Swarovski offices are dressed in the new Fibracolour Black Galaxy

Even in such a different year, September marks the return to school and work. That is why today we show you the offices where Grupidea enhances the characteristics of our material in the most social areas of the canteen and cafeteria.

27-08-2020 Fuente: Finsa - Autor: Finsa

Designer: Miguel Ángel Julia & Grupidea

Product: FibraColour Black Galaxy.

Application: paneling of walls and furniture.

Location: Barcelona

Year: 2019

Grupidea has been imagining, designing and building spaces for brands for more than 20 years. His relationship with Swarovski goes back a long way, being one of those responsible for the implementation of retail spaces for the company throughout Europe. It is not surprising, therefore, that they were chosen to take charge of the project for their new offices in Barcelona.

Miquel Àngel Julià Hierro, director of Strategy and Design at Grupidea, was in charge of directing the conceptualization and interior design of this work space, together with the architect and interior designer Apolonio Espinel Sanchez. From the outset, the work was a joint effort between the Grup Idea team and Swarovski, led by Miso Bugarski Osmanbegovic, Head of Construction & Facility Management South Europe & CEEMEA at Swarovski.

It was not about restyling the spaces and redistributing the tables, but rather a deeper rethinking of the new ways of working and making the Swarovski team interact. Responding to a reorganization of its structure in Spain, Swarovski decided to unify its two offices in Barcelona in a single headquarters. With this restructuring they began to work together in the same space and for this they addressed the comprehensive reform of the existing offices.

The most important thing in the project is the new way of working: the new offices integrate four independent departments and it was about promoting their interrelationship. For this, one of the radical changes consisted of replacing the small offices of each of the departments with "a single canteen-dining room space, where everyone would meet at lunchtime, next to another point at the entrance which works like a small cafeteria, where you can have a coffee, have an informal meeting, read the newspaper... This is how the so-called 'cross-pollination of ideas' is achieved. It is in these spaces where we have applied the Finsa product”, says Miquel Àngel Julià.

With the same objective, a series of social spaces were created on the distribution floor that were interspersed in the open work areas, leaving the more private spaces such as offices or meeting rooms for the interior band. Even with this differentiation of spaces, the possibility of working and meeting in any space was promoted, in your position, in the host desk positions, in the canteen,... In today's society, connectivity must be possible in any space and in any moment.

Fibracolour Black Galaxy for a very social area

Fibracolour Negro Galaxy has been applied to the horizontal and vertical surfaces of the kitchen of the new canteen and in the reception-bar at the entrance, the most social areas, the places where workers will spend their time disconnecting from work.

“I have known Finsa for a long time and we have been working with its products for many years. If you want to keep up to date with the latest finishes related to wood, you have to work with Finsa”, says Miquel Àngel Julià. For him, "Finsa provides security in finishes, quality, perfection and accuracy".


His encounter with the new Fibracolour Negro Galaxy took place "at Interihotel, where Finsa had a fantastic stand where they showed new materials, one of which was Fibracolour". The project briefing that Grupidea received, among other points, requested that the spaces breathe a Swarovski atmosphere, but without replicating the image of its stores. For this reason, for this project our Black Galaxy allowed us to get away from the current corporate materials that Swarovski uses in its stores, but fitting perfectly into the look and feel of the brand.

“It is important to note that at Grupidea we do not choose materials individually. It is the combination of these finishes that works or not, which leads us to choose one or the other”, points out the project director. Here Fibracolour Negro Galaxy stands out from those with which it coexists, such as natural wood or vinyl flooring in gray tones, which evoke concrete.

One of the peculiarities of Fibracolour boards is that, being a mass-colored board, it allows the edge to be seen. This characteristic is valued very positively by the Grupidea team, which gives it power in the quartering and modulation of the kitchen area doors. For Miquel Àngel Julià “it's like drawing a Mondrian painting; each of the colors of the rectangles has as much power as the lines that compose it”.

From brand design to corporate headquarters

At Grupidea they are specialized in working for brands designing commercial premises and offices. In these projects there is a prior style manual -where materials, finishes, colors and other construction details are indicated- which must be applied in the best possible way in each case. However, when it comes to the design of the corporate headquarters of a major brand like Swarovski, the usual thing is to seek to transmit the same corporate values and messages in a different way, differentiating itself from the sales spaces in its details and finishes. So it was in this case.

We have to think that the visitor to the corporate headquarters has to be able to perceive the brand, just like when visiting a retail space. “They asked us to give it a spin and, in fact, the creative team that has worked on the project is not the same one that works in the stores. In the new social areas we had complete freedom to introduce new materials: we worked with continuous vinyl flooring, with wood, with Formica and with finishes like those of Finsa”, explains Miquel Àngel Julià. For this reason, more time was invested in the initial part of the project, in the conceptualization of the spaces, in the definition of the look and feel and the messages to be transmitted, as well as the new ways of working. This preliminary phase of thinking is the one that was coordinated through joint workshops between the Swarovski team and Grupidea. Brand application was also innovated, with vinyls and architectural graphics different from the one applied in stores. It was about looking for motivating and inspiring phrases, both for Swarovski workers and for their clients.