers, providing a simple platform where millions of users from 120 countries can publish their creations in plain black text against a crisp white background. The designers wanted to capture the essence of the company and its focus on environmental protection, creating spaces where employees can feel relaxed and included.
At the center of the design is a beautiful indoor greenhouse space, “a wild jungle, a mythical Eden, an area that expresses the concept of wild thinking,” as Císar explains. “Thinking that, according to Claude Lévi-Strauss, is close to our ancient ancestors and contemporary poets. He contrasted this initially intuitive and associative thinking, which he likened to a rich rainforest ecosystem, with an already domesticated, strictly rational thinking.”
Set within a larger room, the greenhouse offers space for streaming poetry readings, lounging, and brainstorming. The gabled open metal frame hosts 171 living plants with over 100 species represented, and sofas and chairs facing each other for small meetings and conversations. Between the plants, the daylight streaming in from the adjacent windows, and the deck-like flooring, six or more occupants can get a little taste of the outdoors without leaving the office.
Just outside the greenhouse is the Poetizer HQ’s main room, containing two islands of individual workstations. The desks are on wheels so users can choose to either keep them grouped together or move them away for privacy and concentration.
If employees want to get even more introspective, they can choose to enter a series of smaller study rooms, meeting rooms, and conference rooms in various sizes, all painted dramatic dark hues of green and blue. Feeling almost womb-like in contrast to the bright and open main room, these spaces get extra warmth from lots of wood, pops of red furniture, lush velvet textiles, moody lighting, and additional plants.
“Proud to design for Poetizer, the world’s biggest social network for poetry lovers and a digital publishing house,” says Císar. “The concept builds upon the focus and the minimalist identity of Poetizer. The center stage of the office is occupied by a greenhouse — the wild jungle, the mythical Eden. This boldly placed object creates a space to meet informally, to stream poetry readings, or just simply to relax. Thank you very much Lukáš Sedláček, CEO of Poetizer, for the opportunity and patience.”