Interview with the partners of Antana Construcción in the special issue of Real Estate magazine on office design and implementation.
ANTANA is a construction company based in Madrid. It specialises in high quality construction, both in terms of finishes and building solutions, and has positioned itself as the construction company of reference among prestigious architectural firms. Javier Alonso and Luis Chao, partners of ANTANA, talk to us about the office sector and its solutions.
What are the latest trends in workspace design and implementation?
"Open space" and "Coworkplace" are the terms. It is a new concept of corporate office that is gaining ground in large companies. Fluidity, openness, modernity, interaction, communication. There are no fixed workstations but different spaces in which to work. Business processes bring with them the need for direct, fast and efficient communication and these new spaces are born as a response to these requirements: meeting areas for teams to interact in real time, without restrictions, without mental or architectural barriers. Common areas are gaining enormous relevance.
How does ANTANA approach this new concept in office refurbishment?
At ANTANA we take this new way of understanding work very much into account when we implement and refurbish offices. First, we listen to the client and understand their business and their needs in terms of space, communication and interaction between people and teams. Then, we design the workspaces together with the client and even, if they let us, with the workers. Our designs provoke interaction, communication, openness and creativity. Finally, we execute the work. Almost always, in impossible times and while maintaining the client's activity.
What is BIM technology and what does it bring to the design and implementation of an office refurbishment?
BIM is a technological environment that allows working with virtual models. By working we mean designing, projecting, calculating, planning, measuring, budgeting, constructing and maintaining a building. The advantages are enormous for architects, engineers and builders as well as for the owner or user of the property. We all work on the same virtual model simultaneously and the processes and decision making are simplified.
What elements should be taken into account when considering a change or extension to an office?
There comes a time when you need a growth spurt... entrepreneurial. Unlike the adolescent growth spurt, which is spontaneous, involuntary but precise, the growth of the workplace needs to be well thought out and measured, as insufficient or excessive expansion can be counterproductive to the company's objectives. In addition, when growing and therefore expanding, environmental, psychological and sociological issues are very important and need to be addressed with the utmost care. Sometimes it is not all about more space, it is also essential to understand what the space is like, how it relates to the outside world and to the employees, the degree of inspiration it gives back to the workers, ... in order to increase production, renew it and make it more agile.
It is quite possible that more space is needed. But how much more? The calculation must be made by giving each employee a number of square metres, taking into account their particular workplace, the increasingly important interaction with other workers, toilet facilities, commuting... But it is also necessary to think about the common areas, which are becoming larger, more accessible, more integrated into the personal work spaces, favouring communication and collaborative work.
Finally, what is the added value of ANTANA, how does it differ from other construction companies?
A few years ago a client defined us as a "boutique builder". The truth is that we like that description because it describes our way of building. We get involved in the project phase, we understand the client's needs and we are committed to their objectives. In all our projects there is a permanent site manager and supervision by one of the partners. All our staff are highly qualified and highly experienced. Quality and service are the pillars on which we base our work.